Codes for Layout Sites
Here are some codes that new layout site owners often ask me for. If you need a code that is not already on sweetdesigns.us, please contact us!
Text Area Code BoxFor your myspace, blog, etc.:
Basic Link CodeSay you want to create a basic link to a layout page like this
SD Polkadots Layout,
Just copy & paste the code below into your myspace, blog, etc.:
Hint: The URL is the code that starts with http://www.
Tips for Layout Sites
Getting StartedThese days many people ask me how to make a layout, sign, or other graphic. Some even want to host their own layout site. There is no easy 1-2-3, but I'd like to give you some general help in getting started.
Design EtiquetteBefore starting, it's important to realize a few things in terms of design etiquette. Okay, maybe you don't care about this just yet, but you should. To be accepted by and get any help from other designers and site owners, it's important to be respectful of others and their work, and to play fair and friendly.
What I mean is, if you jock (steal) other designers' work, no one will respect or help you. (It's hard enough getting help when you do it right!) Nothing upsets designers more than seeing their hard work jocked. There isn't any official club that leading designers have a membership in, but we do often chat, help each other, exchange links, and w4w. If you want respect, then give respect. In time you'll be recognized and get some.
Also, if you're just starting out, with say 25 viewers a day to your site and 150 friends in your network, don't ask to w4w with a site with 50,000. If a site has rules about w4w, read them. If you're somewhat close to their minimum, you can ask, but don't get mad if you're turned down. You can get respect with, say, 6 months of hard work making 60 good designs, while building good relationships with other designers and growing your fan base. But not in 6 days with 6 crappy designs, half of them jocked. In short, serious, respectful people in time gain respect.
People helped me when I started and still do, and I try to help others. That's how it should be. But you'll never get anything but a bad rep by being pushy, rude, or expecting something for nothing when you haven't done the hard work to deserve any help.
You also need to find out what helps others too. Fair is fair. Build relationships, "pay your dues", do for others, and above all be patient and work hard. If you want to be associated with the best, then be the best, not some poser or wannabe.
Finally, be sure to always ask before borrowing, say thank you, and always publish the credit on anything you receive permission to use.
Okay, now you're ready to start1. The first thing you should do is get some design software, if you don't already have it. I use Paint Shop Pro, and occasionally other software. You may also use Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Dreamweaver, etc. You can't be a designer without software any more than you can be a guitarist without a guitar.
2. The next thing is to learn how to use the software. To carry the musician analogy further, you shouldn't call yourself a guitarist without learning how to play. For practice, try making some simple backgrounds, like polka dots or stripes. This might not seem very exciting, but these kinds of backgrounds are actually very popular. And you gain valuable experience.
3. Then perhaps try making some signs. You can make a fan sign for Sweet Designs if you want! You need to learn how to get the photo effects you want, create and manipulate text, work in multiple layers, and use at least the basic tools that come with the program. Then learn to use additional tools as your skills increase.
4. Graphic design is only one part of creating a layout. You also need to know how to write code. I suggest that beginners start off by using a layout generator and playing around with the coding. This is a great way to learn HTML and CSS, starting with the most common and basic codes, then adding to your skills. Feel free to use our Layout Generator.
5. Practice, practice, practice. I have to be honest here ... it takes time to get good. Nobody plays in a band after a couple days of lessons. Like any other skill, it takes practice and sticking with it. Practice using line breaks and other codes to position text where you want it to appear, bolding, adding links, changing colors, and so on.
6. Maybe your goal is to have your own layout site. Great! But if you're really serious about it, maybe you should first try submitting a few designs to other sites you respect to get some feedback and learn from the experience. I'll give you feedback, and if I like your work, I'll post your layout and of course give you the credit. But please don't send me designs you jocked from someone else.
7. What about specific skills? Like "How do I get things to appear where and how I want them on my page?" Most of us in the design biz are nice people, but we're usually way too busy to answer the flood of questions that start "How do I ...?" There are many design tutorials out there for Myspace, Xanga, and so on. I have a growing tutorial section. I'm planning to add more over the next few months! Also check out my affiliates' tutorials in my links section. Most of the questions people ask are already answered in a tutorial somewhere.
That's all for now. I'll update this with more at a later time. I wish you great success.
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