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Old 09-15-2017, 03:46 PM   #31
Steven Lake
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FWIW:

I have found, in my cover-artist travels (which are fairly extensive) that Cover artists have the WORST websites in existence, even worse than most author websites. It never ceases to AMAZE me, but it seems to be fact. Dunno why. Maybe the right-brainers rebel at the idea of keeping a website orderly. ;-)
Yeah, I've coded plenty of author websites and mine always looked awesome. But yeah, in general you're right. Most have horrible websites. The most painful experiences for me as a site developer was encountering the "toast" experience when it came to authors. If you don't understand the reference, go here and be amazed...or scared, one of the two. hahaha -> http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell

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Moreover--and this part really boggles me--almost inevitably, their portfolio layouts and backgrounds are equally horrible. How someone who can make fab covers can have a crappy portfolio, appearance-wise, eludes me, but it also seems to be prevalent.

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Dude, you figure that out, let me know. haha.
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I went to his website and it does look nice. As I read, though, I saw many typos and other errors. When I tried to report it, two of the three means of contact that I found returned errors. I think the third one worked, but in case it didn't, maybe you could pass this on. I believe you when you say he does good work, but a lack of attention to detail on his own site undermines that.

rjb
That's my fault. He doesn't understand programming and does have issues with typos (He's like me, the fat finger king), so I normally do his programming and site proofreading for him. However, lately I just haven't had the time to help him out so he's been kinda flopping around blind like a fish out of water and it shows in his site. But I'll try and get those solved as soon as I have a free moment. ^_^;;

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Don Semora ... Wow! I opened the website to have those eyes looking out at me and just Wow! In fact, Wow!!!

I'm not saying that I fell equally in love with all the covers in the portfolio, a bit busy for my tastes, but the artwork is superb. And, perhaps more than anything else, of all the places I've been, there is a style and originality to the work that has been so difficult to find in my searching so far.

Whatever I end up doing, thank you for sharing.
Thank you. I know he'll appreciate hearing that.

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Old 09-15-2017, 03:54 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
FWIW:

I have found, in my cover-artist travels (which are fairly extensive) that Cover artists have the WORST websites in existence, even worse than most author websites. It never ceases to AMAZE me, but it seems to be fact. Dunno why. Maybe the right-brainers rebel at the idea of keeping a website orderly. ;-)
Hitch
Hey! I'm an author and I'll have you know that I resemble that remark.

- stalks out in a huff -
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:57 PM   #33
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That's my fault. He doesn't understand programming and does have issues with typos (He's like me, the fat finger king), so I normally do his programming and site proofreading for him. However, lately I just haven't had the time to help him out so he's been kinda flopping around blind like a fish out of water and it shows in his site. But I'll try and get those solved as soon as I have a free moment. ^_^;;
Gotcha.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:59 PM   #34
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Hey! I'm an author and I'll have you know that I resemble that remark.

- stalks out in a huff -


Hey, on a good note, I brought those issues to my friend and he reported back that he's gonna be releasing a new site in the next couple of days, so those issues you guys had should be resolved. If not, I'll have to tear through the code during my downtime and try and fix whatever he can't. But I'll try and make sure his stuff is working correctly this time. Again, that's my fault as I normally do this kinda stuff for him, but I've been too busy to help much with that. In fact, my own site revamp is long overdue too. So I'll be getting that sorted hopefully soon as well. ^_^;;
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:42 PM   #35
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Hey, on a good note, I brought those issues to my friend and he reported back that he's gonna be releasing a new site in the next couple of days, so those issues you guys had should be resolved. If not, I'll have to tear through the code during my downtime and try and fix whatever he can't. But I'll try and make sure his stuff is working correctly this time. Again, that's my fault as I normally do this kinda stuff for him, but I've been too busy to help much with that. In fact, my own site revamp is long overdue too. So I'll be getting that sorted hopefully soon as well. ^_^;;
If you're volunteering to take on websites, HEY!!! :-)

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Old 09-16-2017, 01:32 AM   #36
Steven Lake
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I actually was a developer for 9 years, but went back into sysadmin work because I kinda burned out on coding, so I don't do that work full time anymore, but I do like to help out my friend from time to time with the little things he needs. Plus, he helps me out in return by giving me some really cool cover art. So it's a good, friendly relationship.

