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    Website Review.

    Hi All,

    This is my first website using Dreamweaver. All the graphics are new to me using Photoshop and Illustrator. There are some alignment bugs that I have tried to no avail to debug. If you notice them and have any suggestions that would be great. Hint: It is not caused by line breaks or anything obvious like that. I am also having a js issue but I will post that in another thread.

    Thanks!

    http://cosmicstudios.co.cc/

    Web design for freelance or employment.

  2. #2
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    This review request is approved. Good luck mk --thanks for your patience!
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Take a look at this site and grab some ideas
    http://newark1.com/
    Here's another one to look at
    http://www.wiidesign.com/
    -
    Just to give you some ideas
    -
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  4. #4
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by navyfalcon View Post
    Take a look at this site and grab some ideas
    http://newark1.com/
    Here's another one to look at
    http://www.wiidesign.com/
    -
    Just to give you some ideas
    -
    falcon
    There are thousands of sites he could look at and grab some ideas. Zen Garden comes to mind as do scads and scads of template galleries. This forum is for constructive criticism and comment, not a link drop area.

    I don't know where to start with this one. Quite honestly, if it was my site I would just start over. :/

    You really need to take a look at other web developer sites and compare what you have done to what the standard is today. Take a look at some of the template galleries or WP theme galleries or a site like Zen Garden. These are successful because they are the type of design folks are looking for.

    You also have one very noticeable spelling mistake in that blogging has two gs, not one. Your word testimonial is broken because the font you used in that area is too big for the area.

    Your graphics are very, very dated and scream "boiler plate clip art". I looked at your page source and I see nothing but the bloat that dream weaver puts into a page. This slows down page load.

    Sorry, but this one needs an overhaul. Before you start selling web design services, you really need to learn the craft.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    There are thousands of sites he could look at and grab some ideas. Zen Garden comes to mind as do scads and scads of template galleries. This forum is for constructive criticism and comment, not a link drop area.

    I don't know where to start with this one. Quite honestly, if it was my site I would just start over. :/

    You really need to take a look at other web developer sites and compare what you have done to what the standard is today. Take a look at some of the template galleries or WP theme galleries or a site like Zen Garden. These are successful because they are the type of design folks are looking for.

    You also have one very noticeable spelling mistake in that blogging has two gs, not one. Your word testimonial is broken because the font you used in that area is too big for the area.

    Your graphics are very, very dated and scream "boiler plate clip art". I looked at your page source and I see nothing but the bloat that dream weaver puts into a page. This slows down page load.

    Sorry, but this one needs an overhaul. Before you start selling web design services, you really need to learn the craft.
    Thanks.

    Can I put that in the 'Testimonials' section of my site?

    My God! I dont even know you!!!

    Just because its different?

    I asked you about the content??

    Your comment was non constructive And I didnt get anything out of it.

    Let me see yours.
    Last edited by mkspllmn; Oct 16, 2012 at 00:02. Reason: addition

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    Hi mkspllmn

    Do not get discouraged by harsh comments! Let's just say that the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In terms of content you do not have enough of it. There are also some other problems. For example:
    - The title of your homepage is "Home" (try more descriptive title with your most important keywords - Keyword Density & Consistency)
    - There is no description meta tag
    - There are multiple images without ALT attributes:

    Images/Vector/BigLetters/w.jpg
    Images/Graphics/footerNav/Home.png
    Images/Graphics/footerNav/about.png
    Images/Graphics/footerNav/contact.png
    Images/Graphics/footerNav/siteMap.png
    Images/Graphics/footerNav/privacy.png
    Images/Graphics/footerNav/footer_06.png

    - There are multiple HTML Validation errors

    For more info checkout http://iwebchk.com/reports/view/cosmicstudios.co.cc

    Hope this helps, good luck!

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    Thanks dxter,

    I can deal with your input just fine. Those are all things that I can do something about. I hadn't known about iwebchk. I'll fix it as soon as I find out what all that stuff is. It renders in different browsers ok.

