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  1. #1
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    Is "Website To Dos" useful?

    The site I would like reviewed is Website To Dos. It's not meant to be particularly pretty but does the design work and is the site useful?

    As some of you may have noticed on some of my reviews in this forum, I tend think some of the technical aspects of running a website are often neglected.

    Not particularly surprising really, given how esoteric some of them can be. But missing one can still have the potential to ruin a site.

    I'm trying to put together an easy to use list of the sort of tasks that need to be done on a website but may be easily overlooked, along with explanations of why it needs to be done and how. It is not my intent to fully explore all nuances of the items but to summarise and try to keep it easy to understand and act on.

    The design is utilitarian to say the least. In fact I've tried to keep it easily printable hence the custom bullets on the list.

    I would not say it has reached version 1.0 yet. It needs its favicon uploaded, and still needs items on favicons, robots.txt, hotlinking protection, and watermarking before it reaches that point but I thought there was enough to make it useful enough to go live.

    So, the site, once again, is Website To Dos. It's not meant to be particularly pretty but does the design work and is the site useful?
    Last edited by Fremeere; Jul 19, 2007 at 08:11.

  2. #2
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    I think the design of the site is perfect for the content. I like the simple approach to the interface as it doesn't look like your trying to sell me something or that there is any gimmick. It would be real nice if there was a way to add a suggestion or allow people to comment on your do's.

    I'll be sure to review this list for my own site!

    Thanks,
    Frank

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict dnordstrom's Avatar
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    Looks like a good resource. Clean design. So yeah, it's probably useful to some people.
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    I like. I'd say it's a success.

    Previous/next links might be nice.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  5. #5
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    I think the idea is great, because we all know that developers tend to forget the basics of web development. Its a nice checklist of things to do. So good job on providing something like this.

    It seems like you are putting a lot of effort and thought into this when it is a simple 1-2-3 site. In my opinion, something like this should be apart of something bigger, if that is what you are going for. Maybe that's just my vision. When I do websites I like to look at the bigger picture. Maybe you could add a forum, articles with tips and tricks about web development, etc.

    Other than that it is a good site and suited well for its purpose. The only thing I don't like is how it forwards you to a new url. You should have it stay on the domain.

    Good job on the site, keep up the good work!

  6. #6
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    This is a useful web site with neat design


    You can involve users by allowing them to submit and edit articles to create a buzz in your web site

    Good luck

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the comments so far. Much appreciated.

    prev/next links
    Hmm, I had deliberately left them out. I was rather assuming that this site would be catering to a lot of repeat traffic that would only need to click through to an explanation occasionally and then go back to the list. Of course, such visitors could just ignore prev/next links. That one I think will have to go on the internal todo list.

    Comment section on explanations
    Definitely one to consider, a la the PHP manual. Needs a fair bit of development so not likely to happen any time soon with a baby in the house!

    Forum
    Aren't there enough of these already? What would another one add?

    The content may well be fleshed out over time though with related articles linked to from the appropriate todos. The todos relating to status codes for example could do with more detailed instructions for specific platforms.

    User Submission
    Probably not at the moment. I very much want to stop this from ballooning into a list of a few hundred items that will never actually get used.

    As the site grows though it may gain other navigational structures in to which something like this might fit. I'll have to bear it in mind.

    Staying On Domain
    Ben, could you expand on this redirecting off domain please? I am not aware of any off domain redirects.

  8. #8
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    Very clean, simple, nice looking site. It really matches its theme. It's obviously to do with the technical aspects and not design, and that shows.

    Like you said, it's obviously very printable, which is what people are likely to do. I for one have bookmarked it for future reference.

    One thing I noticed, the logo link to home doesn't work in IE6, but works fine in FF. Therefore, there's no link to the home page, which could be agitating.

    Maybe you could put some code examples in code boxes to make it easier to copy and spot.

  9. #9
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    I like the simple layout, and the content is useful as well. I think this could be the start of an online resource center for web developers and web designers. Maybe add sections about caching, compressing javascript, using what image format when (PNG vs JPEG), ...etc. If you keep the design simple, I think a lot of people will like it.

  10. #10
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    - seems to have a good and simple design (although you could beautify it a little)
    - the font seems a little bigger
    - it could use more content

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I think it really would add a lot to have next / prev links, though I see that has already been covered. Would aid navigation a lot - for me anyway.

    If I click a top-level, heading link - e.g. Web Server To Dos:
    http://www.websitetodos.com/list/websitetodos/webserver

    I would have thought it'd be good for that to focus down and only show the tasks associated with that heading - as are shown on the homepage.

    On IE6, the dotted line below the logo is a bit too high, and interferes with the bottom of the logo.

    Am I missing something in Firefox - clicking on one of the boxes selects either a heading, if clicked at heading, or task, at task level... Is that intentional?

    But, apart from these, which are really minor points, it's a good solid site, nice simple design, no-nonsense, and useful content too.

  12. #12
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    All to technical for me but I think the layout and design matches the topic. I would assume people looking for technical information regarding web design would appreciate the clean and straightforward layout.

  13. #13
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    great site I found it very useful i really like the design I tink it fits all of your content very well nce layout and I definetly be checking it out again

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict dotancohen's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the logo is too busy. The checkmark in the word "Website" looks great, but the two Os are redunfant and cheapen the effect. Who did the logo? I might be interested... (PM me)

    The squares next to each item make it seems as though one could check them off. With a bit of AJAX, you could probably do that. I'd recommend it, it would give the user a good reason to come back to the site.

