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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Can I get any thoughts on how http://devstorm.com/ looks?

    Thanks in advance!

    Chris Roane

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  2. #2
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    ~~~ This site is approved ~~~

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    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Forums Administrator
    Digital Magician Studios - Making Magic with Web Applications
    wluke@digitalmagician.com

    [This message has been edited by wluke (edited July 06, 2000).]

  3. #3
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Good clean site. I would check some of the graphics as they didn't load.

    I personally couldn't see any reason for putting the two city names on the sites.

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    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Forums Administrator
    Digital Magician Studios - Making Magic with Web Applications
    wluke@digitalmagician.com

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Thanks for the compliments, wluke.

    I had forgotten to optimize the "Welcome" image, so hopefully everything will load properly.

    Chris Roane

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  5. #5
    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    I don't think that the left bar and the navigation bar (an imagemap!) doesn't really fit together. They've a slight difference in colors and the first one is rectengular while the other one has rounded corners. I suggest you change that, and maybe you'll get some comment on the use of an imagemap, but we'll see. Nice site, though.

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  6. #6
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Personally, I liked the first title graphic layout better, where the main image and navigation bar connected.. seemed more 'stormy' with the connecting lightning bolt.

    I dont like having to scroll all the way to the right to read what kind of services you offer. If your potential clients are startup business owners/beginning internet users, a lot of them are going to have their computers set at the lowest resolution, just like it was when it came out of the box. Keep that in mind when you design..

    I liked the 'lightning fast hosting' thing.. can't seem to find it on the site anymore. I thought that was catchy

    Apart from that, it looks pretty nice. Might want to beef up the content a little more, but otherwise it looks just fine. Keep up the good work!

    Sparkie



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    Web Design with PURRsonality...

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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I think you should definelty ditch the rounded bar on the left...it looks out of place, almost like a mistake...the site as a whole looks fantastic, but I enjoyed the older site more..."felt" better...more order to it with the plain, flat navbar.



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    Chris Bowyer - Programmer in Training
    MyCoding.com: Join our mailing list for launch notification!
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    The reason why we had changed the design, was because many people, us included, thought that the top bar didn't blend in very well with the side bar.

    We curved the left graphic so that the top bar would fit in better.

    Sparkie, you may be right but I design all my sites for the resolution that the majority of them use, which in this case would be 800x600.

    Anymore comments would be appreciated.

    Chris Roane

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  9. #9
    ********* Evangelist
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    wluke: all of the graphics seem to be there... a couple could use some optimization but other than that all the paths are correct and the graphics are all uploaded. Also, the two city names were recently added to give a more "hometown" appearance for our local customers. We can get rid of that though if you think it is out of place.

    Elledan: the left panel and top navigation were both rounded to give more of a streamlined look. The site used to be all boxy and it looked kind of odd like that. Guess its time to go back to the drawing boards. Can you also explain what is with the imagemap? You mentioned it but didn't comment much on it.

    Sparkie: glad you liked the previous title graphic layout, I blended the two images together to connect and it gave the effect I was looking for. I suppose we could go back to that design. Also, could you tell us what resolution your screen is set at? We have it optimized for 800x600, which the majority of Internet users are set at. I believe that most computers come with 800x600 as default, don't they? I could be wrong, but that's what I recall hearing. About the "lightning fast hosting"... we will put that back up there once the hosting service gets started; with the previous layout though it appeared that we were stating our services twice on the homepage and it just looked awkward.

    TWTCommish: As stated above, we will work some more on the title graphic and try to find a compromise between a totally rounded left panel and a flat one. It was originally intended to be rounded all the way down the left panel (with a subtle curve) but that did not work with resolutions above 1024x768.

    Thanks everyone for your comments so far! Can you just include what resolution you are viewing the site at so that we can take that into consideration when reading your reviews? That would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    ------------------
    Eric Radtke
    Web Design: DevStorm Internet Solutions
    Web Hosting: InterSurge Internet (coming soon)

  10. #10
    ********* Evangelist
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    One more thing I forgot to mention... what is your opinion on the "welcome" graphic at the top of the page? Do you think it looks good, is out of place, or should be ditched totally? It was added to make the site look a bit more inviting. Haven't had any feedback on this yet.

