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| by Tara Maginnis, Ph.D. The Costumer's Manifesto is proudly hosted by OnlineCostumeStore.com your online source for Halloween Costumes.
Accessories Book & Gift Storehistory_100pages/accesslinksClasses Corsets & Underwear[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/history/100pages/corsetlinks.htm ]ComputersCostumes 4 Saleclasses_uafcostumeshop/pages/classes Costume e-Listscomputer_1pages_crj Dance Costumesclasses_uafcostumeshop/pages/classesDesigns & Designers Dolls [computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/store/100pages/amazondolls.htm ]"Ethnic" Dress[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/ethnic/1PAGES/ETHNOLNK.HTM ]Fashion Theory[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/history/100pages/fashion_theory.htm ]Free eGroupFree Stuffstore_100pages/giftstoreHalloween(Costume) History [computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/history/100pages/costhistpage.htm ']How-ToKinky Clothing[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/store/100pages/KINKY.HTM ]Major Sites[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/history/100pages/maincostumesites.htm ]Military Uniforms[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/history/100pages/maincostumesites.htm ]Movie Costumes[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/mwbh/100pages/mwbh.htm ]Museums New Pages'Occupational & Occasion- Specific[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/history/100pages/occupationaluniforms.htm ]Patterns[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/advice/1pages/pattern_links.htm ]Questions?[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/advice/1pages/questions.htm ]Religious Dressstore_100pages/sponsorinfoTheatre Historyclasses_uafcostumeshop/uafcostwebTravel for Costumers Unite!ADVICE_1pages/UNITEVintage ClothingADVICE_1pages/costdesignWeddings[computer/1pages/file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Tara/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/mwbh/100pages/mwbh.htm ]Weird Clothing
http://www.atomz.com provides one of the best. Atomz also offers external search boxes, as do Google, Alta-Vista and Yahoo.
Other fun extras can include screensavers (for example with show photos and renderings from your productions), eCards, and desktop wallpaper. Any image you have can be made into eCards at http://www.spacesurfer.com, which provides the system for sending them on their own site, so you only have to provide the images and link to their pages. Simply generating images in Photoshop, or scanning in art and photos and saving as a jpeg can make desktop wallpaper. You can download a free screensaver-making program at Computer Based Teaching Tools http://www.easyteach.com/free_screensaver.htm
You can also add features to your site that provide information for Students on your local area. Make a local links page that provides both prospective and current students with useful local information like theatre show and movie times, weather status, and an eGroup for your students to share information. You can get code to insert a box showing a local weather report here: http://oap2.weather.com/oap/index.html You can set up an eGroup for your costume class, or other theatre students at http://groups.yahoo.com .
Style and Content
As you begin to construct your pages (whether using a WYSIWYG editor, web wizard, or straight html) remember a few very simple rules: Text needs to be legible against the background, and divided logically, images need to be small enough to load quickly and be viewable within the frame of the browser. Links, whenever possible should go somewhere, not to an endless series of Under Construction pages. Navigation should follow some sort of logical progression. While these points seem basic (and are) it is amazing how many sites seem to ignore them. For a great primer on what NOT to do while site building see http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com for the latest examples of bad design on the web, and how to avoid repeating these mistakes.
Try instead to do the following:
- Make sure that the content of your site can be found in a logical, simple fashion from your main page.
- Try to make your main navigation links so that they appear in the frame of the browser window before you scroll down.
- Avoid splash pages, mystery meat and other high-end fancy web wing-dings that confuse users, or require plug-ins unless they perform a vital purpose on your site.
- Choose a simple, (hopefully bland) low-contrast web page background, or just a plain color. Think white, beige, lilac, not hot pink or Kelly green. If you desperately want something with more zip, you can use one with a fancy left border and a bland solid color in the center.
- Make sure the text is both in a contrasting color and value. (Remember colorblind people read web pages too).
- Keep pictures a reasonable size, or link to big ones with thumbnails.
- Include a link back to the main page from every other page in the site.
Once you have a version of a web site made on your computer, you then need to consider where the site is to be hosted so it will appear online. If you built the site using an online wizard, the site is already located at a host, and you can skip this step, but most sites you will build on your computer, (using a Word Processor, or Web Editor) then copy to a remote host also known as a server. As a bit of obscure information, most servers are small plain black or blue boxes that you will never meet. They can be located in Newark or San Diego, or in the same room with you and it wont make much difference to your relationship with them. There are three main options for you to choose from: Your University, Your ISP or a Commercial Server, or on one of many Free Online Providers. There are advantages, and disadvantages to each.
Your University Server
Most of you will choose to put your site on to a server provided by your University. This is usually quite easy since your computer help desk at your school will be able to walk you through all the steps, and space is usually provided to your department for free. One disadvantage to using a university server are that in some cases universities have quite rigid design templates that they require all departments use, which limits your creativity and content. Happily most universities do not. Space may also be limited. The other worry is that by posting your material on the university site the lines of who owns the intellectual property contained in your pages can get blurred. Faculty who wish to maintain the maximum copyright control of images and text may choose to avoid this option. (I do).
