METHODS OF WEB DESIGN –
When designing online content (particularly your own) you have to consider all of the different tools available to you and how they would benefit the type of content you are looking to create, as well as knowing some of the negatives of said tools. I am going to be looking at the following tools that are commonly used to design online content:
All of these programmes have similarities but at the same time, they have many differences.
Starting with WordPress, this is an online platform that allows you to either own a blog that can only be customised to a certain extent, it is governed by themes created by other people (you can make your own theme for a rather heftier price). The only thing that is overly customisable about these themes is the content you post, the colours, a few fonts and the like. The other side of WordPress is (in my experience) is the premium version that can be applied to pre-bought hosting and is much more customisable. You can use CSS and other online script languages to create a site from scratch, or you can opt to choose a theme made by someone else. These themes however are not like the themes on the free version of WordPress and are purchased externally from sites such as Themeforest. These themes are much more customisable, professional and, or course, rather expensive.
As I have mentioned above, there are themes available for WordPress making it rather easy to navigate, also once your site is done, it’s fairly simple to manage your content too. The main thing for me is that WordPress has a content management system, swell as supporting E-commerce, this is super useful for people like me who want to blog on my website.
One of the downsides of WordPress is that (assuming you, like most others, are using a theme) there is a limit on how customisable your site is and how unique to you it will look. Something I noticed also it that you have to be connected to the internet to make any changes to your site at all, this can be a downside to having a WordPress – based site if you are planning to make changes on the go. The best thing about buying WordPress themes is the support that comes with it, you will be able to put a ticket in to get help from the theme developer if needed. There are also many tutorials on sites such as YouTube that explain this.
I learned WordPress through self-teaching and the occasional helping hand from one of my old mentors from an apprenticeship I was on. I could further develop my understanding of WordPress via asking my tutors. I could also go online, though I don’t think there is anything substantial left to learn, it tends to just be small issues I may be having.
Adobe Muse is the second tool I am semi-familiar with. From what I can tell, Adobe Muse is like a replacement for Dreamweaver so to speak, by this I mean it is easier to use and navigate. All you need is to be able to design and boom! Your all set. Actually that is one of the downsides to Adobe Muse, you have to know how to use other applications such as Photoshop or InDesign to be able to effectively create what you are envisioning. Though muse is a cheaper and more effective way of creating content that doesn’t require a coder (to designers), people who do not have a design background will most likely find muse useless and will be more suited to a pre-made/bespoke theme from WordPress. I find muse brilliant because it is like a live version of Indesign… or so to speak. It has a lot of the perks of WordPress (minus the easiness) but at the same time is much more customisable. Something that really peeves me about Muse though is how there is little or no options when it comes to responsive designs because as I mentioned in previous research, the way a site looks on the go is important and can decide whether decides to come to you or go elsewhere.
When it comes to support using muse, there are options available, though Muse is still relatively new so there might not be quite as much content available as there is on the topic of WordPress for example. A website I highly recommend for learning Muse (or anything design orientated for that matter…) Is Lynda.com. This has all the resources you could possibly need for learning any software that might be beneficial to designing online content, the Muse ones have helped me a lot. To further my understanding of Muse I think I will stick to asking one of my tutors who is knowledgable on the subject, though I may also decide to use YouTube and other people’s blogs to help me learn.
Dreamweaver used to be the most popular web designing tool, though it’s popularity and usefulness has dropped dramatically after the release of Muse, WordPress and other easily customisable web content tools. This is why I don’t know much on the subject and after trying to use Dreamweaver, I got the feeling it was more for web developers and coders rather than designers like myself. Maybe I am incorrect but I feel like the downside to Dreamweaver at the moment is that designers no longer have to go through the tedious process of designing in photoshop then paying a coder to make it live for them. Instead they can produce their design in Photoshop, then do the rest in Muse themselves or to make it even more simple, they could use an existing theme from WordPress and customise it so no original content is actually required.
Thankyou for reading my research. Next shall be my ideas and development.