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  1. #1
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    Website designer virgin second site built....

    This site was built for free just to get my portfoli up and running. In relation to my portfoli site, its currently offline, as Im in the process of completely re-writing/designing it.

    This is my second site Ive built. My knowledge is all self taught and without trying to get a sympathy vote, I have only been hand coding with HTML/CSS & dabbling with CSS3/CS5 for 5 months now, so I cannot work miracles or produce master pieces. (I think it shows )

    I only use Notepad++ to code aswell.

    The site in question anyway is :

    PAT Tester providing PAT Testing in Birmingham Worcester Bromsgrove Redditch Dudley Worcestershire West Midlands

    Comments relating to anything from SEO / cosmetics / layout / usability / clarity / legability etc etc

    Dont hold back be as harsh as you want....Its the only way Im going to learn..!

  2. #2
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    1) I'd recommend you to use company name in title tags. Otherwise some searchers can ignore your site in SERPs thinking that your company is noname.
    2) All your inner pages has the same title tags as main page.

    Check this example for title for prices-page. It seems to me it should look much better.
    "Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) by J Mills Electrical :: Prices"

  3. #3
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    Such a site for a portfolio good. But you know what happened to him you can not find good customers ...
    Site through an easy mind you. not a design functional. Just one page with text and image.

    Price $ 30 website to make it needed time 1:00

    Practiced, but in a portfolio such sites do not insert

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast Madeira's Avatar
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    Well, if you have only been doing this for 5 months, and you are self taught, then that is a pretty smart website!

    It is easy to navigate, quick to respond and the information is presented in nice sized chunks that are easy to digest.

    I'm not quite sure of the purpose of the on/off icon located on each page toward the top left. If all it does is switch between heading colours, then I would consider removing it.

    One common newbie mistake is to use a newly learned technique or function just because they have just learnt it - even if there is no justification for its use. How many Wordpress blog websites do you see that have a password protected member's only area just because the blog owner has just discovered how this can be done? Usually, there is no valid reason to have the extra content set at a membership level or password protected.

    As you go on to further develop your skills keep in mind that your websites will need some form of search engine optimization. There is no point in creating a brilliant website if it is sitting buried in the Search Engine Results Pages where nobody is likely to find it.

    Also, appearing on the 1st page of Google for various search terms is what most clients want, so SEO will become increasingly important if you want to work in this sphere.

    For this website, I would research what search terms are used the most by users looking for a PAT tester. I would then create a separate webpage for each search term. Concentrating and optimizing the content to reflect the search term targeted.

    Keep up the good work!
    Information direct from the tourist center of Funchal
    Capital of the holiday island of Madeira

  5. #5
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    For only doing this 5 months you doing really great! When I was at 5 months I was no where near this (that was 10 year ago =)

    The on/off switch doesn't make any sense to me. I would remove it and add a "top" button at the bottom of your layout. This way users can click that and navigate up to the top. Here is a thread detailing how this is done: Solved: Create a "go to top button" - Tech Support Guy Forums


    I would also recommend using a different icon for the answer part of the questions so that they stand out more: PAT Testing/Portable Appliance Testing Frequently asked questions

    I viewed your source your code looks clean. And you are using the meta description tag (the one that counts the most) properly, great job! Keep up the good work and always be looking to improve your designs =)

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the comments Madeira and lifeindev. I have taken them all on board, and have now removed the on/off power button from the top of the page, and also changed the graphic on the FAQ page so that the answer icon stands out from the question icon.

    I will also have a look at making the "back to the top" button aswell today, when I can squeeze it inbetween teaching myself javascript and flash CS5 :-)

    For the amount of months I have been hand coding, It really boosts my confidence (with little of it I have) to hear how good you peeps think my work is.As I always put myself down, I need to start kicking my own ass and believe in myself more.

    Youve given me a REAL boost - Thankyou **JAM DOUGHNUTS ARE ON ME**!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by benisjamin View Post
    For the amount of months I have been hand coding, It really boosts my confidence (with little of it I have) to hear how good you peeps think my work is.As I always put myself down, I need to start kicking my own ass and believe in myself more.

    Youve given me a REAL boost - Thankyou **JAM DOUGHNUTS ARE ON ME**!
    No problem!! =) There is no 'perfect' in this business. It's a summit-less mountain and there is always higher ground to claim. Never stop learning and teaching yourself skills (just like what you're doing). that enthusiasm and drive will carry your very far in this field.

    Cheers!

  8. #8
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    Any more comments are more than welcome....:-)

  9. #9
    SitePoint Member element01's Avatar
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    I can already tell you have a future in this.

    I have been messing around with coding and design for years, and I still can't create my own contact form from scratch!

    For only 5 months you are already showing impressive coding skills.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. #10
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    Good on you for using Notepad - well done! There are too many "developers" using software that puts bad code behind the scenes.

    The code and the css look good, but I would take a look at the design and add some images to the home page to grab the user's interest. You can get cheap stock images from places like Stock Photography: Download Free Stock Photos & Royalty Free Images.

    And on a technical note, I would recommend you link to the home page as

    http://www.jmillselectrical.co.uk/

    NOT

    http://www.jmillselectrical.co.uk/index.html

    As you're splitting your pagerank with the duplicate content.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by ralph.m; Jul 14, 2011 at 07:35. Reason: fixed links

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    Well, since I am mainly a designer, I'd say the aesthetics need A LOT OF WORK. But, it's super for a 5 month self-taught designer. You are surely on the right track. You'll need to play with photoshop too, so that you can create even better layouts. You seem to have gotten the HTML/CSS part pretty well, so you should be pretty far over the next months.

