Joe Sparrow / Illustrator - Animator - Designer / 07758224292 /

Saturday, 30 October 2010

my new website and why it kicks ass

I re-did my website yesterday. There's not a lot of new work (I put up some of my favourite Dungeons and Drawings illustrations but not much else) but I cleaned up a lot of stuff and added a few features that I've been wanting to add.

Firstly, the homepage is now inhabited by a set of floating polygons which have some interesting effects when you mouse over them. I'm thinking of changing/adding to these over time so you can see when there's been an update (and maybe even check back to see if they've changed).

Secondly, I got really bored with having a beige background, but I didn't want to commit to any one other colour. So now there's lots of different coloured backgrounds! Each time you reload a page there's a bit of html code that picks a random background colour from a selection of about 10. If you don't like the colour of the page you're on, no sweat, just refresh.

Finally (and I doubt anybody noticed this) but I've changed the way the illustration page is laid out. with the site i set out trying to make an html site that imitates the best features of the popular "indexhibit" format - a frame on the left with a simple list of text links that makes images appear on the right. Before, I did this (pretty stupidly) by making each picture its own, templated html document, thinking that nobody would notice that a whole new page was being loaded in every time a link was clicked. The problem with this is that every time I wanted to update, I would have to update the links in every html page for every image. That would take a long time!

for anybody that knows how to code this is probably horribly messy (I just grab things off the internet and paste them into the code at what I think is the correct place - my knowledge doesn't go any further than that). I basically made one page with all the links on it (the images_con.html file in this case) and put an iframe in the table cell on the right. in dreamweaver you can give the iframe a name (here it's "imageiframe") and then if you reference that name in a link (put it in the "target" box) then clicking on that link will load the new document into the iframe. So when you click the "aboleth" link, the "aboleth.png" image is loaded into that iframe.

It's a really stupidly easy way of loading in new images without loading a whole new html page each time, and I'm really surprised this isn't talked about more widely on the internet. Maybe I just go to the wrong sites or something. I kept trying to do it with normal "frames" (like those websites that have a bar across the top or across the left hand side that acts as a separate window to the main body of the site) but they're super limited and fiddly. you could potentially do so much with iframes. if you've got an html site, learn how to use 'em!

PS i saw the Guardians of Ga'hoole the other day and I really enjoyed it. more kids movies should be this dark! It's like redwall meets lord of the rings.

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