SITE REVIEW: Erie Benedictines

  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is a site I'm currently developing for a local Benedictine monastery back home. It's obviously not complete yet, but I'd appreciate any constructive feedback you have to offer.

// Test server temporarily down at the moment. Thanks for the reviews!

Please be honest; if you see something that really bugs you or doesn't seem right, by all means, let me know.

Also, there's an issue with the dropdown menus rendering behind the center content div in IE. I'm aware of this and am trying to get it fixed. In the mean time, please use Firefox, Opera, or Safari to review the site.

Thanks in advance everyone!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like how you concatenate the news article if it's longer than x digits. Any chance on using an elipses at the end (...) or finishing on a period?

The navigation would look significantly better if it was a GIF instead of a lossy format like JPEG - you'd have no anti aliasing issues and the file size would probably be smaller, too.

Any chance on a line break before the Heritage of Hope Campaign image?

The cloud on the left part of the heading banner looks weird, maybe take it off and just use the solid colour for the pointy round part?

I can't help but notice you're redirecting inspiration/ to benedict/ - why not just link straight to benedict? Ditto with membership/ to membership/permanent/. Speaking of which, the list items black dots are hovering over top of the edge of the blue left-hand div.

Also, you may want to a sitemap and/or some text links somewhere on the site.
  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the thorough response neksus.

The news concatenation works a little differently than you described. I use a separate field in the table to store a small blurb about the story, which may or may not reflect the first part of the story itself. I used TINYTEXT when I mean to use TEXT, and thus part of the blurb got cut off when I inserted it. Whoops :)

I have been considering redoing the navigation, and your comment reaffirms that. I may just make the links text rather than images, if I can find a suitable cross-system font. At the very least, I'll be switching to PNG or GIF now. Thanks for that.

I agree about the cloud -- it bugged me at first but I began to ignore it. I'm glad you mentioned it. My plan is to have rotating banner images that switch on every page load. I'll fix that image when I do.

The redirects are left over from a previous page that no longer is used. I actually didn't realize those were still redirecting like that. Good catch!

I'm aware of the bullet issues on multiple pages. Most of that content is still volatile at this point so it's not a priority, but fixing that CSS has been on my to-do list for a long time.

Sitemaps (both for the user and in XML) are in the works, I just haven't updated the copy on my server yet.

Thanks again!
  • jameson5555
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree about the upper left-hand corner. It bugs me seeing that line there where the header image should continue down behind the content.

I think you should just go with text links. It shouldn't be hard to find a font-family that would be cross-browser friendly. That brings me to my other recommendation: add some rollover effects to the links. It would be really easy to do with text links. I think just lightening the blue on rollover would make a big difference.

Some readability issues with the quote in the upper right-hand corner.

I think it would be a good idea to establish a color palette, too. The site is way monochromatic right now. If that Heritage of Hope graphic is a permanent fixture, you could pull colors from that to use for headers, etc.
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The quote was bugging me earlier but I wasn't sure if it was just me - lose the white outer glow and either just stick with a very small black outer glow or drop shadow. It looks blurry as it is.
  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks very much both of you.

The Capital Campaign graphic isn't permanent and will, in fact, be removed before the site goes live. Consequently, I've already spoken with the customers and they've agreed to use the colors from that logo throughout the site (they mentioned that last week, actually), so there will be big color scheme changes in the works.

I'll definitely be addressing the quote if the readability is that bad.

I am leaning towards text navigation at this point, simply for the usability, aesthetic, and SEO advantages over images. Rollovers are likely.

Thanks again, both of your feedback has been incredibly helpful.
  • websushil
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well your site is too nice.when did had you publish this site? everything is fine there.good job
  • George L.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The sides are empty. I don't know really, there are still many words put uneven, eg. the address at the bottom is quite high to the mid of the page, i'm using IE.

Otherwise, the color is nice, and simple. Good design.
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Most of the pages on the right nav on this site don't validate. Those pages are the pages with images. The simple thing you're not doing is putting the alt attribute to those img tags.
  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yarrggh!! Nice catch Bogey, I'll be sure to get that fixed.
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This firefox addon tells me everything :D
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Not to mention http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/#validators :P lol
  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't generally go through and validate every page because it's unnecessary. I have a single overall template file that I've ensured is valid, and content for individual pages gets injected into the template, so it's just a matter of making sure I write valid markup for individual pages, which are usually small.

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That sounds like the same workflow I utilize :)
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

neksus wrote:
Not to mention http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/#validators :P lol

Yeah yeah. Except it gets very "worky" when you have to validate a lot of pages. You can catch things you usually don't catch using the w3c validator as you don't validate all of the pages.
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Also, there are some unknown characters thorughout the site... "...God � in..." where one of them is here
  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah, I copied a lot of content over from the old website and from some publications in other formats which are using characters not in the character set for the site, so they won't render for most people. I'll be removing them before launching the site, but it's not a priority right now since most of the content is still volatile and will change before I get to that point.
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Depends on how you template the site I suppose.
  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What does?
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That was definitely supposed to be on a different thread lol. don't know how that happened...

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