Website Design

How to Make Your Own Web Site
Internet Checks
Miscellaneous Web Site Software
Web Site - Do You Need One
Web Site Counters
Web Site Images


Date: Tue, 20 Jan 98 08:33:06 -0500
From: Mark Cable
Subject: Re: illustration: Re: Info wanted/Web Sites

First, you need the space. Your ISP may give you the space as part of your account, check it out. If not, someone like Geocities offers free space.

Secondly, you have to put the page together. The easiest way to do this is to buy a program like Pagemill or Claris Home Page, or the free one that aol has. Just use your natural design sense, don't let the program features drive your design. Just because you can make rules, buttons, and background patterns with a click of the mouse doesn't mean you should.

Thirdly, you have to upload it to the web directory. Use a program like Fetch (freeware, check the Infomac archives) it's not much harder than sending an email.

Fourth, then you tell us it's up and we all look at it.

Easy, huh?

"I bought a book called "Teaching yourself web publishing with HTML in 14 days" and built my first site."

I bought Pagemill and did it in an afternoon.

- -Mark

Some Web design rules of thumb:
1. Design for a 14" screen: 640 pixels wide x 480 long (though it's best to chop a little off of those figures for what browser windows themselves take up, say 600 x 450, maybe). People don't like to scroll. Going longer is OK, though, as long as you think your users will be willing to scroll down. Never make users have to scroll sideways.

2. Long download times discourage users. It may seem hard to believe, but the *total* combined file sizes of everything on the homepage, or intro page to a section, should be 30-45K. It takes approximately 1 second per 1K to download with a 14.4 modem (lots of people still have them).

3. Use an image resolution of 72 dpi. Higher than that is wasted on the Web, because of screen resolution limitations. Higher resolutions create unnecessarily large files. (The only exception would be if you want users to have access to a higher-resolution image for printing. Most people don't want to do this anyway, because of copyright issues and the ease of stealing stuff off the Web.)

4. Usually, using JPEG format for photos, and GIF for spot color, leads to smaller image files. But sometimes experimentation is the only way to determine which gives the smaller file for a particular image.

5. Try different, lower levels of JPEG quality to see how low you can go until you reach unacceptable loss of quality. The lower the quality, the smaller the file, so go as low as you can.

6. Use thumbnail images to jump to larger images. Warn users of the size of the image they are jumping to if it's more than 30K.

It sounds like you may end up with a single image file that is significantly larger than 30K. Consider using an opening page with a thumbnail image, along with a warning of the file size of the full image. On this same intro page, you could include text about what you've done, the image itself, the group, whatever. Then the thumbnail image could link to the full-size image, and those who really want to spend the time to download it will go there, and those who don't won't get frustrated.

Hope this helps.

Rosemary Sheffield **** Writing / Editing / Desktop Publishing
Visit Travis Audubon Society:


Pagemill now comes with Sitemill, which checks your web site for errors (only those of the linking persuassion) and with a punch of a button uploads it for you. My kind of software!

FYI, Mac Warehouse will sell you Adobe Pagemill for 30.00 less if you own another Adobe product. They list Pagemill for 99.00 without the special.

Sheri Gaynor
Storybook Designs


Netscape Communicator 4, which can be downloaded free from the Netscape site, also includes Page Composer, an HTML editor which seems more than adequate for putting together pages and uploading them.

- -pd

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 09:42:51 -0700
From: John Nez
Subject: illustration: Netscape Communicator 4

What little I know about Netscape:

Netscape Communicator is a free download.... but it's a big one... at about 9 Mgs for the entire program.

Netscape Navigator is the name of the browser component ... but the larger program also contains Netscape Conference... which I haven't used, but allows a number of users to have an online conference.

Also, there's Netscape Composer, which is a really easy to use Web Page / e-mail program. I used it to build my site, and found it the easiest to use after trying about four other programs.

If you can't hack the 9 Mg download, there's a CD version of Netscape Communicator available for about $15.


Same here. I used it to create my new web site. I still did some tweaking in SimpleText afterwards, but it took a lot less time starting with Composer.

Kelly Cheek


Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 00:22:48 +0000
From: Jeff Wright
Subject: Re: illustration: Web work (aol and general)

Karen -

You get 2 megs PER screenname, I believe. At least that's how it was when I was their in-house arteest. One trick, which you did not hear from me, is to get a 10 meg site by linking between the screenames web sites.