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    Eric Radtke
    Web Design: DevStorm Internet Solutions
    Web Hosting: InterSurge Internet (coming soon)

  11. #11
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    All the graphics seem blurry to me. And some, like the left menu bar, seem to be a little 'grainy.' Try saving the images with a higher quality. You might also want to consider keeping your logo as a JPG image since the quality isn't soo good as a GIF.

    The page titles, in my opinion, don't go with the rest of the site. Although they have the same colors, they have a different look then the rest of the site.

    Finally, the content of each page doesn't extend all the way to the right side of the browser. The text doesn't even extend half way accross the page.

    Other then those things I think it's pretty nice...

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    Justin Stayton
    WEB: http://www.j.cx
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Does anyone agree with Justin S?

    Chris Roane

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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    A little...the graphics do look a little grainy. It's not too bad, but I'd definetly sharpen them if possible, even if it affects the loading time.



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    Chris Bowyer - Programmer in Training
    MyCoding.com: Join our mailing list for launch notification!
    "I'm not an insomniac, I'm a web designer."

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Eric: Most computers have 800x600 as the default.

    None of the images are blurry to me. The quality is great for the logo, but I think it should be a JPG since it uses more colors. This would have a smaller image, too.

    I think the image map is fine as you are using it. There is a time to use it and a time not to use it....you've picked the right time

    I agree with Justin S. The text doesn't extend across the whole page, and this doesn't look too good now that he mentioned it. Either bulk up on text or add images (I'd add images if I were you).

    The page titles match the logo, but not the rest of the site. Either change the navigation text or the logo's text, and you should be fine.

    Finally, the welcome text looks great, but it doesn't match your site well. The welcome graphic carries a sort of techno-futuristic feeling with it, which doesn't match the rest of your site.

    Overall, I like the design.

    I am using IE 5.0, Win98, 1280x1024 res @ 32bit. I also checked at a "normal" 800x600.

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    Aidan Bahta
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    ActiveWM.com - The place for the Active Webmaster.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Sparkie: I believe that all computers shipped wiht Win98 default to 800x600. Still, I agree that you shouldn't leave them out just because they have a low resolution. However, the site still is useable at 640x480, not like my site is (I set it to 760pix).

    I agree: for those that have images turned off, they will be instantly lost.

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    Aidan Bahta
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    ActiveWM.com - The place for the Active Webmaster.

  16. #16
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    Hmm... good suggestions about the imagemap. We will take that into consideration when making some modifications to the site.

    Elledan: being in Netscape and having a 1024x768 res is most likely the reason you are seeing it differently than it was intended. Is the top left logo (the sort of rounded one) showing up at all for you? Could you mention what version of NS you are using so I can take a look at it myself? Thanks.

    Sparkie: not trying to leave the 640x480 users out. Its fairly complicated trying to make everything look good in all resolutions, no matter how hard you try. We aim for 800x600 first, then higher resolution compatability, then lower. It is "useable" at 640x480 but still a pain.
    About whether Chris and I met in these forums or knew each other before... I have known Chris for over a year and a half when he was just starting the Web Site Resource (www.wsresource.com) on a free host. I was about to start a webmaster site myself at the time but figured it would be more reasonable to partner up with someone with an existing site and combine our work on one site rather than focus on two competing sites. We have since created two more sites together (FreeWebSiteTools.com and DevStorm.com). I have also known Aidan (trcfreebies), Quinn (d3v), and Boris (EchoWeb) for a while, before I ever ran into them in the forums.

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    Eric Radtke
    Web Design: DevStorm Internet Solutions
    Web Hosting: InterSurge Internet (coming soon)

  17. #17
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Are they really all standard at 800x600 now?

    I've always heard it was 640x480..I think I even read that in a past Tribune newsletter..well, nevertheless, you should never leave out a group of your visitors just for using that resolution.

