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  1. #1
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    ~~~ This site is approved ~~~

    I like the colors thoughout the site, use more color throughout. This idea of using one color on a white background doesn't float with me though so others will disagree.

    The site looks boring. Liven it up a little. Move your animated ads (88X31) down the table a little and add in some content there, maybe the sign up form for your newsletter right up top. Add a poll to your own site. Promote your forums better. A little link at the bottom of the page isn't going to be useful. Personally I would delete all the forums to start with and only have two to begin with, Feedback and Support for your online tools. Then as those get busier you can add other Forums. Even here with the busy discussions they add, remove or change forums from time to time.

    Add your content now. Its not doing anyone any good sitting on your hard drive. Your tutorials are basic and dated with no mention of newer technologies that make design easier like CSS and Javascript. If you only use simple markup in your content i.e. paragraph and a few header tags, maybe a link here or there and a image then converting it to the new format will not be hard especially if you use CSS.

    ------------------
    Wayne Luke
    WR Moderator
    ICQ 29015947

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I've been running WebSiteGoodies for about 2 years now (it was under a different name before that) and it's gained a good amount of traffic and has gone through several redesigns under this name. I am planning another for June and am looking for user input as to the site as it is now.
    http://www.websitegoodies.com

    See last post for updated preview of the new design. I am designing from my feedback, critiques desired!

    Thanks,
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com http://www.websitegoodies.com




    [This message has been edited by goodies (edited May 08, 2000).]

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the advice. I agree, the site needs some more style to it - it's a bit plain and boring. I might start adding the new content on the weekends when I have time now rather than waiting for June when I can do a complete redesign - content now, major design changes later.

    Anybody have comments about the ideas I had for additions to the site? Also, feel free to add your sites to our directory, it will stay intact through the next revision (though i have 2 more planned categories and the removal of the "computers" category).

    Thanks for the reviews,
    Dan Grossman (webmaster@websitegoodies.com)

    Contest: Subscribe to WSG Webmaster News at http://www.websitegoodies.com for a chance to win a month (4 issues) of free advertising in the newsletter! (Sorry, adult content sites are not eligible).

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Here's my third review

    - The design is nice and simple, I like it. I like your logo also.

    - You said you wanted to liven it up a bit. Maybe you could try putting a border around the content you have allready, and where there is white space now, put a light background. You could also redo the buttons, but without any white, and change the title's (featured section, top links, ...) color, maybe #AA0000.

    - I would add a category in your directory for databases :Mysql, msql, etc...

    Otherwise, all is swell,

    Carl Lerche

  5. #5
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the other reviews posted here so far. While the minimalist design is attractive, it really makes the design feel somehow "hollow".

    Some ideas:

    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI>Photos! All of your graphics are iconic and abstract. Some graphics based on photos can really help to add depth to a design. If you don't have easy access to some photos, consider subscribing to a stock photo service.
    <LI>Use richer colours. The "powder blue" that you're using now for your links and borders is attractive, but far too pervasive. Consider adding a third colour for headings and such that contrasts well with the blue. Orange, maybe? Just be careful you don't stray into any colour scheme clichés.
    <LI>If the user strays into a directory category that doesn't contain any entries (e.g. Web Hosts -&gt; Reviews), a very empty page results. Either don't display empty categories, or put some basic content describing the area and informing the user that there are no entries yet if such is the case.
    </UL>

    That's all I've got for now.


    ------------------
    -Kevin Yank.
    http://www.SitePoint.com/
    Helping Small Business Grow Online!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Let me start off by saying that your domain name is KILLER and your site's design is pretty good.

    I like the LEARN, PROMOTE, and CREATE buttons--they look professionaly done.

    I notice you use fixed CSS font sizes. That's bad, especially for people with special needs or if you just simply can't read them. What I mean is that usually in IE, you can go to View-&gt;Font Size and choose the size; on your page you can't because it's fixed-size. Use percents instead.

    The freaky freddie's button is a negative touch to your page, in my opinion.

    I'd say the link colors are a bit too bright--I can see them but I have to squint slightly. (IE5, 1600x1200, 32bit)

    The width of the page looks good, as well as the height.

    Good job!

    ------------------
    Who the heck is Gen. Failure and why does he want to read my hard drive?
    Soon to come: Aspology.com

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Hey thanks for the positive review (I like the negative ones too). I've been told by several people not to use the fixed-size fonts. In my next redesign I want to correct this.

    Opinions, what's the best way to specify font sizes:

    * Pt/Px/Em in CSS?
    * Back to "size='2'"?
    * Other?

    ------------------
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com

    http://www.websitegoodies.com
    Comprehensive resources for new web developers --
    Learn to build the web,
    Create for your site,
    Promote your website.