And sure, you can do your site in a night if you know what you're doing and what you want. Check out mine at


Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 10:00:17 -0800
From: Chris Blom
Subject: Re: illustration: Web work (aol and general)

Karen, you have only one web site and it is under only one name, but the pages that comprise it can be under your other screen names. You simply write the links in the home page to refer to pages in the other areas.

Done by June? Heck, you can put a simple one-page web site out in a weekend. On the other hand, a site I wrote that contains over 60 pages took me several months of concentrated effort. And, incidentally, it went on AOL occupying multiple screen names.

If I were you, I would start with bare essentials and get that published, then add pages as time allows. (For instance, full size pics to back up your thumbnails can be added later.)

Chris Blom in San Jose


Date: Thu, 12 Mar 98 17:17:50 +0000
From: Mark Betcher
Subject: Re: illustration: Dreamweaver

We use DreamWeaver when building sites. If you've used other web building software you'll find it a "dream". The table and frames functions are easy to use. Cascading font selections are there to use. And placing interactive elements such as MacroMedia Flash couldn't be easier (easier than using Flash... anyway)!

Mark Betcher

FrontPage 98 is a Microsoft program so it only works with PCs! Book states: "you'll need a personal computer with a 486 or higher processor......". Oh well.


I just found a website that allows you to add your site to their links. There are many categories. I saw Nate's there.

Lainey....Go to anyone's website that has the Cloud Nine symbol on it and click on Want to join the Cloud Nine Illustration Web Ring?....It will give you instructions on how to put it on your site...That's what I did....... Cloud Nine is a great way to get linked to other illustrators on the web...also, it is a great way for people to get linked to your web site....Good luck...


"As more and more authors and illustrators are taking up virtual residence on the world wide web, the CBC decided it was time to create a virtual map to the stars of children's literature. This month the CBC launched an author/illustrator link page on CBC Online. Site visitors have said this would be a welcome addition and we think it has value for our members as well. Any authors or illustrators who have books in print with member publishers may participate. We also request that participants supply a reciprocal link to the CBC site in accordance with current 'netiquette.' " Visit for more information.


Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 14:41:51 -0400
From: Lula
Subject: Re: illustration: Web sites

Hi DeDe,

I would say it depends on what you are selling and what kind of customer base you have established.

My web site has generated business for me but then again I am selling a commercial end product - not quite like illustrations in a book in the sense mine is a more commercial buy and sell product.

Some shops that I do business with are e-mailing purchase orders to me, also have had several new shops e-mailing for info after they see my site on the web and then placing orders - there are individual needlework enthusiasts asking for info and then placing special orders at their shops and shop owners who have given me feedback about people who saw my web site and subsequently bought canvases of mine already in stock in their shops because they liked my web site.

I only did my web site only as a convenience for shops to see designs and because I wanted to get myself into learning how to do a web site in case I wanted to sell more product in the future. Really did not think I would generate much business overall because several other needlepoint designers said they never had any responses.

A web site like mine costs money because it's a commercial site but it has my business name attached to it making it easy to find. The site takes a lot of upkeep - mostly in e-mailing responses daily which sometimes take a couple of hours +! The there's keeping the pages updated, making sure all links are current. I am one of the very few needlework designers, if not the only one that answers e-mail as soon as I receive it and customers/shopowners really like that.

Yes, it's worth having a web site in the long run because more and more people are getting on the net. It's convenient to have buyers/clients of any type be able to see samples of your work and be able to contact you via e-mail - send files e-mail and so forth as well as save on long distance calls for both parties.

An interesting side light is I have even gotten contacts via the web site for people interested in licensing my art work.

The only thing you have to worry about is copyright theft - one thing I do is keep my images fuzzy on purpose because many needleworkers scan in images off the web and put the scans into charting software to make charts and since my work is stitch painted on canvas grids, it makes it too easy otherwise.

On a scale of 1-10 - my web site would be a 2 as I do most of my primary business via trade shows. A web site overall is relatively cheap advertising ($500 per year) compared to my one to two print ads a year for $800+ in a trade mag which has paid off but not as well as the web site.



Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 08:50:32 +0000
From: Kelly Cheek
Subject: illustration: i-Check

Here's something interesting for any of you who sells art (or anything else) from your web site: i-Check - the Internet Check. I've looked into various companies who offer services to allow you to accept credit cards, but they've all been expensive, with software to purchase or lease, plus high service charges for each transaction and minimum amounts per month.

