One of the things that will speed up and improve your page building is getting organized before you start. No, I am not a highly organized, everything in its slot type of person (ok well not totally!) but I have found some tricks along the way that have helped. If you have a few tips that you would like to share, just e-mail them to me and I will include them. Contact Me

    Set up and organize your files.

I have set up my image files on my hard drive. At my house, we are lucky enough to have multiple computers and my computer is dedicated to my web page building. So hard drive space is not an issue. But even if you keep your image files elsewhere, you can still use these tips to organize the files.
First of all, I have created a file under 'My documents' to keep copies of all of my web pages. I have labeled this file 'Saved web pages'. Not very creative I know, but it works for me. I recommend these also be copied onto a diskette. I have had to go back and reconstruct a page or two from scratch before I caught on to this one. I will also save copies of web pages prior to completion. I always make copies of pages prior to any major changes just in case I change my mind and prefer the old idea better. I save these files in such a way that I can follow the progress of a file by looking at the file name. For example, This page at this point of completion is saved as 'Organized2-6-01.html'. Tommorrow I may add navigational buttons to my page. I will then save it as Orgbuttons2-7-01. I always include the date to make it easier to tell the recent saves from the older ones. I may have 6 or 7 saved files for each page.

    Set up and organize your image files.

This area is a bit more complicated. I have thousands of images that I have saved in my files. I am constantly copying images and dropping them into a file for possible future use. Some are mine and some I have copied from other sites. So the first thing you will need to do is set up files called 'My web images' and 'Linkware web images'. I do this to make sure I do not broach any copyrights. If I am planning on putting an image on one of my pages, I can feel reasonably certain that if it is copyright protected, I have the correct reference to put on my page. All images that I copy that are linkware also have the related banner and or URL link saved with it. For example, if I copy a Teddy Bear from a linkware page, I might name the file 'Teddy1.gif'. The related Banner would be named 'Teddy1banner.gif' and the related URL would be named 'Teddy1URL.txt'. Notice all three start with the word Teddy. I do that so they will stay grouped together because odds are, I will have 15 other copies of Bears in that file also.

Now, lets take this a step further. Somewhere down the road, you are going to retrieve that image to use in your web page. One of the steps in setting up the code is including the size of the image. I have had to go back and view images hundreds of times before I caught onto putting the size right in the name of the image. So our Teddy Bear example will now be 'Teddy1-120X87.gif', and the banner will be 'Teddy1banner95X40.gif'. It is faster to cut and paste the longer name into your page then it is to have to stop and pull up your image to check the size.

    File Structure

Below is an example of how my files are structured. If you have some additional suggestions, I would love to hear them.

    My documents
    • images
      • My images
      • downloaded images
        • clip art
        • annimated clip art
    • Backgrounds
      • My bg's
        • soft muted bg's
        • border bg's
        • bold bg's
        • textured bg's
        • patterns and picture bg's
      • downloaded bg's
        • soft muted bg's
        • border bg's
        • bold bg's
        • textured bg's
        • patterns and picture bg's
    • Dividers and lines
      • My dividers and lines
      • downloaded dividers and lines
    • Buttons
      • My buttons
      • downloaded buttons
    • Banners
      • My banners
      • downloaded banners
    • Signs, bullets and arrows
    • Web Page Sets
      • My Sets
        • 1
        • 2
        • 3
      • downloaded Sets
        • 1
        • 2
        • 3
    • Saved Web Pages
    • Applets
      • lake
      • snow
      • fireworks
    • Trailing cursers and codes
      • stars
      • birds
      • angels
      • hearts

Note, the items that I seldom use I have put towards the bottom, while keeping the files that I am in and out of often towards the top of the file structure. That simple step will cut down on alot of time spent scrolling.

This is a very simplified version of my file structure. Actually I have so many items saved that I have further segregated items by color in many cases just to reduce the size of some of the files. By organizing my files this way, I am able to copy images or graphics from the web as I find them and drop them into the appropriate file quickly. As a general rule, I almost always rename the items to best describe what it is before saving.

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