One of the major challenges for a SharePoint Designer is taking a design and working it into HTML and CSS. I have been working hard on two sites – My personal one and Veronique Palmers. Designs are brilliant, but now the trickier stuff happens
One very important lesson that Michael O’Donovan taught me was to always HTML and CSS the site in a normal editor first (my personal favourite is HomeSite 5.5 by Adobe (Old but Brilliant) and then move it across to SharePoint Designer. I found the proof in the pudding with this lesson today. if I had jumped right into SharePoint Designer, I would have gotten lost.
I used the http://startermasterpages.codeplex.com/ master page by Randy Drisgill. So I have my own html and then I slowly put it together with the master page, checking each step as I go. Customizing can be rough as there are tons of required fields and space, that if they are not there, your page will not load. That is why Randy’s page is perfect. He has labeled everything and you can move it around with out any worry of crashing.
I am not going to go into the base code and CSS, I will save that for when the site is live. But I just wanted to give off the starting points to you, because strangely enough, if you get this step right, the rest falls into place.
Remember to plan, design, plan and design some more. Be diligent with your div’s and CSS classes. And never give up. There is always a way to make that design work. Believe in yourself and your skills, and back up back up back up 🙂