But a business newsletter I receive recommended i-Check, because more people have checking accounts than credit cards. They charge a one time setup fee of about $50, then each transaction costs you a maximum of $1.80, with no minimum sales required. If you don't sell anything in a month, you don't pay. The $1.80 transaction fee is the higher one which I chose which provides you with a security check on anyone paying by i-Check (not an extensive credit check, but they check to see if the buyer has a record of writing bad checks).

You set up your page with a link to a secure "check" which the buyer fills out and signs, then the purchase amount is deducted from their account, the transaction fee is deducted by i-Check and the remainder is automatically deposited into my account. I have my page set up so that the order is e-mailed directly to me at the same time that the customer is taken to the i-Check page, so I have mailing info, and can compare this with the statements received from i-Check. Anybody interested can find out more at


"I see some of you people have counters on your sites. Does anyone know where you can get a counter without setting a cookie or including an advertisement or paying money in return?


My ISP (Internet service provider) has them for free...check with yours and I bet they have the same service.

pattie Schey

I have a few pages that I handle on the web and I've found the counters from Pagecount to be very easy! It will count, tell you WHERE your visitors came from, and it comes with a guest book too! As I mentioned a few days ago... I'm a cyberclutz, so if *I* can handle them -- they MUST be easy! If you can't handle the HTML, just insert it in pieces using tags. I can help if you get lost.



"Now I'm curious if a file will load faster if it's saved at a higher resolution, at a smaller dimensional size. That is, whether a 2" x 3" file at 150 dpi will load faster than a 4" x 6" file at 72 dpi. Anybody know for sure?"

Nope. Although resolution varies, in fact you'll have the same number of pixels. And that's what counts. In fact all the html programs I know of will ignore the resolution setting and display the graphic at 72 dpi. So if you have 2" x 3" file at 150 dpi it will be displayed as a 4" x 6" 72 dpi graphic file. Since the majority of monitors display at 72 dpi (some 75dpi) it is as it should be. Having a 150 dpi image displayed at its original size would mean a waste of resources, because you'd have displayed only half the pixels the image really has. Hope this answers your question.

Jose Ma. Sosa

I would offer one suggestion. You said you were having trouble getting the images to be clearer. I noticed that they were GIF files. When you convert a file to Indexed colour to make a GIF, you get the dithering that you see in your images. GIFs are fine for simple images with mostly flat areas of colour.

But for detailed images with continuous tone and lots of colour blends, etc., leave your original image in RGB mode and save as a JPEG. Your image will look better and will almost always be smaller and download faster besides.


Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 16:41:03 -0800
From: Cindy Couling
Subject: Re: illustration: getting rid of illus.frame in pagemill

"Has anyone put illustrations on their web page which are not square or rectangular? I have a picture I want to use with irregular borders, and I don't know what to do except have a "frame" around it."


I have images on my website with irregular borders. What I did was save the file as a gif file in photoshop ... and when the saving options come up you can choose a transparancy method. You can do that by typing in the colors you want, or using the eyedropper to pick a color right from the image. If you designate a background color (usually the desired background color of your webpage) in Photoshop, you can use that color to border your image with ... and not have a frame around it.

I'm sure the others can add to this regarding how to use this type of file in Pagemill.I use HTML Editor and not Pagemill ... so a reference tagline works for me.

Hope this helps.

- -Cindy

The only thing you can do is put up a GIF image with a transparent background. Other than that, there's no way to display a non-rectangular image unless you want to write some Java code to display it.

- -pd

The image needs to be a gif do use the transparency tool. (Open a gif image in Pagemill, and transparent tool (wand) appears in the side menu bar.) If your image is a jpg the tool won't even appear.

Perhaps instead of making one large GIF or JPG, it would be best to just have an HTML page with lots of GIF and JPG stuff included. This generally makes the page smaller, since text is stored as text and not as GIF/JPEG image, and fast to download. It also makes it MUCH easier to update, add images, etc. Our Valentine's page was done this way.


If you hold down the mouse button on a graphic in a web site, a menu comes up asking what you want to do with it. Save it to your hard drive and it should be the exact format it was created and uploaded as, whether GIF or JPEG.


There is a great website for resizing JPG and GIFs that everyone should visit before resizing..

You can view what they will look like at various size.

BTW I ususally use 300 DPI and work the file size down


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