    The only comment I dont understand is that there is not enough content. There are 15 pages loaded with artwork and text. Could you explain a little further what you mean?

    Thanx.

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    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkspllmn View Post
    Thanks.

    Can I put that in the 'Testimonials' section of my site?

    My God! I dont even know you!!!

    Just because its different?

    I asked you about the content??

    Your comment was non constructive And I didnt get anything out of it.

    Let me see yours.
    Did you want an honest critique or did you come here expecting kudos for a job well done? Sorry, but I call 'em like I see them. And by the way... the screen shots you dug up my sites are all years old. Try looking at the real sites.

    Nothing useful... then do leave blogging misspelled, testimonials cut off at the 'a' and don't bother learning to code properly. Don't take the advice of anyone since competent web design might challenge your artistic sensibilities. My advice stands... go look at what others find success in doing if you want to be successful. Learn how to code using web standards instead of a WYSIWYG platform. Those standards are there to help you, not hurt you.

    At the end of the day, although the sites we design must please our clients, you please clients best by bringing them traffic that converts to business. That said, your design needs to be easy to navigate, written as the web surfer reads (and they read differently on screen than they do in print). The site needs to be cross-browser compliant since all browsers put their own spin on how they display websites.

    Sorry, after helping you get this approved I was hoping to see something spectacular, but it just isn't there and I care enough about the web to not lie and say it is.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    I must say that I find your candor refreshing.

    I agree with you that the bottom line is consumer response. I was hoping to show that if I can do something like what you saw at Cosmic Studios then certainly I could do a good job on the type of thing one sees everyday! I guess that part is getting by people.

    You are seeing something spectacular. You haven't challenged my artistic sensibilities because you haven't looked at the art work nor have you commented on it. In fact you have not commented on the content at all. Only your first knee-jerk reaction to seeing something new and different. And you still haven't looked at it!

    I corrected the blogging error. That was a constructive critisizem. I did a browser check and the page renders correctly in all browsers. I certainly would not have put it out there if i could see that the text in 'Testimonials' didnt fit. If you are seeing that in your browser, maybe you could offer some suggestions as to how I could correct that. At least tell me what browser and operating system you are using. C'mon.

    After helping me get this approved I would expect that your comments would contain more value and less thoughtless reaction. Really!

    I AM NOT AN EXPERT LIKE YOU! I came here for help, advise and comradery. I suppose I must have disappointed you immensely. Something that I did not anticipate. I really thought I was coming to a place of higher knowledge and understanding. Now I can see that there is this little tiny box that I must remain in while I try to be innovative. Im not sure I get that entirely but if I must I will remain in the box. "Learn how to code using web standards instead of a WYSIWYG platform." I think there is something in there that I could use but I dont know what it is. Could you explain that a little further?

    I [I]do[I] want an honest critique. But I want it from someone I feel has their feet planted firmly on the ground and who is willing to actually look through the site before they comment. I dont want to be slashed and burned my first time out just because someone in authority feels they have the right. Ive had it up to here with despotic tyrants. I put a tremendous amount of work into that site. I will take your advice when you give some.

    Of course I want kudos! Do you know someone who dosent? Do you want kudos?

    Between PM's and comments (maybe 300 words or more) and other efforts you have put in on my behalf, I have walk away with a single misspelled word as far as useful advice goes.

    C'mon. Lets try to be friends.

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    Oh, I almost forgot. You said something about the navigation. That it is not easy to navigate. Could you explain that a little further please.

    Thanks,

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkspllmn View Post
    Thanks.

    Can I put that in the 'Testimonials' section of my site?

    My God! I dont even know you!!!

    Just because its different?

    I asked you about the content??

    Your comment was non constructive And I didnt get anything out of it.