Your ISP or a Commercial Server
Many of you already own server space on commercial servers because you pay for a commercial dial-up or cable Internet service provider (ISP) account at home. Most of these accounts include rights to use 5-25MB of server space on a commercial host, which you already pay for in your monthly Internet fee. These accounts can come with little or great tech help depending on your service provider. These accounts can free you from university constraints on the design or intellectual property rights of your site because you pay for the hosting. If your site is especially large (bigger than your ISP or university is willing to host) or generates a high volume of traffic (known as bandwidth), you may need to pay a commercial server company to host your site. This is how my own site, The Costumers Manifesto is hosted. To search for commercial hosts see http://www.comparewebhosts.com
If you dont have a non-university ISP, and dont want to pay for a commercial server, but still wish to maintain your site off of the university server you can put your site on a free host. Free hosts provide space on their servers in exchange for advertising space on your site. This option can be nightmarish or delightful depending on the host, and if you choose this option you should carefully check out different free hosts before you commit your site to one or another. There are hundreds of free hosts, and some of these have minimal advertising, while others are a maze of annoying pop-up windows, and evil Java code. (Tripod and The Globe are notable offenders in this regard). The bad thing about free hosts is that they can change the rules of your service at any time, because the service is free. Many free hosts are listed at http://www.freewebspace.net
Site too big for free hosting? [computer/1pages/file:///D:/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Manifesto/store/100pages/affiliateprograms.htm How to support the costs of hosting your costume site through affiliate programs]
Once you have decided on a host you will need to upload the files that make up your site to the remote server. Again, several options are open to you: FTP, Online Wizards, and Front Page Upload. If you are using Front Page to build your site, this program has a built in uploading feature that automatically operates the uploading, and later, updating, of your site. Follow the instructions provided with Front Page Help files to set this up and run the application. Some free service providers (notably Geocities and Tripod) have online wizard programs to manage uploading. Follow the online instructions as they carry you through step by step. Other WYSIWYG editors sometimes include upload features as well.
Most of you however will either need or want to upload using a program called a FTP (File Transfer protocol). The best known of these is WinSock FTP, which may be obtained online by a simple download at: http://www.ipswitch.com/cgi/download_eval.pl?product=WL-1000 WS FTP is free to faculty and students of educational institutions. Most people like Cute FTP, a fancier version available at http://www.cuteftp.com for $40. Operating FTP for the first time is easiest if you simply Ask a Web Wizard (anyone you know who has made a web page and uploaded it via FTP will do) to show you what to do. You can go here: http://home.earthlink.net/~j_engel/getting.html for a detailed text explanation of how to set this up, but learning FTP via text description is exactly like trying to learn to make a thread-loop chain stitch belt loop with just a text explanation. A two-minute visual show me will do it, where an hour studying the text probably will just get you confused.
After making a site, it is also desirable to let the world know it exists. You can go to the big Search engines (Yahoo, Alta-Vista, Lycos, Hot Bot, Google, etc.) directly and fill out their short online forms. Other engines can be reached by going to one of many sites like Submit Plus http://submitplus.bc.ca that have Wizards that help you to list with dozens of engines at once. Go to the Costume Web Ring http://www.marquise.de/webring and sign up to be part of the Ring. My own site doubled its traffic the week it went on this Ring. Go to the main costume sites on the Ring (The Costume Site, The Costume Page, and The Costumer's Manifesto) and write e-mail to each web mistress asking if she will please link to your new site. Back home at your university you should let the university web builders know where to link to your site. Print the URL in Theatre programs and Dept. brochures, and get this added to your faculty business cards.
For more information and free services to help you build your pages, visit the sites listed below.
FREE FTP PROGRAMS http://www.coolfreebies.com/ftp.html
Submit Your Site to Search Engines
Promotion World: http://www.promotionworld.com
Atomic Submit: http://www.atomicdesigns.net/Analog/Submit
Costume Rings & Sites
The Costume Ring: http://www.marquise.de/webring
Main Costume Sites: http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/maincostumesites.htm
Corsetorium Web Ring: http://members.aol.com/cic12142
Fun & Useful Free Stuff
Yahoo eGroups (Free email list & chat) http://groups.yahoo.com
More Free Sewing Graphics: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/6446/mygifs.html
Remotely Hosted Applications (Things like guestbooks, cards, forms, etc.): http://kresch.com/resources/Remotely_Hosted_Applications
Free Content Links: http://www.woodoggy.com/
This article is part 2 of a 2 part series on Making a Web site for Your Costume Program. | align="center" valign="top" |Google |- | align="left" valign="top" |
The Costumer's Manifesto is proudly hosted by OnlineCostumeStore.com your online source for Halloween Costumes.
This Page is part of The Costumer's Manifesto by Tara Maginnis, Ph.D. Copyright 1996-2009. You may print out any of these pages for non-profit educational use such as school papers, teacher handouts, or wall displays. You may link to any page in my site.