SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Over Wyre, Near Blackpool, NW United Kingdon
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Local Community Website - Please Review- Thank You

    Hi there, I'm a keen newbie to web design and am here to learn the error of my untrained ways! Any guidance and help is very much appreciated.

    I'm deliberatley going to keep this introduction short so that I get true "new visitor" feedback, This is a website under development that I am using in an attempt to lean more about creating websites in general.

    Basically, its an information website for local people, businesses and places, i've added various items in an attempt to get visitor loyalty to the site, but enough from me......Please review my site, ALL criticisms and feedback are welcomed.

    Thank You in anticipation for your time and feedback

    Over Wyre Online

    Kind Regards
    John

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi there!

    Your website looks great, especially for a newbie. I fear i may be even more of a newbie than you from the looks of your site, but I think i still may have some valuable "outsiders perspectives" for you.

    Ill go in order of things i noticed... Im not gonna get into your code a whole lot, cause you have a lot going on in there, and im not even sure what half of it is doing, but i can talk aesthetics...

    First, I like the butterflys in the header but i think once or twice around would be enough. I'd like them to stop flying around at some point and settle.

    Next, the overall layout of the page seems very busy and cluttered. You have a lot of content on the site, and it looks like quite a few visitors if your site counter is right (im 12,194) I think you should work very hard to simplify the visuals, and minimize the number of different subjects on one page. You have a ton of elements everywhere in differnt styles.

    3. In some places you have nice muted colors for your buttons and background, and in others you have very bright colors, and in many places you have backgrounds that seems to be a gradient circle in a grey square stretched to various degrees. I think you need to pick a theme and stick with it site-wide. I like the looks of the menubar on the top under the header, and the green gradient background in the header. Mabye try to use those all over?

    4. Can you make the latest news and updates so that theres no scroll bar?

    5. I would consider making fewer categories overall for your top menus and grouping your items into those. maybe with a dropdown menu.

    Lastly... How did you build this site? I can tell a lot of work went into it, and you seem to have plenty of visitors, and i like the usage and functionality.

    where is this place?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Over Wyre, Near Blackpool, NW United Kingdon
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for taking the time to review my site. I agree with you about the page being cluttered, the site is approx 6 months old and has had pages and features added to it almost daily and I think this is where I started to go wrong. As I learned how to create "better looking" backgrounds I didn't change the existing pages to match, this I now agree gives the site a "broken" theme and I will now change all the pages (and link buttons) to be the same.
    I can get rid of the scroll bar on the neews feed fairly easily by limiting the number of items visible and will do this also.
    Initially I wanted to grab visitors attention to all the things available on the site by having links to them on the homepage but as the site has grown I think you are right and they need to be segregated into sections ie one tab for "local stuff" one for "games" etc..... The visitor count is genuine and I currently have approx 75% new visitors per week and 25% returning more than 20 times. I like the idea of the butterfly's settling after a short period and will try to work out how to do it! As I said I am very new to this and really appreciate any and all feedback and will implement the changes you have suggested. Thank you for your honest opinons and taking the time to give feedback.

    Kind Regards
    John

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    936
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Firstly, it kills my browser. It has a weight of about 1.5 mb and takes about a minute to load. This should be reduce to 250k. Which is very possible given the contents of this page.

    Flash navigation is a big no-no. It will tank your search engine visibility. You can easily accomplish the same effects with css.

    Suggestion 1: Remove all Flash except for the banner

    Suggestion 2: Identify your most important goal for the page and two or three secondary ones. Then redesign accordingly. There is too much going on.

    Suggestion 3: As already mentioned, the banner is distracting once through is enough.

    Suggestion 4: The green background is hard to read. Change it to white or a much subtler color.

    E

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    282
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sorry to say but my first impression was not good. As others have said, it takes forever to load and once it does load, is very jerky in my browser, probably because of all the Flash or other fancy stuff.

    The animations are very distracting making me want to leave the page as soon as possible. The scrolling text is also annoying.

    The overall page and site are very disorganized. The content of the site is overshadowed by all the fancy graphics and animations.

    I'd suggest starting over from scratch, toning it down a bit and coming up with a coherent design.
    Pricetack - sell your goods with automatic markdowns

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Over Wyre, Near Blackpool, NW United Kingdon
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the feedback, looks like I'm gonna be busy!

    I've removed the scroll bar on the news feed as suggested & changed the link buttons to similar colours....now its time to address the rest!

    The site was built using sitemaker, which is a flash website builder where I add the html codes into html snippets, it then automatically creates its own html code for the pages, which I cannot change. This limitation will allow me do do most of the improvements mentioned, ie restructure links, reorganise, change colours etc. I will cut down on the animations and remove alot of the stuff from the homepage which should speed up the loading, and disorganised appearance. I will then try and create a coherent design thoughout the site.
    I am also considering building a "duplicate" site (with the improvements mentioned above implemented) from scratch as suggested, to get away from the heavy flash content, I've read quite alot about wordpress on here and as a newbie who is keen to learn, I would like to know which software would be best,can anyone give me suggestions/recommendations?

