For the past two weeks, I’ve been putting in a great deal of time trying to create my final website. I did not realize how difficult this was going to be! The assignments throughout the semester certainly helped prepare me to build a site, but it becomes a whole new story when you actually sit down to make the final thing. If this class has taught me anything, and it’s taught me a lot, it’s that websites are an intensive piece of work. Never again will I take for granted the work that goes into websites. Beyond just the nuts and bolts of the code, one issue I’ve encountered has been the content. Writing on the web is totally different than writing a research paper. How much information is too much? What is a general observer interested in? These are just two of the many questions I have been asking myself the last few weeks. While I find the topic of a murder in 1856 fascinating, I have had to restrain the amount of text I spend on context information. It’s a constant battle to determine how much of the cultural history surrounding the trial needs to be included on my site. I feel that I’ve done a good job of getting the essentials on my site, but it’s been tough to leave certain bits of information out.
The hardest part of this website has been figuring out how to make an image gallery. I had grand visions of making little thumbnail images of a newspaper and then when the user scrolled over the image it would expand and the visitor could easily read the specific part of the article about my topic. Alas, I spent many hours and got nowhere. So as I put my preliminary site up for critique, that is the major aspect that is missing. I still plan on achieving this goal, but it will have to be presented as part of the finished product. I’m hopeful that I can get some pointers from my classmates to see where I’ve gone wrong. For something that is so easy to imagine in my head, I’ve had no luck figuring out how to get my vision on the web and that’s been extremely frustrating.