    Let me see yours.
    There's no need to get defensive. She did provide you with some insightful commentary, especially since "she doesn't even know you" to paraphrase your own words. Outside eyes are always good because they don't need to apply any filters to try and save your feelings....and I don't think she was being that harsh (though I can see how you could take it that way).

    I think her point is the site looks very dated almost 10 years or more old, and it's brand new. And even the least tech savvy person is going to recognize the design is not what a lot of the other sites look like, and in this case, REALLY different is not a good thing.

    If you're going to promote yourself, you need to do it in the best light possible. For example, based on your site design, I wouldn't necessarily believe you designed the page shown on your PSD to HTML site - they look like two different people did it. One is VERY polished and slick, but your current page doesn't support it. Same for your logos - a couple there look like they have some promise (though they are small to see on laptops).

    Shy's point is to look at some other design sites and see how their sites are laid out and the content they carry. Keep the number of pages small, and decidedly less technical. If the user is savvy enough to understand the terminology, they're going to be more likely to be aware of what's current and effective, so you don't need to dumb it down that far. You've got to lower the ratio of techno-babble to marketspeak.

    If I were you, I'd work to drastically ramp up all aspects of your portfolio work and work to show them better. Then simplify your services to a page or two. Keep them simple and straight forward. And then I would work to make your site look as polished as the one on your PSD to HTML page (if that requires you to get someone to make the PSD for it, so be it).

    Just my $.02 (US) for what it's worth...
    Dave Maxwell - Manage Your Site Team Leader
    My favorite YouTube Video! | Star Wars, Dr Suess Style

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    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Everyone here is trying to help in their own way. You can use WYSIWYG editors but as a business of designing websites you should show some expertise on your site to attract visitors and be able to turn them into customers. Different people are attracted by different things but you need to place high to the search engines. That means good keyword selection for title, description and body of text. Also eye appeal and navigation. You come here for expert advise and some help by us who are not so expert. Some are harsh and some are subtle depending on what they think will help best. i was stepped but I think she misunderstood my intentions. She is very good but deals with many issues. Listen to her as someone who really wants to help and ask about one item at a time. Ask for advise on how to best improve. If you looked at my site you could honestly say not very good, but I do my best with limited knowledge.
    -
    What I think would help you the most is where to get examples and what part of the example are they referring to plus how to incorporate it into your site.
    One piece of software that helps is HTML Tidy, another is a keyword suggestion tool, another is web page analyzers. These can be located with a Google or Yahoo search.
    -
    I hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMaxwell View Post
    There's no need to get defensive. She did provide you with some insightful commentary, especially since "she doesn't even know you" to paraphrase your own words. Outside eyes are always good because they don't need to apply any filters to try and save your feelings....and I don't think she was being that harsh (though I can see how you could take it that way).

    I think her point is the site looks very dated almost 10 years or more old, and it's brand new. And even the least tech savvy person is going to recognize the design is not what a lot of the other sites look like, and in this case, REALLY different is not a good thing.

    If you're going to promote yourself, you need to do it in the best light possible. For example, based on your site design, I wouldn't necessarily believe you designed the page shown on your PSD to HTML site - they look like two different people did it. One is VERY polished and slick, but your current page doesn't support it. Same for your logos - a couple there look like they have some promise (though they are small to see on laptops).

    Shy's point is to look at some other design sites and see how their sites are laid out and the content they carry. Keep the number of pages small, and decidedly less technical. If the user is savvy enough to understand the terminology, they're going to be more likely to be aware of what's current and effective, so you don't need to dumb it down that far. You've got to lower the ratio of techno-babble to marketspeak.

    If I were you, I'd work to drastically ramp up all aspects of your portfolio work and work to show them better. Then simplify your services to a page or two. Keep them simple and straight forward. And then I would work to make your site look as polished as the one on your PSD to HTML page (if that requires you to get someone to make the PSD for it, so be it).

    Just my $.02 (US) for what it's worth...
    I read your post with great interest.