    ** Signup for our free weekly newsletter, WSG Webmaster News, with articles and links just for web developers (http://www.websitegoodies.com/archive)

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot
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    I like your site. It is well organized and straight to the point. The promotion section gives good advice (the stuff about not having flashy stuff and having too much blinking text, etc.)
    Your site does not over do it on advertisements. I have seen sites that over do ads.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    http://www.websitegoodies.com/preview/

    Check it out and comment please? It's a design idea, the menu basically an idea for the "Promote" section of the site. I think the logo area needs some more action, but I"m not the best at graphics past fancy text, so i'll have to work on that.



    ------------------
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com / www.websitegoodies.com

  10. #10
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    You got that domain in time! I was sure that the html/javagoodies people would have snapped that up in their *.goodies frenzy =)

    On to the site. I checked out the preview of your in-the-works design.. I like your color scheme, but the animated banner sticks out too much. Also you might want to give a brief idea of what can be found in the "Learn, Enhance, Promote" sections of your site.

    As for the actual design of the site, I would choose a different color scheme. Too many sites are already using a white-on-blue. The blue/yellow on your preview site looks much better. I also like the search-engine style of organizing your links.

    Other than that, it looks great and I wish you good luck with your site!

    Sparkie

    ------------------
    Leave Your Mark!
    www.pawsitronic.com


    Your one-stop web design solution!


  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    actually, for further reference, that animated banner was in the spot where ads would be, i just posted an old banner to fill the place

    I'm not happy with the design. It looks an AWFUL lot like Ethos Online, I guess I subconsciously rewrote part of their design And now that I realized it I don't want to use it -- too close. I need inspiration! I need to become more creative!

    ------------------
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com / www.websitegoodies.com

  12. #12
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    I really like your new design. It's more 'alive' than the previous one and better use of color !

    Eric

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member
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    hi,

    I agrree mostly with the other about the overall "look" of your site. However I would like to give some feadback on the promotion section. The articles you do have are not that interesting but I guess that section will become better with the new site. However I wouldsuggest that you drop the submission tool. In my oppinioun it put the section down because nobody, who is serious about web promotion uses a tool like this and submitting to seven SE is not that a big of a deal. If you are submitting huge numbers of pages, like doorway pages you are most likely a professional or an experienced in web promotion and will not use this type of tools. A better solution would simply to put the "Add url" link of the major SE (which are more that seven) with explaination about how those SE work and what you should be aware of when submitting (e.g. not all SE index meta tags and thus the meta tag description is not allways the text that the SE post with your title.

    Finally if you have the resources a good free keyword analyser is not precent on the web promotion market. GoTo suggestion is still the best tool for that. If you could pull a good keyword suggestion tool, based on valid SE statistic you would guarantee you a lot of traffic.


    look forward for your new site.

    Jon Pall Hreinsson http://www.webpromotionadvice.com

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the review jonpall. If anybody has any idea where I could get more powerful CGI promotion tools to offer my users I would appreciate it. I've yet to locate a free CGI script (tight budget) for keyword analysing that looks decent, or a decent link checker (I found one that put out 300+ page reports that took forever to generate, I would want to offer something faster and less resource-intensive).

    ------------------
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com / www.websitegoodies.com

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I am very impressed with your site. The colors do look attractive, but still, I think using just a bit more colors would help your site out very much. Try using more pictures, logos, and colorful text. You might want to look at Microsoft’s bCentral (www.bcentral.com), where they basically do what the exact same thing you do.

    ------------------
    Ali Mousavi
    CarAudioClub.com

  16. #16
    fashola olajide
    SitePoint Community Guest
    Hello

    I found the basic concept of your site to be very good most especially the layout.

    The editorial content is not sufficient and you need to add more materials. Again what is the use of the section on search engines?. On your home page the three buttons "learn to build the web, create for your site and promote.." are very good but the font size is too small and the fading blue color?

    This is a good effort and great web sites take time to build?.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Here goes, the next prototype page (preview) of WebSiteGoodies - http://www.websitegoodies.com/preview

    [EDITED IN] Now looks less like some other web resource sites. But still has tab system similar to SitePoint - Review/critique/etc[/EDIT]

    Please review, critique, comments desired!

    ------------------
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com
    http://www.websitegoodies.com

    [This message has been edited by goodies (edited May 08, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by goodies (edited May 10, 2000).]

  18. #18
    SitePoint Member
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    Dan,

    First of all, whether you realize it or not, the design is sort of a half-rip between Ethos Online and Sitepoint. I don't mean to be offensive, but I think you need to come up with something more original. It's clear that you've taken aspects of both for your design.

    That said, I think your site has some great potential if only you'll come up with a good design for it. You've really got some great content!

