Monday, October 22, 2007

The FTPing controversy

OK it's not really a controversy, however, it seems that I caused a bit more buzz than usual with my conference blog post when I said that "FTPing is totally out". People who don't even comment, emailed me off line. So I thought I'd post a follow up with some more clarification. "These are only my opinions... yada yada yada."

First, I was asked what "Static" means when I mentioned static websites. Here's an explanation (from here).
Once it is printed a newspaper can no longer be changed....Similarly, once a static website has been published it too will not change until the next edition; whenever the webmaster or someone familiar with HTML, or flash edits the content.

A dynamic website (most websites that use a content management system are dynamic) on the other hand uses programming in addition to the layout... Dynamic websites empower their owners with the ability to upload information on their own, preferably through password protected administrative interfaces.
The second thing I was asked is "I have an html website and use dreamweaver what do you recommend?" First off dreamweaver is a GREAT program and I use it to design along with photoshop for the look's that I upload into our content management system. So you don't need to throw that out. I personally think all the other web design programs are crap! (I know strong opinion but I do)

In addition if you have static content (that you don't change a lot) and it's really just you featuring your work, your art, or promotional materials (etc) than it's totally fine for you to design it and ftp it online using dreamweaver. I have a one page website that I ftped up. However it's basically just a business card. It has no use beyond that and I edit it about once a year.

This is not the best option for you though if you have multiple people editing and posting content, you have a large website, or if your website is for selling stuff. You can still do it but there are other options. This is especially true if you want anything interactive or dynamic on your site. For example on my work website we can, at any time, add a: message board, blog, photo gallery, wiki, rss feed, video, brand new sub site. It takes me five minutes and goes right into the already created design. You can't really do this with an html website you ftp online. And it's a hassle to make an html website use tags.

Other simple things you can do as an individual is design a blog for your content and use all the fun tools like youtube, fliker, picnik (my new favorite online toy) for your video or photos, and then use something like to sell stuff (there are other sites like this I just don't want to go find them). The advantage of this is you get a lot more visibility because there are other people on blogger, movabletype, wordpress, youtube, fliker... so you are more likely to be seen. Visibility is totally important.

Alright so there are just a few of my strong opinions on websites. Any of you who do this work want to say different feel free. O and css is totally great and php is debatable by some. There was a big pretend fight about php at the conference.

Now that all you non-techy people are bored to tears I shall stop! :)


Elaine said...

Thanks for clarifying all that - lots of good stuff to think about and play with. Thanks for the links too!

Cheryl said...

I agree with you about the CMS being a better process, but as a designer, you'd better make sure you give MINIMUM options to non-designers who are posting content.

At my former place of employment, I worked with the Web master to lock down/limit most of the options like fonts, font sizes, color, image sizes, etc. that content contributors had access to. Otherwise, you get all sorts of crap being thrown up in a site that has no business belonging there.

just me - titration said...

Hey Elaine you are welcome. :)

cheryl - Absolutely! This CMS does that fairly well with that which I appreciate.