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  • Images instead of text? (Navigation bar/menu)

    I'm currently in the process of building a website for a family member and she has requested that I use images (scanned handwriting) in place of text/typefaces.

    I'm not very good at coding and this is something I have never done before. I'm wondering if any member on here might be able to help me out please (big massive please).

    Cheers, Glitch.


  • #2
    Does she want all or most of the text to be an image of handwriting instead of text? If so, that'll really kill the search engine rankings since there will be little to nothing for them to index.

    Edit: Oh, I just noticed that you're only asking about the navigation menu. Well, there's no set answer to your question, then. An image can be a link just like words can, and since you're unlikely to be building this from scratch, which you're apparently not doing since, as you said, you're not that good at coding, it'll all depend on the capabilities of whatever template and/or CMS you might be using.
    Last edited by B; 04-19-2017, 04:56 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by B View Post
      Does she want all or most of the text to be an image of handwriting instead of text? If so, that'll really kill the search engine rankings since there will be little to nothing for them to index.
      Hey B, thanks for the reply!

      Just the nav bar and titles/headings will be images of handwriting, the rest of the text will be fonts. Originally she wanted all text on the site to be images of handwriting but I thought about how that would affect search rankings and talked her out of that idea.







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      • #4
        Edit: Oh, I just noticed that you're only asking about the navigation menu. Well, there's no set answer to your question, then. An image can be a link just like words can, and since you're unlikely to be building this from scratch, which you're apparently not doing since, as you said, you're not that good at coding, it'll all depend on the capabilities of whatever template and/or CMS you might be using.[/QUOTE]

        No I'm not building the site from scratch, I am basically just editing her old site which I built a couple of years ago as much of the new site layout will be the same. I just need to change the menu, add some new pages and content.

        I understand that an image can be a link, in fact I thought I might be able to just line up some images and link them to the relevant pages and do it that way. I just thought there might be a better way to do it?



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        • #5
          Well, the headings would be easy enough since it's simple HTML, as in something along these lines.

          Code:
          <p><img src="your-directory/your-image.jpg" height="?" width="?" alt="?" /></p>
          The nav bar is something else altogether since it typically contains all kinds of JavaScript and/or CSS that's unique to the nav bar itself, which makes all the rollovers and dropdowns and fades and such work. I'm assuming you're using some kind of prebuilt template or plugin or some other kind of semi-automated way of building this nav bar, and like I said, it really comes down to what the original developer made possible within that system you're using.

          Honestly, I'd try to talk her out of this idea with the navigation. If done right, it could work, but if not done right, it will just make things more difficult for you to build and, possibly, more difficult for the end users to read. And on a smart phone, well, nav bars are problematic enough and typically take an entirely different form in a responsive layout, which is never (or at least hardly ever) done with images.

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          • #6
            Seems we're stumbling all over each other as we're writing.

            If it's as simple as you might be suggesting, it could be reasonably easy, but it's impossible to say without taking a look.

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            • #7
              Thank's B,

              all this makes sense to me, however, I'm not fancying the idea of telling her I can't do it lol

              I'll find a way, it might mean finding a template and building the site again though.

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              • #8
                The website is responsive, and it works well enough as it is at the moment on various screen sizes and including the menu.

                I did 1 module in Web Design at University. I used a site that my tutor had built as he gave us several basic sites to choose from and edit in order to teach us how to make a site responsive. I have since managed to edit this site to suit my needs and It now looks nothing like the original site I edited.

                There is a whole sheet of CSS which is dedicated to the menu, and a small section in the html source code which links to the CSS sheet.

                Sorry I'm really not a coder at all. I'm usually on illustrator making logos. Dreamweaver only comes out when a family member wants something (for free) lol

                Cheers, Glitch.

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                • #9
                  I know SEO was mentioned but I would also include:

                  Having the nav/titles be images will hurt SEO. Search engines look at everything that is text to see if it is related. They look at the link to the page, the page title, the heading tags and the paragraph tags in order to formulate what they think that page is about and how related it is to certain search queries. The more you begin to take away text and replace it with images, the more guessing the search engines have to do.

                  While search engines do look at images and index them, they look at the alt tag on the image (which is text). It's really a best practice to use text for the nav bar and page titles.

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                  • #10
                    Hey calebninja, thanks for the reply.

                    I know a bit about SEO but I thought the rest of the text on the site i.e the about section, with a good sprinkling of keywords would suffice. It seems I was wrong lol

                    I've been looking at handwritten typefaces on Typekit today and am hoping I can convince her to use one of those instead. Would make things a lot easier for me if I can convince her to go that way. Sooner I get this done the sooner I can get back to illustrator where I belong.

                    Cheers, Glitch.


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                    • #11
                      SEO is more or less a crap shoot unless you keep up with it religiously.

                      I started doing the SEO for my company's website a couple of years ago and have us ranking on page 1 for a bunch of our targeted keywords and phrases. It took a lot of trial and error tho, and a lot of time. My company's website has steadily increased organic visits every couple of months.

                      I also went through some off site training and workshops. Best advice I can give you is have your text be relevant to the words you're targeting, but don't keyword stuff; try using synonyms in you body copy. Additionally, be original and be extremely patient. Google favors websites with age and uniqueness, all if they're relevant that is.

                      There's about a million other things that go into SEO but none of them are as important as the written content on your website. Unless you count back links but we won't get into that lol.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks calebninja, a very interesting and informative post I appreciate it.

                        I think I have sold her on the idea of using a handwritten typeface now, and in light of this new information, it seems the best way to go. The only good thing that would come from using images would be that it might help the site look more unique and she does have a cool writing style, but the advantages that come from using a typeface trump that though.

                        Plus it makes the job a lot easier for me which means she gets her site finished sooner (wooooo)

                        It seems I still have a lot to learn about SEO, but a little bit less than yesterday lol

                        Cheers, Glitch.

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