Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Updated Website

Okay, for all you techy minded IT guys. I've rebuilt my website using the program Webplus X4. I still need to do a lot more work on it. A lot isn't displaying as well as it should, it could do with navigation bars and I've yet to make the 'video clip' page.

You can find it here.


robann said...

Looks good but my comments are:

The text is slightly screwed on the biography (missing bottom half of lines at the end of paragraphs).

I think you need to outline (in a dark colour) the text of the links on the main page so that you can see against some of the lighter parts of the background. And personally I wouldn't 'tile' the background on the main page and just center a single image instead (if that makes sense).

But as you say it is a work in progress!

LatvjuAvs said...

Well then, any start is good start.

Do you want to have persistent navigation inside internal pages? On sides, on top?

Repeating background on first page might be set on "no-repeat" and background color set that goes close image as best as possible.

Are you OK with layout, design? Or you looking for ideas?

Neal Asher said...

Robann, yes, I know about the biography page. Like all the rest, when I imported it I ended up with numerous text boxes, but in that case I haven't yet corrected the problem. And yes, I have to do something with that gabble background. As for the links, quite right too.

LatvjuAvs, I'm always open to ideas. I'll just keep tinkering with it. The point is that for the 1st time in 3 years I can tinker with it!

Graeme said...

A gallery of your book covers from all print runs and publishers and artists biographies where possible.

Agree with the tiling comment.

The white background is very useful for reading so maybe the answer is to have an arty border.

Some external link to your science and science fiction sources.

And you see them there unpublished books. Are you allowed to post them here? Would you post them here? Or are they for your eyes only now?

You clearly need to sort out your Twitter and Facebook links on the front page. Other than all of this, you are the author that keeps on giving, Happy Christmas Mr Asher and other half, ttfn.

PS: Webplus, it's fab isn't it.

Neal Asher said...

Graeme, if you go to the 'Books' page and click through to each individual book, you'll find the present cover. Down at the bottom you then find all the old and foreign covers.

I can do what I like with the unpublished books because they're ... unpublished. One day i might do something with them.

And yes, loads of links to sort out and loads of things yet to connect to...

Chrish said...

This is weird, in your autobiography the next sentence stops after school and goes on with: 'I started writing...'
but when I copy and paste that bit of text to show your error it comes out like it should so I go back to the page with your autobiography, I hit the refresh button because I think it's my pc but it stays the same, the bit about your parents is still missing ???

It also helped that my parents (a school teacher and a lecturer in applied mathematics) were also SF aficionados.

Towards the end:

'Pan have now published many of the numerous the books you'll find here'
Seems to me there is a 'the' too many there...

Darren Goldsmith said...

Good start! As you say, still tinkering. I'd go with a solid colour for all backgrounds that contain content... and lighter is better (preferably white or very close to it) with dark/black text.

Perhaps use a different font, other than Times… maybe a sans serif? You can use font replacement if you’re not keen on the standard/limited options… as with Google’s font replacement:


As robann says, a single image for the background (outside of the text./content layer) is probably better looking that a tiled one. You’ll need to ensure your chosen image is big enough to cope with large screens/high resolutions though otherwise tiling will occur or the edges will be revealed. With some CSS fandango, it’s probably possible to have said image render at the right size for the user’s browser.

Or you can go with a header graphic and a relatively plain background:

Something like this:



These are *very* quick examples, I hasten to add… and I’m not trying to teach you how to suck eggs.

I’d personally have a thin border around each book on that page… and standardise the size of each image. But you may already have planned for this.

Have you considered using Wordpress by the way? It’s free and is really easy to use. You can also buy very hackable/customisable templates at around $35 and they’d give you all the flexibility you’d ever need for creating/updating/editing pages. See here:


Arth said...

Hi Neal,

I like your website, only recomemdation would be is to perhaps provide access to some of your stories in .doc format or similar...that would get me back each time.

Lots of unpublished stuff there, why not zap out another book!!

Neal Asher said...

Fuckit, it happened again. I posted a reply to you Chrish and it disappeared. The problem was because of overlapping text frames and has no been solved.

Darren, it was only Times New Roman on the biog and that's changed now. I'm using Verdana at 14pt which seems clear enough. Thanks for the other suggestions - they have me thinking. It's a case here that I don't yet know what I can do with this program.

Arth, that is a thought. There are some of my stories scattered about the Internet so I may as well group them on my website. Maybe also some tasters for the books...

Graeme said...

Did that, that's why I Thought gallery, same thing a different way. It's an option not an edict
:-) ttfn

Chrish said...

Now it goes like this:

It also helped that my parents (a school teacher and a lecturer in applied mathematics) were also SF

hahaha, your parents were not real?

LatvjuAvs said...

Good evening.
Made a quick mock up of little improvements.

Actually, I made local copy of front page and edited to look like this, if interested I can send it to you.

Free viruses and spy-ware included.

Neal Asher said...

Bugger ... these are obviously Freudian slips, Chrish. I'm just failing to conceal that I was created in an amniotic tank by the CIA.

LaatvjuAvs, thanks for that, but I'll try doing something like that myself. I really need to learn this stuff anyway.

Neal Asher said...

Okay,LatvjuAvs, how did you make that transparent frame?

Neal Asher said...

Um, okay, found it.

robann said...

Quick everyone, let's send in HTML effects to taunt Neal with.

Neal Asher said...

Now that's just cruel, robann.

Galleries going up now (as per Graeme's suggestion).

LatvjuAvs said...

Hi, for a transparent background there is usually 2 ways.
Image or color definition.

I see you worked out image.

There is so called CSS ( Cascade Style Sheets ) what you use on your website to define dimensions, font size, colors, etc.

It looks like

font-size: 20px;

And are used on HTML tags
< b style="font-size: 20px;" >big text< /b >

To get transparent background on tags you could use same styles.
< div style="background: rgba(0,0,0, 0.4);" > everything inside here, links, texts, pictures

So what it means.
background: rgba(0,0,0, 0.4)

0,0,0 is black

ALPHA is used to define transparency.
0 is full transparent, 0.5 is half transparent, 1 is not transparent at all.

There is no crash course on all this web business, every day there is something new to learn.