    Thank you for taking the time to clarify some things. And for taking the time to actually look through the pages before posting and for making your post less abrasive and easier to listen to. Also you went into more detail on specific items. Its a lot better than saying "It sucks" then walking away. A very well written review. Thanks!

    I think I was trying to appeal to two different groups at the same time. I should decide to go for the average client or developers but not both.

    I dont think people understand how much effort I put into it. Making one that is inside the box is going to be easy. Just do what everybody else is doing.

    I must say that I did not expect my first review to be "Trash it and burn it". I confess to being quite taken aback by that. However, after hearing what people have to say I am going to trash it and burn it.

    I can do PSD to HTML just as I said I can.

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    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about your website for web design. Please take this as help (it is what it is meant)
    1st. Consider your targeted audience (who will and can pay for web design - not who needs it)
    2nd. Consider how you can help (ie improve traffic and conversions)
    3rd. Consider you area of expertise
    4th be truthful
    note: I have contacted web design companies about my site. They all said we will put you on first page Google. They never checked my site as I am on 1st page Google and 1st page Yahoo (it is dynamic and changes often so it may slip some). I want to know what they will do for me ! not other sites and not what they did for other sites. Note; on some web design sites they give some useful tips and how to do them (idea, we can show you what we can do for you - a little bit - now what we can do for you a lot if we design [or redesign] your site). I want to know about increase in traffic and increase in conversions. I paid a site to increase my traffic and they did (so much $$$ for so much traffic) and I was satisfied. Then gradually my traffic decreased. I know how to increase my traffic and what needs to be done, but now I am cleaning up my site (with a lot of help from the forums). I am doing what I can with little knowledge.
    -
    What area are you Designing for ? individual, small business, local business, large companies ? You must know your targeted audience. Then design your site to appeal to that audience. Once you do this then you will have better success.
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

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    This is also a good review. Thanks.

    Believe it or not I did not use a wysiwyg editor. I built it from scratch in Dreamweaver. Im getting that it looks too retro.

    Im sure she does have a wealth of knowledge. I just wonder why she isnt giving any of it to me. Although it looks like she is trying. its unfortunate but I really didnt get anything out of what she said. Probably due to my own stupidity and ignorance. Right now I really wish I could go back to building houses. But I must move forward with this. UGH!

    Be a little more specific about keywords and page titles. I put all the meta data on each page and it is still there. I dont understand.

    P.S.

    This is in response to navyfalcon 11:04. I thought I had quotes on but I didnt.
    Last edited by mkspllmn; Oct 16, 2012 at 14:04. Reason: addition

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by navyfalcon View Post
    I have been thinking about your website for web design. Please take this as help (it is what it is meant)
    1st. Consider your targeted audience (who will and can pay for web design - not who needs it)
    2nd. Consider how you can help (ie improve traffic and conversions)
    3rd. Consider you area of expertise
    4th be truthful
    note: I have contacted web design companies about my site. They all said we will put you on first page Google. They never checked my site as I am on 1st page Google and 1st page Yahoo (it is dynamic and changes often so it may slip some). I want to know what they will do for me ! not other sites and not what they did for other sites. Note; on some web design sites they give some useful tips and how to do them (idea, we can show you what we can do for you - a little bit - now what we can do for you a lot if we design [or redesign] your site). I want to know about increase in traffic and increase in conversions. I paid a site to increase my traffic and they did (so much $$$ for so much traffic) and I was satisfied. Then gradually my traffic decreased. I know how to increase my traffic and what needs to be done, but now I am cleaning up my site (with a lot of help from the forums). I am doing what I can with little knowledge.
    -
    What area are you Designing for ? individual, small business, local business, large companies ? You must know your targeted audience. Then design your site to appeal to that audience. Once you do this then you will have better success.
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Ive been enjoying reading your posts and I certainly do take them as help.

    Very good points brought up here. Thanks!

    What did you see that made you think that I was being untruthful? I am not.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Not considering you or your site, just some past experience. Trying to give you some of the bad experiences I have received. For individual websites I have contacted web developers and have not had good luck. I asked one how much they would charge to redesign my index page. it was beyond my price range, so I asked if they could break it up into items so I might be able to afford it a piece at a time. No luck. Too bad, they lost a sale. Unfortunately, I have not had good luck with web designers.
    -
    You can do extremely well with the idea, it is easier to find ten (10) people with $10.oo than one with $100.oo. This is just an illustration, it could be $100.oo than $500.oo. Itemize such as better advertisement placement and tracking, better navigation, better keywords to improve traffic, better description using long tail keywords, etc. Complete package could be $500.oo and itemized could be $650.oo. Just an example, it may work or may not.
    Then give examples of what you could do. I don't know as I am not very good at web design.
    -
    hope the idea can help you. It is your business (literally) do what you think is best. We all try to help you as we can, some more than others. Don't give up. Thomas Edison failed many times but succeeded once (that all he needed - success).
    -
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  18. #18
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Google Meta Tag information
    http://support.google.com/webmasters...n&answer=79812
    -
    Be a little more specific about keywords and page titles. I put all the meta data on each page and it is still there. I dont understand.
    <title>Home</title>
    Your site is not about real estate. Google wants more specific information.

    <meta name="Description" content="Web Design and Graphic Art." />
    -
    Look at other web design sites and look at their page source (Title; Description; and keywords
    [keywords are for you and web site page analyzers - not for Google].
    The title can have 66 characters including spaces [use them wisely]
    The description can have 150 characters including spaces [use them wisely, grasshopper]

    This is why HTML Tidy
    http://infohound.net/tidy/

    line 167 column 5 - Warning: discarding unexpected </a>

    line 170 column 1 - Warning: discarding unexpected </map>

    line 152 column 1 - Warning: content occurs after end of body

    line 268 column 5 - Warning: <area> attribute "target" has invalid value "_new"
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  19. #19
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Here are three competitors to look at their meta tags
    Note: keywords amount a few so optimization is easier
    Description should be a good idea what the website is
    Title is important as it is the first thing the visitor sees and what they searched for

    <title>Web Design Portfolio by Don Peterson</title>

    <meta name="Keywords" content="web design portfolio, web designers, guide, articles, tips">

    <meta name="Description" content="A web design portfolio and guide from Donald Peterson.
    View our portfolio of award winning website design and learn from our articles and design
    tips!">

    Web Design Tips
    Shrink PNG Image File Size
    Better Design: Sleep On It!
    Don't Keep Them Waiting!
    The Power of Women Online
    Your Web Design Budget
    Web Hosting Recommendation
    Web Design Must Speak Clearly
    Search Engines & Web Design
    Free Fonts for Web Designers
    Web Design for Grown-Ups
    Web Design's Swiss Army Knife
    For New Web Designers
    Webmaster Tech Help
    Web Design on a Mac
    Web Design Photo Resource!
    Free Stock Photos Source!
    Speak the Client's Language
    How to Choose a Web Designer

    - - -

    <title>Wiidesign - web design portfolio</title>

    <meta name="description" content="A collection of websites and photography by web designer
    Willy Nielsen - commercial and personal. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark (DK)."/>

    <meta name="keywords" content="wiidesign, wiidesigns, wii design, wii designs, design,
    webdesign, web-design, willy nielsen, portfolio"/>

    - - -
    <title>Zen Garden - 800 CSS Web Templates</title>


    <meta name="description" content="CSS Zen Garden | CSS + HTM + JPG + GIF | 89.0 Mb Collection
    of 800 CSS Web Templates from CSS Zen Garden. A demonstration of what can be accomplished
    visually through CSS-based design. So What is This About? There is clearly a need for CSS to
    be..." />
    <meta name="keywords" content="Zen, Garden, 800, Web, Templates" />
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

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    I think the landing page can be more user friendly, you should make the visitors get your message directly in the most basic page.

