Lloyd Robert Borrett

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Lloyd's Web Site

In late 1995, I began to experiment with creating web pages, which led to the creation of my own personal web site in March 1996.

The First Generation

This web site took the form of ten very simple web pages. Common elements were a banner across the top of each page, plus a graphics and text based navigation bar across the bottom of each page. Most of the design work, such as there was, went in to the page banners and the navigation icons.

No frames as the popular web browsers back then couldn't support frames well, if at all. Only a few tables, as most web browsers didn't handle tables very well either. Those that did also tendered to display pages with tables extremely slowly. Given that most people were accessing the Internet using just 14.4K modems, extreme care was taken to keep graphics and pages small. Care was also taken to make sure the site worked well with the then popular web browsers.

Tools of the Trade

The main tools used to build this first web site included:

  • HotDog Web Editor;
  • Adobe PhotoShop;
  • CorelDRAW;
  • Paint Shop Pro;
  • Mapedit; and
  • Internet Explorer.

The site was hosted by OzEmail.

The Second Generation

I started work on the second version of my personal web site on Boxing day 1999 and it went live early in January 2000.

A lot of thought went in to the planning of this web site, especially the basic page grid and navigation elements. Then these were implemented in a mock up form and experimented with.

The layout and design included provision for a few additional features I hoped to introduce in due course. I also had something in mind for changes to some of the core graphics that gave the site it's overall look and feel. There's always something you can be doing to a web site!

Tools of the Trade

The main tools used on the second generation web site were:

  • Microsoft FrontPage 2000, to build the pages and write the Java script; and
  • Adobe PhotoShop 5.5, to create the graphics.

As the initial version of the new site neared completion, the GIF and JPEG graphic files were run through Adobe Image Ready 2, and the web pages through HTML Tidy.

The site was hosted by WebCentral.

Add-ons

In the second half of 2003 I used Blogger to add my own advanced blog to the web site. Around the same time I used the Bravenet Guestbook solution to add a fraternity register.

The Third Generation

Around the middle of June 2004, I switched to a new hosting provider and gained access to a wide range of new features and services. However, an initial look at how to use these features in a way that fitted in with the existing web site design revealed that a design refresh would be a good idea.

One priority was to get rid of the use of graphic files for the site navigation elements. My experience with new generation screens running at better than 96 dpi showed this concept had a limited life.

I chose to use the impressive and flexible DHTML Menu from Milonic (www.milonic.com). Using a Dynamic HTML and JavaScript based menu, would enable the site pages to load faster, and be more search engine friendly.

Another goal was to make site navigation easier, by implementing the method I had first developed whilst building the Omniton web site, a few months earlier.

The first generation web site was designed for compatibility with 640 x 480 resolution displays. The second for 800 x 600 resolution displays. The third generation will look best on 1024 x 768 or better resolution displays, but will also be more than acceptable with 800 x 600 resolution displays.

The main graphic elements of the earlier design were essentially retained, though in a slightly modified form.

I used the open source forum system phpBB 2.0.8, to add a forum section to the new web site.

The Bravenet based guestbook I had added some six months earlier already had some 2400 entries, was costing me money, and was not working as well as I wished. I turned to installing Advanced Guestbook 2.3.1 to overcome this limitation. I heavily modified it to look similar to the phpBB subSilver forum theme. It is an effective fraternity register for those who had solved the Petals Around the Rose problem.

Tools of the Trade

The main tools used on the third generation web site were:

  • Microsoft FrontPage 2003, to build the pages, cascading style sheet and edit the JavaScript;
  • Adobe PhotoShop 7.0, to create/modify the graphics;
  • Adobe Illustrator 10;
  • HTML Tidy;
  • NoteTab Light;
  • Blogger for the web blog;
  • phpBB 2.0.8, PHP and MySQL for the forums; plus
  • Advanced Guestbook 2.3.1, PHP and MySQL for the fraternity register.

The site is hosted by Jaguar PC.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 30 October 2007

 
Lloyd Borrett's Home Page 1996
LRB on the World Wide Web
March 1996
 
Lloyd Borrett's Home Page 2000
LRB on the World Wide Web
January 2000
 
RECOMMENDED READING
WEB GRAPHICS

Designing Web Graphics

Designing Web Graphics 3
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ISBN: 1562059491

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Coloring Web Graphics

Coloring Web Graphics 2
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ISBN: 1562058185

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Deconstructing Web Graphics

Deconstructing Web Graphics 2
[ Weinman & Lentz ]
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ISBN: 1562058592

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