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  1. #1
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    New Portfolio Website - Critique wanted

    Hi ,

    Ive just put my latest Portfolio website live last friday, that being :
    BFdesigns | Freelance Website Designer | Bromsgrove Worcestershire .

    The index and contact pages where designed through notepad++, then I chose a buddymatic theme from Wordpress to contain my Blog. I customised the child theme template to closely match my 2 page site and would now appreciate comments either positive or negative on site design / useability / aethestics / Use of semantic code / Coding issues / Browser compatibility issues across the whole site.

    I have tested the site throughout builing it across the latest versions of IE/Chrome/Safari/Opera and Firefox.

    I have also made sure the HTML code validates against the W3C validator checking program.

    I look forward to hearing any comments from anybody.

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by benisjamin View Post
    I have also made sure the HTML code validates against the W3C validator checking program.
    It would also be good to do an accessibility check. For example, you don't have a lot of contrast between body text and background, making the text hard to read. I also find the heading font a bit too cursive and hard to read.

  3. #3
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    I'm not a fan of that that you are using in the header and the menu and the h tags. It is readable, but not scan-able. If I stop and look at each section, I can read the heading, but if I scroll around the page, it is not easy to figure out what is where.

    The font you have is good for your logo, and good for things like "Websites Designed", but look at other fonts for other areas, imho.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast iMeow's Avatar
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    Lucida Handwritting? Couldn't you pick something else? There are hundreds of free fonts out there. Check out Font Squirrel.

    Sidenote: I really hate Lucida Handwritting. I see it everywhere. On formal documents, to signs for businesses, to school letterheads. It's not neat and appears unprofessional. In my opinion, it deserves the same treatment as Comic Sans.

  5. #5
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    Clearly structured, tidy design. For flawless technics: remove 2 css errors.

    Your site can be reached with and without "www.". This is duplicate content. Remove it using a 301 redirect in .htaccess from one of them to the other.
    The meta description is quite short. Use the 160 chars.

    Good job!

  6. #6
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    Critique heard loud and clear, Changes made now include:

    Darker body text so less contrast/conflict with BG colour
    Have changed all font headings/navigation font/footer font for a google font, which I hope gets a better reception than 'Lucida handwriting' :-)

    Can someone explain how Ive managed to get duplicate content regarding being able to access my domain with and without all the wwwwwwws`S... and what Im supposed to write in the htaccess file ?

    Thanks folks and any other comments will be greatly appreciated

  7. #7
    Non-Member Musicbox's Avatar
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    i thought header will have some background or color but it didnt its too simple, if you need clients make it eye catching website using animations and cool graphics.

  8. #8
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    Not a big fan on the font choice for "Hire me" and the logo. Maybe try a sans serif type?

  9. #9
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    Yep, the logo needs sorting and the examples of work you are showing are not great to be honest. Your own site looks ok, so I would spend a little time making a couple of good examples for pretend clients and using them instead.

  10. #10
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    I must point out Im not a natural with arty side of things, but do try my best in PS and Illustrator.
    I think the logo is down to personal preference, I love it and have shown some other non-web-savvy folks and they also liked it , its each to their own I suppose.

    As regards the other sites I have built I dont like to make it an excuse but I have only been hand coding seriously since March 2011, and have personally seen some dramatic changes in my designs, like I previously mentioned Im no graphic designer (as you can tell) but do try to apply what little artistic flair I do have into my designs. Hopefully they will get (have got!) better over time as I gain more experience, as I am completely self taught in hand coding and in use of all Adobe products.

    The 2 sites showcased on my portfolio site are the only 2 sites I have made not including my portfolio site.

  11. #11
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    lots of content like the layout only thing i would change is the header is a little too big

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast iMeow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benisjamin View Post
    Have changed all font headings/navigation font/footer font for a google font, which I hope gets a better reception than 'Lucida handwriting' :-)
    Ha ha! Great!

    I agree with previous comments about the logo. Mainly I think it is too busy and contains to many dated elements and effects. But if you don't wish to change it that's fine too.

    The logo should be clickable and point to your homepage.

    The animation of the "Hire me" tag is silly. Best to remove it. It would also make sense to link the image to the contact page.

    You should change the serif font used in the body to a sans-serif font (something like Arial or Helvetica) and enlarge it. Sans-serif fonts are easier to read on screens and just look better.

    The borders on your screenshots look rather tacky. Get rid of the drop shadow and double border. A simple white frame or the like would be much better. In fact, simpler is usually better.

    The chalkboard image in the footer is kitsch. Replace it with something simpler.

    There is no need to link to the W3C validator in your footer. While I am sure you are proud of your standard-compliant code, the rest of the world probably couldn't care less. Instead duplicate the navigation you have in your header. This is standard practice and allows quick navigation from the bottom of the page without scrolling back up.

  13. #13
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    I agree header is too big

  14. #14
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    I like the site. Tip: change the font/size of your menu. If you scanning the page quick you have to search for the menu.

  15. #15
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    The logo has now completely changed - I have used the same font as all headings/navigation etc
    I made the logo myslef, and I know its ever so simple, but for me it works.Its a hell of alot simpler than the previous logo.

  16. #16
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    Some smaller things i noticed:

    - I would change the separator image between the sites you've done on the main page.
    - Back to top arrow on the bottom, i would change it as well, and the current one has a problem with the hover image - the right part is cut off.
    - Regarding the blog: make the lists look less generic (remove the default bullets, maybe increase the letters a bit), and remove the counter for now (it doesn't bring something good, and it may be repelling when people see the numbers).
    - Remove the underline from hover in the main navigation menu. For me, it doesn't feel/look good.

  17. #17
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    I like it - although it's a bit strange having your own web site as the main portfolio example - it's a bit like a hall of mirrors!

    The "hire me" link at the top is good, why don't you make the "hire me" graphic in the footer link to the same page? you might get some click throughs.

    From an SEO perspective I think your h1 tag (Ben Frizzell is founder and creator of BFdesigns. Specialising in Bespoke Website Design, SEO and Customer satisfaction.) is too long. I would change it to something more SEo focussed, such as Freelance Web Design Worcestershire. Maybe you could make the tagline under the logo the h1 on the home page, and use CSS to style the existing h1 using something like a strong tag?

  18. #18
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    Overall, one of the best sites I've seen through a review request.

    If you what you mean by working on a "voluntary basis", I'd consider getting in touch, as would many others, I expect.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot MrFlicks's Avatar
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    Nice looking site

    I would change the index page title from

    <title>BFdesigns | Website Design | Bromsgrove Birmingham Worcestershire</title>
    to

    <title>SEO | Website Design | BF Designs Bromsgrove Birmingham Worcestershire</title>
    personally separating your name into two words so design and your manor are associated and as SEO is such a small acronym and something you do, adding it, as, well you know

  20. #20
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    This is what I was talking about with your previous site. Nice custom fonts to get away from the 90's website-look.

    Good luck and can I ask, how is business? I am a start-up web designer too and I'm not sure where to advertise my services.

    Anyway, this is a great improvement to you other site. Congrats.

  21. #21
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    I don't mind the website. For me personally i'd like to see the list of services you provide at first glance.

    The main font content is too close together in my opinion and needs a slightly more line-height increase to help with readability.

    I like the design overall and think it's a good site


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