    I sorta like the "hometown" feeling of the site with the two addresses at the bottom. It's different, but in a good sort of way. Out of curiosity, did you two meet on the forums and decide to start this business together, or have you known each other before?

    It's amazing how Sitepoint brings people together

    Sparkie

  18. #18
    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    Personally I don't have anything against imagemaps, it's only that some on this Forum complained about people who had 'graphics-off' couldn't navigate your site.

    My resolution is 1024x768, so maybe that's why I see it different? I'm also using NS, although that shouldn't make much difference on this site.
    About what you say about the left panel being streamlined: I don't see much streamlined in it, it's just a rectangle without any rounded corners.

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    Elledan Dunedain
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    www.emudreams.web.com

  19. #19
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Good explanation, Eric.

    Chris Roane

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  20. #20
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Eric: Good idea designing for both a lower and a higher resolution than the one the site is intended for, I do the same and it gets good results. It's cool how you two managed to run into each other via similar site ideas.

    Regarding the Welcome graphic, I think it looks a little out of place.. not too stormy, more of a techie graphic than anything. I do however, like the sky part of the main graphic on the left, maybe you could tie that in with your welcome graphic somehow to reinforce the 'devstorm' idea.

    You should capitalize 'storm' on the slogan to make it fit with the rest of the words

    ..Name your own price for web design? That's a different and interesting concept. How is it working for you? If I were a new internet user and wanted a site, I wouldn't have a clue how much it would cost.. but I suppose that could be a good thing for your business

    Sparkie

  21. #21
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Sparkie......Thanks for the compliments. That is not a bad idea you had for the welcome graphic, and we will definately consider doing something with that idea.

    This is how the "Name your own price for web design" works: The business/individual picks two prices, one that they cannot go over, and one that they don't feel right about paying. We then choose a price in between the prices they chose and email that price to the business/individual that is interested. If they think it is fair, they will let us know. If they don't think it is a fair price, then we can negotiate it down to their liking.

    Eric actually came up with that idea and we decided to use it because we hadn't seen any other sites use it before and we also thought it was a good idea. We had come across several "website design" sites that have a total "fixed" price for everything: graphics, text, pages, size, hours and many other factors. We thought that a lot of the prices were way to high so we figured that it would be a good idea for the interested business/individual to pick their own price for our work. We were also hoping this idea would be able to grab the attention of some of our competitors clients, hoping that they would go with us instead.

    We are not 100% sure how well this is going to work or not, but we definately know it is original. I have even come accross a couple design sites that are using are basic idea of "Naming your own Price for design". I am just hoping it will be more noticeable then most of the other design sites out there.

    I hope that clears up somethings.

    Chris Roane

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    [This message has been edited by wsresource (edited July 08, 2000).]

  22. #22
    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    I'm using Netscape 4.71 at 1024x768 on a Windows98 system at 16 bits colors (hope you can do something with this information )

    I can e-mail you a screenshot of the site if you wish.

    [added] I just checked the site in IE, and it was terrifying! The site looks completely different (and much better). It seems that the table where the devstormlogo.gif is placed in, the background color of it continues besides the logo (transparent gif?). [/added]
    ------------------
    Elledan Dunedain
    Webmaster www.emudreams.web.com

    [This message has been edited by Elledan (edited July 08, 2000).]

  23. #23
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    Thanks Elledan for letting us know of that problem!

    I will get right to work on that problem asap. (Netscape can sometimes really annoy me )

    Chris Roane

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  24. #24
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Chris: Now that you mention it, I've also seen other sites following your "Name your own Price" example. Maybe you should mention on your site that your business is the first to offer such a concept

    I forgot to mention it earlier, but I'm viewing your site at good 'ol 480x640, IE 5.0 on win98, if that helps.

    Sparkie

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    www.pawsitronic.com - The Site to Suit your Style!
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  25. #25
    SitePoint Addict Chris Roane's Avatar
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    I fixed the problem DevStorm.com was having in Netscape in resolutions above 800x600.

    Not a bad idea, Sparkie. Thanks for the idea.

    Chris Roane

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