[Promotional plug deleted - MODERATOR]

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Old 09-16-2017, 02:47 PM   #37
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Hey, on a good note, I brought those issues to my friend and he reported back that he's gonna be releasing a new site in the next couple of days, so those issues you guys had should be resolved. If not, I'll have to tear through the code during my downtime and try and fix whatever he can't. But I'll try and make sure his stuff is working correctly this time. Again, that's my fault as I normally do this kinda stuff for him, but I've been too busy to help much with that. In fact, my own site revamp is long overdue too. So I'll be getting that sorted hopefully soon as well. ^_^;;
For a person who advertises that:

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I am always proud to display my work, as I think you will agree that the attention to detail and the level of quality shows.
it really doesn't look good when the claimed "attention to detail" doesn't run to fixing obvious typos on the front page of his website. You only get one chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:22 PM   #38
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I actually was a developer for 9 years, but went back into sysadmin work because I kinda burned out on coding, so I don't do that work full time anymore, but I do like to help out my friend from time to time with the little things he needs. Plus, he helps me out in return by giving me some really cool cover art. So it's a good, friendly relationship.
I was kidding you, of course. I don't expect folks to work for free.

One of the big kvetches I have, over at my biz, is that trying to find reliable website folks--builders, maintainers, etc., --is like pulling hen's teeth. I don't understand WHY it is that way, but it is. I've been through, I dunno, 6? Six different people, all of whom claimed to be hard working, timely, etc., and they never are? WHY is it so hard to find reliable (and affordable) web folks? Especially in what are essentially plug-n-play systems, like Joomla, Wordpress, etc.? (I understood my problem a lot better about 7-8 years ago when I'd written my own site using ExpressionEngine. I probably deserved to overpay, at that point. But I have bloody Joomla now. Why such a hassle?)

My current guy will respond quickly--but never reads what I give him, fully, so he skims over things where I've done the research, say, and tell him "use this feed to get that XML to do this other thing," and then he builds the whole bloody mess himself--and expects me to pay for the work he did because he was too lazy to read my entire set of instructions to him.

(sigh). It's never-ending.

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Old 09-16-2017, 05:15 PM   #39
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I was kidding you, of course. I don't expect folks to work for free.

One of the big kvetches I have, over at my biz, is that trying to find reliable website folks--builders, maintainers, etc., --is like pulling hen's teeth. I don't understand WHY it is that way, but it is. I've been through, I dunno, 6? Six different people, all of whom claimed to be hard working, timely, etc., and they never are? WHY is it so hard to find reliable (and affordable) web folks? Especially in what are essentially plug-n-play systems, like Joomla, Wordpress, etc.? (I understood my problem a lot better about 7-8 years ago when I'd written my own site using ExpressionEngine. I probably deserved to overpay, at that point. But I have bloody Joomla now. Why such a hassle?)

My current guy will respond quickly--but never reads what I give him, fully, so he skims over things where I've done the research, say, and tell him "use this feed to get that XML to do this other thing," and then he builds the whole bloody mess himself--and expects me to pay for the work he did because he was too lazy to read my entire set of instructions to him.

(sigh). It's never-ending.

Hitch
It isn't just web developers.
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Old 09-16-2017, 06:04 PM   #40
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I was kidding you, of course. I don't expect folks to work for free.

One of the big kvetches I have, over at my biz, is that trying to find reliable website folks--builders, maintainers, etc., --is like pulling hen's teeth. I don't understand WHY it is that way, but it is. I've been through, I dunno, 6? Six different people, all of whom claimed to be hard working, timely, etc., and they never are? WHY is it so hard to find reliable (and affordable) web folks? Especially in what are essentially plug-n-play systems, like Joomla, Wordpress, etc.? (I understood my problem a lot better about 7-8 years ago when I'd written my own site using ExpressionEngine. I probably deserved to overpay, at that point. But I have bloody Joomla now. Why such a hassle?)

My current guy will respond quickly--but never reads what I give him, fully, so he skims over things where I've done the research, say, and tell him "use this feed to get that XML to do this other thing," and then he builds the whole bloody mess himself--and expects me to pay for the work he did because he was too lazy to read my entire set of instructions to him.

(sigh). It's never-ending.

Hitch
You've just summed up my over 15 years of professionally dealing with web developers. Especially when getting them to work on Joomla! or Wordpress (or, in one hideous case, Drupal). And whatever they do, it's not documented or fully checked for security, so when you get someone else to do something they "can't possibly use the previous work" because...reasons. Sigh.
So, now, if what I need can't be done "out of the box" or using a module or plugin (that has been updated in the last three months), I don't use it.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:57 PM   #41
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It isn't just web developers.
I try not to think that. I mean...it makes me feel like the old saw about how older folks are ALWAYS bitchin' about younger, and all that, but I tend to agree with you. The concept of "customer service" seems to have gone utterly out of the window, in the last few years or decade or so.

