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How to Use Sliced Graphics to Layout Your Web Site

The problem with designing your site as a graphic, is thatit would take too long to load. Your visitors would leaveyour site immediately and move to your competitors website. How can you resolve this?

Slicing graphics into a number of sections, then puttingthem together in tables is a great way to layout your website. It cuts down on the time for providing a quick designfor a potential client. It also allows you to bringelements of your site together that would be difficult todo with tables.

The value of slicing graphics

Reduces site loading time - a large graphic or manygraphics on one web page will slow down your loading timeconsiderably. Slicing graphics will allow each piece toload separately and at a faster rate.

Easy layout and design - web pages usually consist ofheadlines, photos and text which must all fit together tocreate a design that is aesthetically pleasing for yourvisitors. When you create a web graphic it always must havea rectangular space. You are limited to placing graphicsand text in a rectangular form. However, if you slice thegraphic into pieces, you can then place these pieces intothe cells of a table on your web page.

How to layout a web page using sliced graphics Please refer to the example:


1. Create a 730 x 600 graphic in your favorite graphiceditor (I use Fireworks from Macromedia).

2. Import a graphic from the harddrive of your computer or from the Web.

3. Create a headline (insert text) above the graphicas a banner for your web page.

4. Switch on "Rulers" to precisely slice your graphic view - rulers)

5. Select the slice tool, and slice your graphic into6 sections.

6. Save the sliced graphic in a folder in your html editor(file-export wizard-export-save)

Use these settings before saving your graphic:

File Name: header
File Type: html and images
HTML: Export HTML file
Slices: Export Slices

Fireworks saves you a lot of design time, by creating thenecessary tables to hold all your slices.

7. Open up your favorite html editor (I use Dreamweaver) toview your graphic layout. You should now have 6 separatesections (slices). In this case I have the main headerbanner, the house and a large area of white space to holdthe text in place.

8. Delete the slices (white space area) which have nographics. You will now have 6 tables.

9. Merge together the tables where you will insert thetext.

10. Add the text and whatever else you need to fill the web page.

That's it!

You have now designed a web page using sliced graphics.Remember this slicing method for your future web designs.You'll find that it's much easier to produce dazzlingdesigns.

Test the loading time of your web pages (netmechanic.com). It should be less than 10 seconds with a 56K modem. If ittakes longer than that, slice your graphic into smaller pieces.

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com AffordableWeb Site Design and Web Hosting. Subscribe to his "Marketing Tips" newsletter for more original articles atsubscribe@isitebuild.com. You can read more of hisin-depth articles at: http://www.isitebuild.com/articles


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