    Thanks to everyone who has given my feedback, now its time to start learning!
    Kind Regards
    Newbie John

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot PatrickSamphire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Start again?

    Seriously, the site looks like you've thrown just everything you can at it in the hope that something sticks. As a result, everything is competing for attention. It's like having a classroom of five year olds jumping up and down all shouting 'look at me!'

    Before you even start designing, you need to be absolutely clear in your mind what the priorities of the site and the individual pages are. What do you want the visitors to the site to see first and what do you want them to do on the page? What do you want them to see and do next? And so on. Then throw out all of the unnecessary clutter and keep it as simple as you possibly can. Use basic principles of design (e.g., contrast, alignment, proximity, repetition) to design a site that meets those needs. Think about white space and colour schemes and so on. Read a book on design. Remember that you will want to expand without compromising your design. Do you know how you're going to do that?

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Over Wyre, Near Blackpool, NW United Kingdon
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickSamphire View Post
    Start again?

    Seriously, the site looks like you've thrown just everything you can at it in the hope that something sticks. As a result, everything is competing for attention. It's like having a classroom of five year olds jumping up and down all shouting 'look at me!'

    Before you even start designing, you need to be absolutely clear in your mind what the priorities of the site and the individual pages are. What do you want the visitors to the site to see first and what do you want them to do on the page? What do you want them to see and do next? And so on. Then throw out all of the unnecessary clutter and keep it as simple as you possibly can. Use basic principles of design (e.g., contrast, alignment, proximity, repetition) to design a site that meets those needs. Think about white space and colour schemes and so on. Read a book on design. Remember that you will want to expand without compromising your design. Do you know how you're going to do that?
    Ouch,
    Thanx for the feedback, thats why am here........ to learn

    I think that the previous feedback I have received will tame the unruly kids
    and I will happilly read a book on design, please recommend one.

    I agree that at the moment this site does not direct people to what I want them to see, the vast majority of visitors to this site do not arrive on the homepage, being a local website they search for local ferry and tide times etc and are directed to that particular page.

    As you rightly say, there should be a clear Terms Of Reference for a site before you build it, unfortunately on this occasion that was not the case, its a website I created for fun to see what can and cant be done with free flash site builders, hence the lack of direction. But surprisingly it is attracting a lot of interest from local people!

    I appreciate your feedback and will ask for feedback on "real" sites I have built that do have clear objectives and direcion when I have made a few more posts.

    Cheers
    Newbie John

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    936
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've read quite alot about wordpress on here
    WordPress would be a better choice than what you are using. You could start with a free theme that you can modify.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Over Wyre, Near Blackpool, NW United Kingdon
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by eruna View Post
    WordPress would be a better choice than what you are using. You could start with a free theme that you can modify.
    Thanx for the info, I 'm downloading it now.

    Cheers John

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot PatrickSamphire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DIY John View Post
    Ouch,
    Sorry. Shouldn't have been so harsh.

    On books, there are plenty out there. Sitepoint's own Principles of Beautiful Design isn't a bad place to start.

    Take a lot at this two part blog entry as well: Improving a design step by step, Part 1 | Attack Of Design

    There are quite a few principles explored in there through an easy example.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Over Wyre, Near Blackpool, NW United Kingdon
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickSamphire View Post
    Sorry. Shouldn't have been so harsh.

    On books, there are plenty out there. Sitepoint's own Principles of Beautiful Design isn't a bad place to start.

    Take a lot at this two part blog entry as well: Improving a design step by step, Part 1 | Attack Of Design

    There are quite a few principles explored in there through an easy example.
    Hi there, you were not being harsh, just honest. And thats how I will learn, Thank You.
    I've had a look at the link, lots of good simple stuff there that I will take note of
    Thanks again
    John

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Shall i know why made this website in flash?Because you can the same website in HTML and CSS.Your website Logo animation is very nice.Menu button is ok.I think you too many button in the side menu because it decrease the beauty of your website.Made it in collapse.Then your website loading slow for me.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Over Wyre, Near Blackpool, NW United Kingdon
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cybersa View Post
    Shall i know why made this website in flash?Because you can the same website in HTML and CSS.Your website Logo animation is very nice.Menu button is ok.I think you too many button in the side menu because it decrease the beauty of your website.Made it in collapse.Then your website loading slow for me.
    Thank you for your feedback, I am currently creating a new design of the site (offline so as not to interupt my visiting traffic)with most if not all the above suggestions implemented. I am intending to ask for a review of this modified "new" site with the changes suggested by yourself and others in this thread.
    soon.

    Any and all feeback on the current layout/design/load speed is still appreciated as the "updated site" is only approx 50% complete and changes can and will still be made.

    Kind Regards
    John

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Great site! A little slow at loading... Too slow to hold interest to be honest, but the design and functionality seems great!

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast Bhjorth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Think the sites load abit slow, and the design looks abit crammed


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •