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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Hi. Please review my gaming site. I'm new to making webpages and I'd like to hear what you think about it(and be as critical as possible-I know its not the best design ever and if you could give me a few pointers that would be great).
    http://members.xoom.com/eboygaming/main.htm

    Thanx in advance




    [This message has been edited by wluke (edited August 07, 2000).]

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

    Slow Loading especially for the low graphic content on the main page. The background graphic is distracting and the words are totally unnecessary. If you really want people to feel welcome put it where they can read it.

    Your excluding about 85% of your potential market by designing for 1024 X 768 resolution.

    Get an Access Denied Error on the Utilities link.

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  3. #3
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    Hi,

    This critique is only for the first page...


    Firstly I would try and get off a free host that has banners or pop-ups, also because XOOM puts your site into a frame it can cause problems with some browsers and can hinder listings on search engines. Try http://www.ukonline.co.uk/ , I don't think you need to be in the UK to use them.

    You must change the layout so that it can be seen in 800x600 without having to scroll horizontally. There is plenty of empty space so it shouldn't be a problem.

    I'm not keen on the background image. I would bin it and instead use the loadtime that it was taking up to have a decent title logo.

    The side navigation bar:
    Put the text links underneath the planet images rather than beside them, it will make them look a lot more professional.

    If you keep the hitcounter visable move it to a more descrete position at the bottom of the page.

    I would also bin the little ad banners - because they are animated they a distracting. Also if you have ads they should be relevant to your site, yours is a gaming site, yet your ads seem to be for webmaster utilities. Same with the large central banner. If you are going to try and make money from your site I'd just go for an affiliate with Amazon and sell the games that you are reviewing/patching/whatevering!

    One last tip - keep a copy of the page as you have it now and then once you have made any alterations suggested in this forum compare the two. It's nice to be able to compare the before and after.

    That's it from me!

    Peter



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  4. #4
    There can be only One.... joelwills's Avatar
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    Nice looking site overall

    Agree that the hitometer should be more discrete. Counters, if used, should be almost unnoticable.

    I like the graphics in the navbar, although I again agree the background one was too distracting. Maybe just have it once, instead of tiled?

    The underlined titles on the home page look like links, but aren't, so maybe you should remove that.

    Couldn't check the forum as ezboard were doing maintanence, so sorry I can't comment on that.

    Patches page didn't work, and the Cool & Fun stuff graphic wasn't linked to the page like the rest of them. One thing about the nav bar, maybe you should remove the visible border around it. Just set border=0 on your table. I just think it would look better.

    On the cool stuf page, maybe a few screen grabs of the items available to download would help as people probably will have no idea what the outcome will be.

    That's about all, oh except that designing for a lower resolution would be a good idea. Overall a great attempt for a newbie!

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  5. #5
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    Hi, 007

    Some pointers:

    - Colors. Dark background and a text color that screams at you is common among newbies. It is, however not the best choice you could make... It's weary for the eyes, and frankly, I've seen only 2-3 sites that makes it fly - on the rest, it just stinks.

    - XOOM. I have to disagree with some of the previous comments, I dont think that the XOOM bar is a problem. It would be nice if it wasnt there, but its not a big problem.

    - Screensize. Aiming at 1024x768 is both unnecessary and annoying. Design for 800x600, and remove the "designed for" text - it's just plain silly.

    - Background image. Besides from taking up bandwidth, it clutters the page. Try removing it from the page, and look at it again. Don't you think that the page looks nicer?

    - Counter. If you really want a visible counter, it should be placed at the bottom of the page (perhaps all the way to the left on the line of the small ads?).

    - Menu bar. The menu bar is logical and easy to use. It's not very pretty, though. Make the table wider, and remove the border, at the very least.

    Regards
    Big Nothing



  6. #6
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    A few random comments on the first page only:

    1. As to dark backgrounds and "screaming" text, my personal opinion is that gaming sites (along with some entertainment sites)have different rules than say a corporate business site would. I think the black bg and green text is alright since your main audience is gamers. My approach: what is the typical color palette that your audience is is used to looking at? The typical color palette of your subject?

    2. I agree that the left nav bar would look better if the table was widened and border set to "0". Maybe then line up the text with the center of the image rather than the bottom.

    3. Rather than putting the two central content boxes side by side, I'd like to see them arranged vertically and made wider, with welcome box on top and uploaded files below. (Also, it may just be my monitor or my eyes, but the text in the two boxes looks to be slightly different in color. I'd make them both the exact same color. If you want to use a different color of text somewhere, make it OBVIOUSLY different and ONLY use it for emphasis, for links, etc. - in other words, sparingly.)

    4. Background image - Gotta agree with other comments - get rid of it/replace it. It is too distracting and certainly not worth the download time it is taking up.

    5. If you can, move the banner ad above your site's name, toward the very top of the page. I think it will be less distracting there. Then, so that users don't get confused as to what/whose site they are on:

    6. Take a little time to really develop a solid, distinctive logo (but don't make the logo so distracting that it takes away from content, etc.). A good logo, I think, is important in creating a site's identity.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the tips.I have already gotten rid of the backround image since everyone thinks its a waste of time and will be changing a lot more stuff soon. One thing though, what should I use to create a logo and where could I get some text to help help it along?

    Thanks again and keep the reviews/tips coming

  8. #8
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    Hi - new to this bored : my 2 cents anyway :

    1. Play with the colours a little more - bright green on a black background is a little too hard on the eyes...

    2. Replace the 'Eboy Gaming' blue text with a graphic logo or something, just jazz things up a it.

    3. The left menu needs a little adjusting - try and keep the text to one line, centered with the image.

    Looks like a nice site though - keep at it.

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  9. #9
    Nice Mug jer's Avatar
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    Hey, not bad for a first site. Not sure how much there is left to say but I'll do my best. I'll move generally from top to bottom.

    Xoombar/banner: Won't say much, but the Xoom bar has to go, the banner isn't too bad since most sites have banners anyway. There's no border around it, or text directly under it. I suggest finding another free provider that might have a banner (or might not) with no border/text underneath.

    Title/logo: A logo is desperately needed. I used to not want to do a logo (hell, even now on the site Im developing my logo's small) because I was afraid of loadtime. A logo will really make the site look better, especially if you can get it to match the general feel of the other graphics (and colours) on the page.

    Navigation: Not bad, but there's a few things to keep in mind.
    Firstly. the text descriptions are good to have, BUT for your first link (at least) you need to have something more than Demo Gaming 1 2 There's hardly a chance that people will actually get to click the 2. Besides, you link to the second page on your Demo Gaming 1 page anyway.

    I think an image rollover effect would work well on your nav. Even if it was just the same image, with different plasma-background (best word i could do.. the coloured stuff that seems to be coming from behind the image.) colour whenever you moused over the link.

    The shape needs to be cleaned up, either make them straight, or make them curved.
    ie:
    -)
    --)
    ---)
    ---)
    --)
    -)
    Hope that worked. If you could setup that (easiest way would be to insert transparent gifs) I think it would be real cool.
    Note: most of your links are broken. They all need fixing, and perhaps it would be wise to choose shorter, one-word filenames.

    Text Section: MOVE IT UP! On your page it should start at about the same level as the navigation.. not below. An image or two would also spice that part up because right now it is incredibly boring to the eyes.

    Next thing i noticed was you said "Please bookmark my site. Thanx." That doesn't belong on your page A better choice would be "Bookmark my site!" and have it be a JavaScript code so when they click on it your site gets bookmarked/put in favorites.
    That way it doesnt seem so much like "begging"

    Headers could be replaced by graphics (cooltext.com would do the trick) and/or made larger.

    I don't know what to say about the colours, just keep your colours constant. In your text box you have two different shades of green. You only need one (for regular text at least).

    As for the buttons.. well I'm sure there's a reason for them. Perhaps they should be in one or two organized lines. The text under the AOL button should be removed (unless you're not supposed to remove it) or the AOL button should be placed on the bottom row.
    Your counter is quite large, it's your choice but I think smaller ones look better (i dont use them, but i dont mind them). You might consider putting the counter in the middle of the other buttons.

    The horizontal rule, why did you put it there? Maybe you should put some contact info under there, or maybe copyright info? Right now it seems to serve no purpose.

    Well it seems there was more to say than i originally thought, maybe i ended up repeating something someone else said, but im not sure. Either way, if it got repeated then it's all the more important that something gets done about it right?

    Hope that was helpful... good luck with the site.

    -chuck

  10. #10
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    Thanks again everyone. I am changing the layout of the site(making it neater etc. but I am having trouble getting frames to load in internet explorer. Using dreamweaver it works fine(when I preview it in internet explorer) but when I upload it to xoom and try to get it to open the frameset nothing but the frame borders come up(open members.xoom.com/eboygaming/frameset1.htm to see what I mean). What am I doing wrong?

    Thanx in advance.

  11. #11
    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Well..everyone has said so much..But i'll try to add more.

    1) Provide some basic means of contactng you ( webmaster? ). An e-mail wouldbe good enough.
    2) Get a new host. Xoom's frame is horrible. One possible reason as to why your page seems to scroll somuch on 800 by 600, is due to he frame.they have tomuch content and cannot be resized? Not really knowledgable on this xomm frame thingy.

    I onlymanaged to asee your site after you reoved the backgorund andsome other changes..so i hvae only 1 thing to say...its an excellent design for a newbie. juz continung making it better. =)

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot Ace Nova's Avatar
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    You should get off of Xoom.
    The utilities page doesnt show up.
    And your site doesnt look good on my monitor.

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  13. #13
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    007eboy - Do you have a copy of the main page of your site that I can add it to the before & after site I am building at http://www.threadclosed.co.uk ?
    If so can you send me the URL - it's a good way for people to learn.

    Thanks,

    Peter
    You can get my e-mail from my profile.

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  14. #14
    SitePoint Member
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    Well, I got my site a new url: it is go.to/eboygaming . I moved my site from Xoom to Crosswinds so there aren't any banners. I also fixed almost all of the links and the utils page is back up.
    Now I'm working on making a good Logo for the site but its taking time.

    Thanx again for your tips, bye

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    The name's Eboy, 007eboy

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict SniperUK's Avatar
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    The first impression I got was that there was too much open space on the main page.
    The graphics are fine and fast loading. Start using tables to organise your work more
    and then use it as a template for the whole site this will make the navigation easier
    and more fun to surf.
    hope this help

  16. #16
    SitePoint Member
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    Much better. The logo is hot. It would be great if you could use a mouseover on your menu so the selections would use the same look as your logo when selected. You could also make your page long enough so the banners get pushed off the bottom. You only get one chance at a first impression. Considering the audience the green text is fine.
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  17. #17
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    THe logo won\'t load on my monitor. I despise frames, but this design is a significant improvement over the last. Still, it could be spiced up some more. I wouldn\'t think about making money from ads until you have a lot of visitors, but whatever. Also, personal preference on the search engine thing, I would suggest google, since it\'s much smaller and a more \"trendy\" engine right now. Just keep improving and look at other cool sites and learn from them. Good luck.
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    First thing I would do is ditch the green text - hurts the eyes and is a bit un-necessary. Since you seem committed to a black background, white text would be the way to go.

    I like the orbs there...I\'d keep those. I\'d also scale the site down so that it does not require sidescrolling on an 800x600 resolution, which is does right now.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    First thing I would do is ditch the green text - hurts the eyes and is a bit un-necessary. Since you seem committed to a black background, white text would be the way to go.

    I like the orbs there...I\'d keep those. I\'d also scale the site down so that it does not require sidescrolling on an 800x600 resolution, which is does right now.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    First thing I would do is ditch the green text - hurts the eyes and is a bit un-necessary. Since you seem committed to a black background, white text would be the way to go.

    I like the orbs there...I\'d keep those. I\'d also scale the site down so that it does not require sidescrolling on an 800x600 resolution, which is does right now.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    There was a few dead links when I visited just.
    You need to align the images with the text in the menu.
    You could move to a free server with no advertising to make it load faster.
    Also, run your images through Fireworks and optimise them a little.

    Like most people, I think the colours are not too good (like I can criticise ).

    It\'s very good for a first site... which program did you use?

  22. #22
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I strongly recommend you move your site to another free server. XOOM is one of the worst to host your sites. It is slow quite often, not to mention the fact that it is very unreliable. My recommendations would be:

    Geocities
    VirtualAve
    Or see if you can find some other gaming sites that offer free web hosting.
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  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Great logo, and a good improvement. I\'d try to match the sites text color with the logo, maybe a dull red. Would probably be easier on the eyes and give the site some continuity.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    very slow loading...finally the error message
    HTTP 500 - Internal server error
    Internet Explorer

    shows up, are you updating or still working on this page ?

    rgds,
    markus
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  25. #25
    Non-Member jigga's Avatar
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    First of all, the site loads too slow considering what it is. The reason why it even runs that slow is because of those little picture buttons things on the side. DON'T USE GRAPHICS UNLESS YOU HAVE A REASON TO USE GRAPHICS!!! They don't server a purpose, so don't use them. It just slows down load time, takes up bandwidth (which you'd care about if you were on a host restricting it), and annoys visitors who will leave your site in an instant.

    Another thing, get a domain name. There's no reason why everyone shouldn't be able to get at least one domain name that they can build every one of their sites off of. They are so inexpensive, it takes only a few weeks allowance if anything to save up for one. SO, do it! It's well worth it.

    Finally, GET RID OF THE BLACK AND GREEN! Those are not cool. Especially black backgrounds. Out of all the background colors I don't like, black is probably the worst, after yellow. Just don't do it. Use white if you can't find something that works. A standard white and black thing will always work just fine.

    Finally part II , get yourself a graphic logo. If you don't have a graphic logo, you'll never get anywhere. The graphic logo is what sells your site more than anything else. It promotes the name you have selected and gives people a reason to return to your site.


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