Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Website update -update 2

For now I am focusing on the new design of the website, as the forum is done with only visual changes to make. I plan on of course designing the look of the website first, than the look of the forum. Forum should fit the website, not the other way around. As for the look now, I feel the colors is a bit too light.
For the last couple of days I've been trying to get SiteGrinder working. SiteGrinder is a Photoshop plugin that could turn Photoshop images into webpages. I find that more convenient than having to look through the dull long lines of HTML code. But after looking closer at the actual plug-in I find it to be rather flawed. First of all it doesn't work on my computer. Which I find extremely frustrating. The engine fails to initiate and remains unresponsive. I have check the customer support but no solution is given. Secondly the plug-in does cost money. The free version that I've downloaded was only a demo, any webpage it makes will have a gigantic watermark on it. The actual full plug-in costs $149 dollars(U.S.), and that is a LOT of money. I seriously doubt the necessity of it, and it certainly is not worth $149. Finally it makes updating the website harder. To add contents like updating the members page or the sponsor page would be rather painful with SiteGrinder, since adjusting lengths and widths will be an obligation. Contrastingly the one I am currently using(Dreamweaver) handles such updates quite well.

So with SiteGrinder to be but a huge disappointment and a gigantic waste of time, I continued to work on the navigation bar. Here's how it looks now:

I agree it's not perfect(why is the text blue now i'm not sure), but we'll have to see how it fits with the banner and the entire website, color-wise and balance-wise. As you can see I'm using a way darker approach hoping to bring a more formal professional look to the website. The round rectangle bar will be less"edgy", thus providing a smoother view. The bar itself has fill opacity of 44%. This will make sure that some of the background will come through. The bar also has white glow to 30% opacity and a stroke of 1 pixel black. The texts themselves glow as well, just to get that "shiny" look. The buttons have gradient from #050505 to #151515, which gives the metallic "shine" as well. Right now the buttons' shine and the texts' shine don't really match. But i'll see if changing it is nessesary. These small details seem to be irrelevant but they actually contribute greatly to the overall look.

As for the missing events, members, blog page, I am planning on doing a drop down menu. It won't be easy, and i might have to go back to flash again, but I am looking at other alternatives. so they drop down menu will look like :

Home (Events,Members)
About Us(Blog)

Again I will have to discuss with other volunteers and primarily our founder about how the categorization will be done, but this gives a general idea.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Website Update -Update

I've never expected the progress to be so fast. Yet out of boredom I have nothing to do but work on the website update. And yes, the forum is fully working. Though as for now it is not open to public yet because there is still extensive work to be done, but we have got a fully functioning forum! phpBB offers a very good free forum platform for building a community. It will be open to the public as soon as I change the appearance a bit, add our logo on the top, and discuss with other volunteers about the format, forums, topics etc.

Well as for now here's a screenshot of our new forum.

I also established a FTP connection between the server and my computer, which allows me to edit the website through a web editing software other than the one cpanel provides. This was not possible before but now I've fixed a bug on my computer and it is working.

Our main website on the other hand is going to have a brand new appearance. I started today working on the navigation bar. The old flash one was good, but it wasn't solid enough. The clicking is limited to left click(middle click and right click doesn't do anything).I've decided to adopt a new approach this time using Photoshop . Photoshop obviously allows way more visual opportunities than Flash. I'm hoping the new navigation bar to be smoother, more functional and better looking than the flash one. As for the banner of course our new logo is to be added, but that comes after making the navigation bar.

Here's a screenshot of what the navigation bar looks SO FAR. I have yet to start on filling them, and of course the color is going to change.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Website update announced

With the new logo and all the free time at hand at last, I've decided to make a gigantic website update. This update would include:

  • brand new look including the logo
  • a log in system where members and non-members could sign in
  • forums
  • chat room
  • a feed system for news, members with accounts can comment on the news
  • a possible puzzles page
This is a big update and it would require some time. Please be patient as I will do my best.