Friday, 30 April 2010

Eureka! (maybe)

I think (but I'm not sure) that I may have cracked the image map thing. I found a free tool on the Internet - why does that sound so bad? Well, lets hope I haven't just been virtually mugged. I won't give you the link yet - just in case I wake up tomorrow and find my bank account empty, and my computer teeming with killer viruses. (AVG has so far been unalarmed.)

Anyway, I found this thing, and it looks fairly simple on the face of it. It works by allowing you to upload an image (i.e. onto their website/server/whatever), mark out the areas of the image to be hyperlinked, and specify where you want to link each bit to. They then provide you with an html code for the image map you have created.

The one problem is that they point out that they cannot host your image forever - in fact, they will delete it from their server within 24 hours. If you wish to use the image map, you need to 'change base URL'. I have absolutely no idea what that means, and numerous people have written on their comments page to query it - all with no reply.

So it is a brilliant tool in theory - but its not much good if nobody can get it to work longer than 24 hours.

They suggest at one point that you host your image on Photobucket. However, I'm not sure I need to do that. I have a website, and I don't use Photobucket for any of the images I upload on there - presumably that's what you get when you buy web space? Well anyway, I pasted the html provided into my homepage, and then where it gave the source of the image, I deleted most of it - so it now comprises just the image name.

It's working now, but I guess I'll find out tomorrow whether I've really got to grips with it or not. I did not use the 'change base URL' button, which worries me slightly, but we'll see.

In the meantime, the possible problems with using the image map on my website's homepage have been occurring to me all day. When in situ, it takes up the whole page apart from the side and top menus. So the 'welcome to DGBVintage' will go - as will the blurb about who I am and what I sell. The blurb in particular contains lots of keywords for the search engine spiders - so I think I'd probably be doing more harm than good to take that away.

In addition to this, the side and top menus - which will remain - look scruffy and unprofessional next to the image map.

*Sigh* Nothing is ever easy.

So the next step is to find a way of incorporating the blurb onto the homepage, along with the image map. Then I need to look at smartening up the rest of it. I feel a website re-design coming on...

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