    The "Return To List" text should appear at the bottom of each page, not only at the top. And it should probably be centered and a bit more visible. As it is, I had to go looking for it. It was easier to just mouse-gesture back a page.

    You might also want to assume a lower competency level than what the site is assuming. For instance, the page on optimising embedded files does not discuss photos until the very end, even though that is likely to be the most common type of embedded file. In fact, I don't think that new webmasters will even realize that a photo is an embedded file. The term "embedded" sounds more like a movie or sound file.

    Overall, I very much like the site. Stumbled, and bookmarked. Thanks.
    . Have a question?
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  15. #15
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    I like it. Clean and simple concept that is rare to find nowdays.

    Maybe you should add SEO chapter.
    Maybe also you could simplify logo, at first its hard to read.

    Squares by the links looks like checkboxes, it may be confusing...

  16. #16
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    Smile

    Logo link broken
    Thanks. Obvious error in code. Shows how long it's been since I validated. Really ought to practice what I preach Don't have access to IE6 at this moment in time. Can anybody confirm that it does now work?

    Code samples
    Yep, as mentioned above the content does need fleshing out in some areas. There were some areas where I wanted to point out that there was an issue even if I hadn't yet had the time to explain the specifics of how to fix it.

    Page ideas
    Image file format is already covered under optimisation. Caching and compressing could make good additions.

    Header layout
    I'll look into providing a little more spacing.

    Non-clickable boxes
    Thought people would bring this one up. Yep, it is a problem at the moment.

    They are currently there for if the page is printed. My CMS currently cannot do print only pages. When it can I will probably remove the boxes from the non-print version.

    Also, first step (at undetermined future time) towards full web app will be simple cookie and JS to enable those boxes to be checked, and remembered across sessions.

    Logo
    Too busy? Interesting point. I was originally only going to do the W that way but somebody else was insistent that the O's should be done as well. Would be interested in other opinions on this.

    I did the logo myself. I have little graphical ability (this was just a very obvious and straightforward idea) so I don't think you would be interested (but I'll take that as a compliment).

    Level aimed at
    Yep, I quite agree that I need to find the time to go over the entire site and work on the content further.

    Thanks again for all the comments so far. Very useful.

  17. #17
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    Also noticed, especially on content pages, that I badly need to work on my alignments.

    Again, really ought to practice what I preach (ad nauseum).

  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict dotancohen's Avatar
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    The logo link works now, confirmed.
    . Have a question?
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  19. #19
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    hi there,

    the design work may not be that pretty but the site sure is! Thanks for going through all the pain to make us remember the small details.

    cyao,

    faisal

  20. #20
    SitePoint Member schnellerkeller's Avatar
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    At first I wasn't clear what I was looking at. I needed to go back several times and review what your intention for the site was. Given this, I would recommend you add a small text island on the landing page briefly describing your intent.

    Although you had some very helpful content, I would recommend expanding the SEO components significantly. So often, simple tagging techniques (e.g., use of alt and comment tags) are forgotten that can help a site's ranking considerably.

    Overall, it's a good start! I visited your site through Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.2.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Addict dotancohen's Avatar
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    @schnellerkeller: alt tags are part of W3C validation, so that's covered. As for the tagging, that's not applicable to all websites. Not everyone is writing a blog.
    . Have a question?
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  22. #22
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    Explanation
    Yep. I've been thinking the same thing. However I still want to keep the list focused on the usability of the list so I probably won't add an explanation to the home page but add a separate "About" page. Link to go with the current tell-a-friend, and contact links

    SEO
    It is on the cards to do an SEO section. However there are so many little details to cover, and focusing on just one or just a few can actually be detrimental. Therefore this section probably will not appear until I'm happy with the rest of the list and have the time to do the whole of the section in one go.

    Level aimed at (again)
    I've been thinking more about this over the weekend. I think the problem with the level of the explanations is down to my trying to keep the whole of each explanation to one (quite brief) page. I'm going to do some work to my CMS to allow me to split up the explanations so I can cover what the problem is, why it is a problem and how to fix the problem each on its own page (with navigation to each of the other related pages so you can skip to the fix if you already understand the problem). This will probably take a while though.

    Design
    I think the links in the nav bar are too easily overlooked as they currently are. I want to try and create some icons for them (hah that should be interesting with my graphical ability!) in addition to the text lniks, remove the current nav bar, and move the links to the top right of the header instead.

    Thanks once again for all the suggestions. It is much appreciated.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Will be quite a useful site. I've always wanted checklists. I can see the potential of this site to become a webapp where users can register and check off when they're done and record notes if needed. That's just an idea, but it's something I've always wanted.

    I agree with the other comments that more content would be helpful. Not long articles (they always put me off), but other lists, links to resources, etc. For e.g. I didn't know about canonical redirects untill I heard it from you. (I'm not much of an SEO guy). So I'd have liked links to more resources, how-to's etc on the redirect page.

    The design needs some working on. The bright blue links are kinda 90s.
    Last edited by jimbo_dk; Jul 30, 2007 at 04:58. Reason: Forgot something....
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
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  24. #24
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    Very basic link css but I like the content you provide and bookmarked your site!

    -Mike

  25. #25
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    I think its a nice clean layout and usable. I had ideas pop up that would really enhance the usability, but maybe you have the same ideas and have not made it that far yet. Great start however.


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