    If you need some help coming up with something creative, go to http://www.vitalstop.com/creativity.htm and read the article. It'll help, I promise!

    Best of luck,
    Micah D. Cranman
    Sybren Design | Small Business Web Design
    http://sybren.net | mdc@sybren.net

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Does this article really help you? Problem is I don't have the graphics ability to create complex or unique designs using graphics; why does Ethos Online share the same left nav concept as SitePoint? Maybe because it works and is effective, i can't find any other way to do it, I had this without the different colors for titles and text and it looks .. bad, plain, stupid. Yet I do it a way that other sites do it and it works and is clean. I can't figure out how to use most of, say, Fireworks for graphics, which I own but i use PSP5 because that I understand.
    http://the-experiment.com/, one of the sites in your portfolio, has similar pieces to ethos online itself (the yellow w/ black border & &gt;&gt; thing before text). Most of the sites in the portfolio don't have navigation systems that convey a lot of information in them, they are basic section listings which makes sense for most sites. But like your main page, it doesn't show a site with a lot of content. I'm not saying your design is bad, all of the sites look great, but all the major webmaster resources type sites have similar designs because they use what works (even the color scheme: blues and yellows and greys seem to be the one that is most attractive to the visitor and gives them the most professional feel while there).

    Say I use the article you showed me and came up with bubbles like in the example. I can picture in my head a good way to use them in a design but I can't do it on the computer; i can't convey the complicated graphics in my mind to Fireworks or PSP. So it just doesn't work. I hate web developer's block (I even visited a site that says it is the only cure for web developer's block, didn't work).

    WEll thanks for the help, critiques are still welcome of the site, I can't htink of a better way to do the top nav than tabs and their shade of blue looks better than the #5C85C3 i had been using in my site since before SitePoint.com existed.

    ------------------
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com
    http://www.websitegoodies.com

  20. #20
    ********* Zealot hostfree's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I liked your site, I posted mine to it : ) But on a more serious note, the one thing that i would try and do when you redo your site is incorporate the banner advertisments into the design a little more, instead of just having them above and below it. If you could put it next to your logo instead of above? Im not sure, just an idea.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I totally agree. The preview site ( http://www.websitegoodies.com/preview ) integrates banners better.

    Critiques, Reviews, etc still needed!

    I'm looking for free content for web development & web promotion related site and ezine, mine. If anybody has links to free content providers of this type of article please feel free to share. I have enough to get started (will start with 5-10 articles in 3 main sections along with my own content) - from BizWeb2000.com and Jennifer Johnson and the wwio free content site mainly. But I can always use more! I subscribe to article a day newsletter and Wild Bill is now sending me his articles along with other ezine publishers he sends to.

    Thanks for the reviews all, and for the tips, I've gotta include something about this forum when I'm done the new site - because it is helping so much.

    And one other thing. I realize the top of the preview site is similar to SitePoint's design, if you can create a better interface for that part than me please do and post the URL here / email me. Telling me doesn't help, I don't have the graphics skills to get more advanced than a tabs system like this; I just love HTML.

    Thanks again,

    ------------------
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com
    http://www.websitegoodies.com

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I have to agree on one point: It's impossible to come up with a layout no one has used yet.

    I think every site I create from now on will be "influenced" by other well-designed sites I've seen, but there's a difference between influencing and your site...this is not an insult, but it goes beyond influence, I think...

    If I'm not mistaken, you use the same link color/mouseover color, you use tabs, the same navigation layout, search engine in the same place, 3 sections of the site in the same order as SitePoint's, and little previews of each second on the mainpage, in the same format as SitePoint.

    I'm not saying its wrong or anything, but I would definetly change it. Sometimes I'll design a site and realize it looks too much like something else I've seen...if this ever happens I change it as much as I can...and if I see a site who's design I like and would like to emulate to a degree, I always, in the back of my mind, make sure I try to stay as original as possible.

    Sorry if this came off as harsh, just my one-fiftieth of a buck...you've got a great domain and a fine site, I'll be visiting in the future!




    ------------------
    Chris Bowyer
    MyCoding.com: Under Construction!
    "I'm not an insomniac, I'm a web designer."

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Thanks for all the tips and reviews guys. I read and appreciate every single one.

    I will be changing the design in the next week to a more unique one I've finally come up with after a few months of creativity-block, so to speak. I don't think I've seen anything exactly like what I plan to do so it should be pretty effective and unique and since my site is built on 5 design headers/footers it won't take long to change the whole thing (hard part will be changing two of the CGI scripts that dont use templates, has to be done manually).

    ------------------
    Dan Grossman
    webmaster@websitegoodies.com
    http://www.websitegoodies.com


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