    I'm also a self-taught web designer. There's no limit to what you can achieve if you put your mind to it

  12. #12
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    I am a beginner myself so I admire your work. Keep it up!
    Pros: Easy to navigate, clean, professional

    I'd do something different with the banner heading. Maybe using a different color or font size for the "Pat Testing Specialist". It looks like it is just one long name other-wise. The beginning description kind of gets losts. Maybe adding a heading like Who We Are in a color could draw people in.

    I'm not a big fan of the bold and black headings. Perhaps a softer of friendlier font-choice. The footer is also a little too bold for me. Also, in the navigation, having the color change so you know what page you are on.

    Nice work!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Miller View Post

    And on a technical note, I would recommend you link to the home page as

    http://www.jmillselectrical.co.uk/

    NOT

    http://www.jmillselectrical.co.uk/index.html

    As you're splitting your pagerank with the duplicate content.

    Good luck!

    Furthering this it might be worth looking into canonical urls. Just type 'canonical url' into google and you will see its importance, particularly in terms of SEO. You may have to do a little coding in you .htaccess file, but you should be able to find a walk though guide on the net.

    I like the site though, and the design on your header tags gives an electrical feel!

  14. #14
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    I think you need more graphics on the page and aside from just graphics I think you need to think more about how modern web layouts are created. I would do a good search for bets looking websites and think about what design elements you're missing.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot MrFlicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benisjamin View Post
    This site was built for free just to get my portfoli up and running. In relation to my portfoli site, its currently offline, as Im in the process of completely re-writing/designing it.

    This is my second site Ive built. My knowledge is all self taught and without trying to get a sympathy vote, I have only been hand coding with HTML/CSS & dabbling with CSS3/CS5 for 5 months now, so I cannot work miracles or produce master pieces. (I think it shows )

    I only use Notepad++ to code aswell.

    The site in question anyway is :

    PAT Tester providing PAT Testing in Birmingham Worcester Bromsgrove Redditch Dudley Worcestershire West Midlands

    Comments relating to anything from SEO / cosmetics / layout / usability / clarity / legability etc etc

    Dont hold back be as harsh as you want....Its the only way Im going to learn..!
    I would change this >

    At J Mills Electrical we specialize in Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). We offer a professional, reliable and competitive service and have completed PAT testing in offices, factories, Gyms and shops in and around Bromsgrove/Worcester and Birmingham.
    to this >

    Expert PAT Testing, West Midlands Electrical Testing. At J Mills Electrical we specialize in Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). We offer a professional, reliable and competitive service and have completed PAT testing in offices, factories, Gyms and shops in and around Bromsgrove/Worcester and Birmingham.
    But that's just me with my SEO head on wanting to cover the most likely (and important) angles asap on page

    edit

    PS maybe even change that first testing I suggested to "Tester" to

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast shref's Avatar
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    1. the blue at the top is too bright

    2. make the header smaller and try to focus on the content itself.
    Shreef
    blog: shreef.com
    twitter: @shreef

  17. #17
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    - I would change design of the contact info box on the top left to rounded corners, at the moment I feel the square doesn't comply with the rounded corners of the main content.

    - Change the colour of the background to something a little less bold, keep to the blue but use a different hue, try something like: #0d7eb8.

    - On the navigation pane change the dull, grey background to dark blue (try #024c72). Also when you hover over it, change the text colour to white.

    Other than that you've ticket all the right boxes, easy to navigation, not too cluttered etc. Well done!

  18. #18
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    Navigation is simple but at least it is easy useable! I would loose the gradient background for a more subtle style.

  19. #19
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    I think you did a great job considering the length of time you've been coding. I just have one suggestion - since the logo and contact info are on a white background, I think the whole header area would look nice if it were white too, and the text in blue. It looks kind of broken up right now. Good work though, I like how fast the pages load.

  20. #20
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    Browser = Chrome, Site looks fine, everything seems to load ok. I suggest adding more to your meta descriptions. Also if I were you, I would add some fake testimonials untill you get more real testimonials and replace the fakes with the reals. I wouldn't use too many or for too long of the fake testimonials. Also MAKE SURE you get a review/testimonial from EVERY client you service.

    Overall nice clean simple design, I like it.

    To your success,

    Rich

  21. #21
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    It is very text focused right now. Is that desired? The site could use more images.
    I could not find the site with google on "pat testing uk". Could you shorten the title to be only "pat testing"?

  22. #22
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    Hi,

    Like above i think your doing an awesome job for only 5 months and self taught, i did the same and are still learning its a contant battle. The thing i would recommend changing is the heading font maybe use an image as it can change the whole look and feel of your site. I use to not worry about fonts etc but i now change them quite often.

    The other thing would be some imagey as its quite text orientated, but otherwise i think the layout is good and you arent doing what I hate and adding way to much to the site and keeping it clean and simple.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayward View Post
    Hi,

    Like above i think your doing an awesome job for only 5 months and self taught, i did the same and are still learning its a contant battle. The thing i would recommend changing is the heading font maybe use an image as it can change the whole look and feel of your site. I use to not worry about fonts etc but i now change them quite often.

    The other thing would be some imagey as its quite text orientated, but otherwise i think the layout is good and you arent doing what I hate and adding way to much to the site and keeping it clean and simple.
    You could add a header. Make it simple, like the site name in a stylized font.


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