I've been cracking my skull for some time over a web-design problem that I don't think I have the skill or understanding how to fix.
My band's website, which you can visit here, has been my responsibility to build and run and maintain for the past few years. I love the design of it, however, there are parts of it that I want to have designed that I can't personally design myself, and I would be fully willing even to pay a skilled designer for their help!
My problem: The page takes a long time to load because of the heavy amount of pictures that are contained on it. I'm trying to keep things in a semi-twisted feel ... but doing so, without immense knowledge of advanced programming techniques, has been difficult.
1) You'll find that when you go to the site, it takes forever to load. I don't mind the load time as much as I do how it's presented. As a viewier, I don't mind waiting for a load as long as it's a) worth it, and b) constantly refreshed to assure me that the page really is loading as opposed to just freezing my shit up. That retarded-ass Java script that fills in loads larger images on the site piece-by-piece, and there's one in particular that it stays stuck on for awhile because the image it loads is huge. Is there any way to more smoothly display this loading time through Flash using a constantly progressive loading meter? Can you use Flash to make a pre-loader that will load .html files and images and the like? I don't even know if you can.
2) The image that takes so damned long to load can be found on the .man link of the site. Call me a sinner, but the only way I could get the damned thing to work out how I wanted it was through an animated .GIF image-map. Yes, I know, it's blasphemy... but are there easier ways to do it? Does someone know what it takes to cut the image-map into smaller pieces so that way each frame isn't loading a whole new replica of the picture? I hope I'm explaining this clearly enough and not burning your brains out with my stupidity.
Those are the two main problems I'm trying to overcome to reduce load-time and dumpiness of the page itself, and I want it to be done while keeping within the theme of the page. Anybody think they might want to give it a shot? I can provide source material for anyone who would want to try, and like I said, I wouldn't mind parting with a few bucks if someone can find a fix for this. I just want the website to be as easily accessible as possible and as visually stimulating as possible... and unfortunately, somewhere along the line, I've sacrificed one for the other!
Thanks for your thoughts! Any help would be greatly appreciated!