    Also you may improve the page speed with merging variable js and css files

    I think it looks good overall, maybe little bit more detailing.

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    I like your site

    Quote Originally Posted by seoptimistic View Post
    I think the landing page can be more user friendly, you should make the visitors get your message directly in the most basic page.

    Also you may improve the page speed with merging variable js and css files

    I think it looks good overall, maybe little bit more detailing.
    Looking good!That's why I love this forum-you can get a exsact opinion on your qwestions and people will criticize or like your job-then you can goo back and fix it. My advice is to visite this forum more often. Good luck!Thanks everyone!

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    Not to sound too harsh but this is year 1997 in its beauty ))
    I would start from scratch — white background, black text, few paragraphs, nice header.
    Then add menu, maybe a color or two, background, a button.

    Also, if you are mostly a developer / coder such website would look ok since people shouldnt expect you to draw beautiful stuff.
    And indeed go to some design directory and check what people are doing nowadays.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Guru
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    Hi. I'd have to agree on the dated look of the site and start over from scratch.
    It happens to everybody. Myself included. And it is a good way to learn, if a bit harsh.
    My first impression on looking at the main page is confusion. I would most likely not go to the links or scroll down to the bottom
    Everything is splattered there.
    Too many needless design elements
    Too many different fonts. You usually want to stick to two.
    Lack of cohesion. Small buttons at top and the huge ones at he bottom.
    Lack of color co-ordination or a consistent palette.
    Think also of starting to desing with text and regular design elements offered by html & css then add to it with the graphics.
    There are two sites on you tube that I think would be very helpfull to you.
    For coding and design:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/phpacademy?feature=edu
    for design and overall advice
    https://www.youtube.com/user/mlwebco
    And one site wich also has youtube tutorials is:
    http://thenewboston.org

    Lastly, being defensive is not useful or helpful, just scratch consider it good exercise and start over.
    Like I said everybody has been there.

    Go try this guy out, video 45 trough 47 each about ten minutes will guide you trough creating a really nice css3 site.
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...C&feature=plcp

  24. #24
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Don't feel bad. The reviews of my site make your reviews look great. But I take the reviews as they are meant, how to improve the site. So I do the best I can, others, I must wait until I learn how to do the task. I do get visitors and conversions, but as I improve, both visitors and conversions increase. My financial condition does not allow me to hire a professional so I resort to the forums. Many are professional web designers and builders so their advise is important.
    My advise (from a novice) is learn how to use the software tools that we all need. We all need software tools to help with correcting our oversights and minor errors. The software I recommend is free, when you become profitable enough, buy the upgrade or better software. By then you will know what you need.
    First, and most important "content is king". Showing what you can do to improve a site can do a lot for you. Then change it often and archive the old items. Be sure to categorize them for easy retrieval. Just show a few and if a person is interested, then they can view the rest. You need to know what person is interested in and what you can do for them to achieve that result. Each site is different, so you need to show different type of sites and how to improve.
    This is a different approach, so it may work for you.
    Don't give up but try changing a small part at a time. Eventually you site will reflect what you want and need.
    -
    I changed my site navigation to dropdowns (java script) and it helped then changed the dropdowns to external CSS and that helped. Changed the site from HTML tables to external CSS and that helped. Each change was small, but the site kept improving. I still am improving it. The reason I say this is so you can do it also. Small improvements sometimes are better than large improvements because you can keep improving. Each gives you encouragement.
    Now, for SEO, new content seems to work best and several small changes seem to work better than a large improvement (at least that is my experience).
    -
    For software you will need a "keyword suggestion tool", try http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html. Use it in your title and description for best keywords. Then a "meta tag analyzer" to check the title and description (you need a keyword list to use a meta tag analyzer.
    http://www.submitexpress.com/analyzer/. You can Google search for others.
    -
    This should give you a start
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  25. #25
    SitePoint Member xubuntu69's Avatar
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