Saturday, January 22, 2005

How to re-create a website in 10 hours

I decided it was time that our Classical Christian School, Providence Christian Academy, had a new website design. I knew very little about html and nothing about css style sheets when I started. I'm quite pleased with the result. I still want to add some pictures to the site, but other than that I think it looks pretty good. Please let me know what you think. I would love to hear any suggestions for improvements.

I began the re-design by downloading CityDesk, grabbing one of the example templates, and playing with the included style sheet. It took two nights, about 10 hours, to redesign the site even while learning css.

I was talking to Weiqi about this over lunch a few days back and he was asking about CityDesk. I'm using the free edition which allows you to manage up to 50 files. CityDesk does not have a great html editor, what it does have is the ability to build a template that can be applied to all of your pages so that they all look alike and can be easily changed. It also makes it easy to publish the website. What I wish it had was CVS like history for your pages. If I hit the 50 page max for the free edition, I'll probably just write a perl script to do what the template in CityDesk does for me and use CVS. As a matter of fact, I'm tempted to do that now just so I can have the ability to keep history information. Then it would just be a matter of getting a ftp client that can publish the site easily (I'm sure there are plenty to pick from.)

1 comment:

Jeff Brown said...

Kevin: The site looks great. Well Done!

If you are just learning CSS there are tons of sites with good info. Here are some that I would recommend: has a good tutorial on the basics. has a canned set of styles that are pretty good, even if only used as a starting point. has some pretty amazing examples. There is a long list of styles that have been applied to that page showing how radically different a page may appear just by changing the CSS.