SITE REVIEW: Gravestone Archives

  • RBeau
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  • RBeau
  • Posts: 69
  • Loc: Aurora, CO

Post 3+ Months Ago

Okay I guess it is about time I get you professionals' opinions on my own site.

FIRST I would like to let you all in on the purpose of this site and why it is so plain.

It is s genealogy site, and yet I guess to you all it may be boring and all, but there are a few things I want help with.

I need to keep this site as plain as possible for many reasons... one, there are a lot of internet/computer illiterate people out there using my site (older people who are genealogy researchers) I would like to keep this site as simple as possible to navigate, and without all the frills, and aminated popups etc :)

I think that this site should reflect a little of me, and ....well I am boring, and I don't have all that technical skills and graphical talent you all have. But hopefully I will later.

What I would really like to know, is if everyone can navigate through the site well, and if it works on a wide variety of browsers and resolutions (those with a lot of computers can help me with that) I would like to put a simple frame at the top with the main links, just in case I have to change them, I don't have to change ALL of the pages on the site, just one. Does anyone think if I would loose a lot of my visitors if I put one frame at the top? I have only worked with IE, so I do not know how a frame would react in other browsers (Linux, MAC, Netscape, Etc)

Thank you all for your time I really appreciate your help!

RBeau
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Bigwebmaster
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  • Posts: 9089
  • Loc: Seattle, WA & Phoenix, AZ

Post 3+ Months Ago

My resolution is 1280x1024, using IE 6 and using a broadband connection. The site loads fast, and looks like everything is loading how it should. Navigation is very simple, as each of the links are very visible and easy to find.

With Netscape 7 the site looks exactly the same as in IE.

I currently do not have Opera or any older IE or Netscape browsers installed, so maybe someone will have some feedback for you there.


As far as the frame I would recommend against it. Yes it would be much easier for you to edit in the future when you change your links, but I do not think frames are the way to go. How many pages would you have to update if you change your links in the future and how often would you do it?

An alternative that I recommend is to simply use an editor which allows you to do a mass search and replace on all your pages. So for example if you needed to change all the top links then you would use your editor to find the exact html you want to replace. The editor would search all your pages on the site and make the change extremely fast, thus making frames not as beneficial.

I always recommend against frames because it might make it more difficult for some search engines to index. Also search engines might not link to your main site, but to a frame within your site making it so your visitors have no menu. Frames might cause problems in a few older browsers too, but for the most part browsers support them. Also if you use frames you will start to find people linking to the indidual frames over time. When I used to design sites with frames I always had problems like that. Also using frames isn't always the best way because for people wanting to bookmark a particular page on your site, they will find they are bookmarking the main page instead. This will only cause frustrations for visitors. In my opinion using frames is the easy way out for the webmaster, but just brings problems for your visitors. Some people may disagree, but I think many would side with me :)
  • ATNO/TW
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  • Posts: 23456
  • Loc: Woodbridge VA

Post 3+ Months Ago

I do have to completely echo Bigwebmaster's thoughts about frames almost exactly to the letter. Those were the primary reasons I stopped using them a few years ago.

Regarding how the site displays it is nearly identical in the following browsers: MSIE 5.0, MSIE 6.0, Netscape 4.78, Netscape 6.0, Netscape 7.0, Mozilla 1.0, Mozilla 1.3, Phoenix 0.5, Opera 5.2. I also tested on 15" and 17" monitors and at 1024x768 and 800x600 res. Looks OK on all.

I'm on broadband so the page snaps open except for the ad banner rotation service link at the bottom of the main index page. There seems to be a slow connection to that server.

The one thing I would like to see you change based on your statement about older viewers and computer illterates. The font you are using is "Monotype Corsiva". The first problem with that font is it's not a core font and unless it is installed on the viewer's machine they will not see it. For example the machine I'm typing this reply on does not have that font, so I see it as Times New Roman (my browsers default font - kicks in when it doesn't recognize the web author's choice.) The second problem with the font is that it's Italic. I have bifocals and see fairly well with them, but that font is a little hard to read for me. I can almost guarantee you that your older viewers that get that font are going to have a difficult time reading it.

As an alternative I would suggest Arial, Verdana or Times New Roman and perhaps experiment with size=4 vs. size=3. You don't want it to be too big, but considering your target audience give some serious thought to it.

If you decide to change your font you are going to find a problem similar to what you described as your reason for considering frames. You are going to have a lot of font tags to change. By placing the following very simple style sheet in the <head> tags on each of your pages you won't have to use the <font> tag at all on your site.
-----------------------------------------
<style type=text/css>
body {
color : black;
font-family : Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif;
font-size : 12px;
font-weight : normal;
}
</style>

-------------------------------------------

As stated the above elliminates the need for the font tag. What this does is set the text color to black (this will not affect your link colors - they will stay as you defined them in your boday tag). The first thing the browser will do is look for Arial on the viewers computer. If it finds it the text is displayed in Arial. If it doesn't it looks for Verdana, then Helvetica then sans-serif. If it doesn't find any of them it defaults to the users browser default. I usually always include sans-serif because it's a core font and usually on most everyones machine. 12px is roughly the equivalent to size=3; you can adjust that by increasing the numbers to enlarge. I might suggest 14px for your intended audience. Font-weight is just normal text. If you want something bold you can continue to do that as you have been.

Hope some of that helps.
  • RBeau
  • Student
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  • RBeau
  • Posts: 69
  • Loc: Aurora, CO

Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you very, very much, that makes sense to me Both BigWebmaster's and ATNO/TW's comments, I had never thought of the problems I would get with frames with the search engines. I will go look for an editor of some kind. I currently have over 400 pages,one for each Gravestone that I have photographed, and and editor would help me a great deal, because what I have done is I have made all the pages identical so I don't have to rewrite the Tags every time I get a new picture.

Thank you for the suggestion ATNO/TW, I acually had heard of the style tag, but never really got to look at it's usage. I am kind of a self taught Webpage designer, and I have read parts of books, but mostly I have spent my time on the "view source" of webpages to find out how people did stuff :)

I really appreciate everyone's help, Thanks for checking it out on all those platforms I am glad it works on all the other Browsers.

Thank you very much!!!!

RBeau
  • MediaDesign
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  • Loc: somewhere

Post 3+ Months Ago

i can help you just send me on wkgraphic@yahoo.com i'll anwer yo soon !
  • gba_m
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  • Posts: 71

Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't think that you will lose visitors if you put a frame on top. It's easy to navigate and the pages loads very fast. I think that you should center the navigations buttons on the top. Keep up the good work!

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