Copyright © 2011 by Marc R. Beauvais
· All Rights reserved ·
Building this WEB site
(Oct 20, 2010)
Like I have explained elsewhere (see "About" page), I felt necessary to publish my experience so others could benefit from it as much as I did from others. I have some programming and coding experience but not in HTML language. And without this, you have no chance to end up with something that will be functional and reliable. Not that I don't want to learn something new but learning how to code in HTML properly isn't something you can pick and get the hang of it overnight.
Couple of years ago, I've bought a license of "WYSIWIG Web Builder" in order to create a web page where I could publish an "Online Backyard Sale" and propose personal items that I wanted to sell. It turned out quite well except that my website host was "cloaking" mine basically and no one could get a link to my page with a Google search. I did put Tags and Metatags for search engines to find but no chance. To avoid such problem with "My T-51 Mustang" page, I've published it on a different host so this is why you've managed to get here (I presume).
Building a webpage using a wysiwig software(What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) make things much easier for a newbie than pure coding would however, there's much more than "dragging-n-dropping" objects in the page frame to make it work. You have to think about it's architecture and the functionality; must be easy to navigate within but has to be easy to update and maintain as well. That is tough. Because as you go, you realize (too late) that it will become a nightmare to maintain or update. No need to redo everything but it is a time consuming process to reconfigure the whole project after a while. Bottom line is, I don't want to spend more time on the webpage than on the aircraft.
And what about the "message" you want to tell others? How far do I want to go? I might say that for now, I think that I'm keeping a good balance between providing key information in the "ARTICLES" and "BUILD LOG" section and avoid imposing me to play the "journalist" role. Additionally, there are days where you literally lack inspiration to write up something. Not that you have nothing to say but you simply don't see how to put it up together.
Building up a website is one thing, understanding and mastering the functions of a software is another. The learning curve to get the hang of it was quite short this time when compared to 3 years ago. I already had a good idea on how WWB worked. However, the version 7 that I'm using right now has features that version 4 didn't at the time. Besides, I had to avoid the past mistakes of integrating to many "useless" flashing features that are more annoying than else. You can find on the WEB a lot of useful information discussing about laying out your page the right way. Tips and tricks to make your page attractive and interesting enough to keep the reader happy and loyal to it. You can find also some pieces of code that you can integrate to the build-in WWB elements to enhance their behavior. For this however, you have to learn about HTML basic coding techniques if you want to take advantage of the enhanced feature. This took time for me mostly because not being and HTML encoder. Anyways, I've managed to learn eough to come up with what I think is fairly decent.
Right from the beginning, I've came up with this background that you're looking at. Instinctively, I thought about integrating the RCAF roundel that was affixed on the "Post-War" Canadian aircrafts to complement the background. I think that the RCAF roundel is perfectly representing my nationality and frankly, I'm quite proud of our "colors". The gradient green background is similar to the same green (at least close to it) that could be found in the P-51 cockpit. Many builders are painting the interior of their T-51's like this. I intend to do the same as well.
The font that I've used for the top menu bar and the page title is called "AIRBORNE II PILOT". It is the very same font that you could find on the majority of the P-51 who used to belong to the US Air Force. I've tried to limit the number of colors for all the fonts for the sake of consistency. That "brown" color (HTML No: #592D00) seems to looks just right pretty much everywhere if standing on the green background. For the slide down menus having a brown background (HTML No: #FFFFE0), I've used a pale drab font colors for readability.
In conclusion, I sincerely hope that you will appreciate the effort put into this personal page and that you enjoy reading about my project. I'd be flattered to know that you like it enough to bookmark it.