Creating Your Own Template - Where to Start

Now that we have looked at how to use NVU to first customise a template and then use it to create and publish web pages, the next step is to look at how we can use NVU to create our own template from scratch so as to not need to obtain a template in the first place.

The place to start with designing your own template doesn't need NVU or even your computer at all. What you need in order to start designing your template is a pencil and some paper. Before you can actually start creating your template in NVU you must first decide what your page template is going to look like and the first step in doing that is to decide what the basic divisions that your page is going to be divided into will be and how those divisions will be arranged. It is much quicker to sketch up basic layouts for your template on paper that it is to try to draw anything up in any sort of graphics software and easier to draw up your design in graphics software than it is in a web editor and so since you will probably want to sketch out at least a half a dozen possible layouts and perhaps several dozen layouts, using paper and pencil is the easiest way to carry out this step.

What you don't need to do at this early stage is to provide any significant amount of detail for each potential design. A few rectangles with a word or two in each to identify what that part of the template will contain will be quite sufficient.

To give you some idea of the level of detail I suggest you aim for at this stage in designing your template, here are a couple of possible designs for a template that contains a header, some navigation, and an area for the page content.

Two preliminary design sketches

As you can see there is not much detail in these sketches at all but the layout of the page will be very different depending on which of these designs is the one that we eventually decide to use. It is only by drawing up a number of preliminary sketches like this that you can start to get a feel for which layout you prefer.

Once you have selected which of these very basic sketches that you prefer you can start thinking about your template at a slightly more detailed level. You may want to draw up your proposed basic layout a little more carefully (perhaps using a ruler) and then get a few copies made that you can scribble on with the next layer of detail or possibly you may decide to use a graphics program to sketch it up and then print some copies of the result. Tis will allow you to mark out variations of the details of your design so as to get them worked out prior to starting to build the actual template.

A more carefully drawn copy of the basic template


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

go to top

FaceBook Follow
Twitter Follow