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You've just summed up my over 15 years of professionally dealing with web developers. Especially when getting them to work on Joomla! or Wordpress (or, in one hideous case, Drupal). And whatever they do, it's not documented or fully checked for security, so when you get someone else to do something they "can't possibly use the previous work" because...reasons. Sigh.
So, now, if what I need can't be done "out of the box" or using a module or plugin (that has been updated in the last three months), I don't use it.

I do NOT GET IT. Why the hell is it so hard to find a competent, reasonably attentive web person? I mean...I get that "In The Beginning..." finding web dudes was a chore, and the sort of people drawn to making websites, programming, etc., probably means that they're not social butterflies, to begin with. I realize, yes, that's a stereotype, but, perhaps, not an unearned one, yeah?

It's as though you either pay absurd rates, through the nose, so that people will actually respond on time, or you're STUCK with every damn nut and flake on the planet. WHY??? Why is it so goddamned hard for them to even pretend that they'll act like grownups? I don't understand it but if anyone in that line of work would get their head out of their strata chocolata, and set up a decent small biz that is responsive and reasonably priced, they'd likely clean up.

As far as plugins that work, out of the box? Ho, don't make me laugh. I wasted an hour today, putting an article with a small, 4-image "picture gallery" (for sample images) in to my /dev site. (I keep two sites, one a development site, one the "real" site). Worked like a charm. Hooray. Then I copied everything to the live site. Now, ask me--do you think it worked? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo. The gallery just arbitrarily and inexplicably does. not. work. I have triple-checked all the settings, and nothing is different--but the freaking gallery won't work.

It probably means that there's some js conflict, someplace, that I don't know about, or...whatever. But the minute you move past a simple Wordpress site, trying to keep a decently-sized, reasonably complex site alive is remarkably difficult, if you think you can count on plugins, that's all I have to say.

URGGGGG.




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Old 09-17-2017, 03:24 AM   #42
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[...] Why the hell is it so hard to find a competent, reasonably attentive web person? [...]
I was having pretty much the same conversation with a client recently.

And the risk of sounding like an old fart, or maybe some sort of programming snob, I put part of the problem down to so many web developers never having had a taste of "real" programming. Because it's all so high level, many of them seem to get it in their heads that it's fine to just throw up anything and let the client do all the testing (and complaining) - never mind that they may have exposed all the clients' (or the clients' clients) private data due to carelessness. It's lazy, but they (try to) get away with it because everything is so quick and easy to change online (no compilation and distribution issues to worry about). It looks good, at first, because they can get stuff out fast. It only looks bad later when all the problems arise, but by then it's possible to argue that the specifications weren't accurate (always a safe bet, because they almost never are accurate).

The counter argument is that, because web developers these days are a dime a dozen, and because so many potential clients have seen how "easy" it is to do Joomla or Wordpress or whatever, few are willing to pay the true price of having it done right.
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:25 AM   #43
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I designed and built a website for the Rolls-Royce Owners Club of Western Australia (rrocwa.com) a decade ago and it's on its third rebuild. I use an ancient edition of Dreamweaver (when it was still produced by Abobe) and kept everything as simple as possible; no fancy animation, no gimmicks. I think overdressing a site can be a bit of a tendency with pro web developers. KISS is the motto.

The beauty of a website designer like old Dreamweaver is that it is very little more complicated than Word. It's a wysiwyg outfit, you don't need to fool with code. The learning curve is a bit steep for a while, but it soon becomes easy. There's a free equivalent called Kompozer which works okay but can't deal with frames. I use it to build ebooks because its very tolerant of Word html, doesn't blink no matter how big the file.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:27 PM   #44
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I am looking at this thread as a prospective illustrator (I just decided to try and illustrate Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, the book I am reading now), and that Don Semora guy is incredible. I may try and copy some of his work
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:51 PM   #45
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I am looking at this thread as a prospective illustrator (I just decided to try and illustrate Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, the book I am reading now), and that Don Semora guy is incredible. I may try and copy some of his work
Panchax, the correct phrasing (if you don't want to get into trouble) is: I may try and copy find inspiration from some of his work.
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