SITE REVIEW: Jokes-Archive.com

  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, this is my website, http://www.jokes-archive.com

I've been working on it for a year and a half now, on and off, and it's finally losing glitches and stuff... technically there are still improvements to be made, but getting there slowly...

I'm especially interested in what you guys think of the design of the landing page, and the different styles in which jokes are displayed.

some stats:
17 text files
6048 lines of text in the files
292.405 hand coded characters in those lines....

Guess I had to much spare time on my hands ;)

but if anyone has some suggestions for improvements, i'd be happy to hear them.

Ow, btw ;) don't be spooked when the head in the corner suddenly winks at you... he likes to randomly wink :P

Michael
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi, Mike,

I really like the fact that you have a lot of content, and it seems like a good subject for adding new content on a regular basis. You're competing with a lot of other joke sites, which themselves have a lot of content, so the layout, navigation and "ease of use" are, I think, your main considerations. You clearly know what you're doing with coding and html, but there are a couple of layout considerations I'd think about.

For example, I see you using frames for your navigation. On the home page you have the top bar (which is fairly thick), and then below that you have two horizontal frames, one on top of the other. When I scroll a page I like for the whole page to respond, otherwise I feel like I'm trapped inside this small space. I would seriously consider losing the frames. Or maybe give the user a way to get rid of them by clicking a "remove frames" button - I've seen that done before, and it worked fairly well.

Also, the page width is set in pixels, not in percentages. You must use a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 to see it correctly. I and many others use a screen res of 800 x 600, and this means we would have to scroll horizontally to read the page. Check your site out in 800 x 600, and look at the Google Ads in the top right corner - they aren't right, they get chopped off and you can't read them.

The graphics are pretty good, but why not use graphic text for the banner, instead of actual text. I think that would look better, and ensure more consistency from browser to browser.

This isn't so much a "web design" problem, but I thought I'd mention it anyway: I don't know if that many people really want to sign up for a news letter that goes out almost daily. I think this might scare people off from signing up, if they know they are going to get an email every day. My email box gets full enough as it is. I think a daily email sounds more appropriate for a technical message board, or something like that. Maybe once a week would be better?

I like it that everything is clearly labeled, nothing confused me at all.

The width and the frames, I had a problem with those aspects, but all in all, it's a very well done site with lots of good content.
  • MyAnimePhoto
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think the site it self it's quite good, with the information provided,

However i think you are using too many div ... too many scroll bar around the page is really annoying ... perhaps putting it in different page will help ....
  • matty1
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i like it!
  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I made some changes to the main landing page. I hope this falls a bit better.

And eh... for every 1000 visitors I get like only one or two with 800x600 resolution... these days that kind of resolution is kinda really out of date.
consider buy a 17" monitor... plenty overhere for just 25 euro's...

also adjusted that emails are only sent on mondays.


Michael
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It looks good on the whole but there are a few things i would change, nice though.
  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

and those few things would be?

Michael
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You should re-design and get your website more attractive with the default menus for a jokes website.
Regards, Adriano
  • waffles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Lose the frames. You can get all of the good points of frames by using PHP or Server Side includes and none of the bad points. And if you do it right, you won't have the site look any different at all.

Get some rollover effects for your navigation. It looks good, but I need to be able to tell that I'm going to go where I want to go. There shouldn't be any guessing involved with navigation.

The purple box that says 'Show the Newest Jokes' is on top of something, and I have no idea what.

Lose the underlining of things that aren't links. Underlined text = links, no matter what. I don't even like it when it's book titles since that isn't correct in any way.

On the same train of thought, lose the red text. If you want a word to stand out, make it italic or bold. Different color text = links, no matter what.

I'm not sure you need the form to sign up for the mailing list twice. Especially with them being right next to each other.

Change your link colors. The default link colors are blue for unvisited items and purple for visited. I see the purple links and think that I've already been to a page. It's best to stay as close to the default colors as possible, or at least stay away from purple for unvisited links.

You've done a good job with it, just needs some fine tuning.
  • absolutes
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I find scroll bars in the middle of the page to be a turn-off unless they're absolutely necessary. I found some apparent boo-boos too, like adsense ads where menues should be, pretty annoying. In the archives, the images are too big. Why are you making me scroll down when I don't have to? I have a pretty big monitor, and good eyesight, and I still had too much scrolling to do.
The idea is fantastic, though. It's actually on my list of sites to build someday. You don't mind some competition, right? I think it would be great to index your jokes and make them searchable so if I were to think of, say, a punchline, I could goto your site and type in some keywords to remember the whole joke.
Your layout is fine and I admire your do-dads. The colors aren't my taste, but I have a feeling lavender is more popular in Europe than it is here in the US, so...
  • beefykoala
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think its a little bland
  • bad_bob00
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Lots of good content on the site, just not too sure about the design/colours etc.

I'm not too sure about the header image at the top of the page, i'm not too sure what its supposed to be. Also not sure about the placement of the Google Ad at the top right of the page, it looks a bit strange in that position. Maybe you should put it in the bottom left corner of the page, where it can fill up the empty space.
I think the font for the header should be a bit more fancy too, so that it stands out a bit more.

Not too sure if you need the part of the circle below the navigation bar, I would scrap that bit and adjust the content on the page accordingly.

Theres a few spelling mistakes (missing letters) on the front page. Might want to sort these out.

Think that in the menu where it says THE ARCHIVE you should put THE JOKE ARCHIVE or something, theres no mention of jokes in the menu at all.

I really like the way you have implemented the joke pictures, with the boxes for joke stats & interactivity, it makes the pages look quite professional. Think it would look better if you moved the Google adverts on these pages below the image, and made them more horizontal, and change the background colour too.

Hope any of this is of use! Good luck with the site.
Matt
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Post 3+ Months Ago

When I first went into the site I was a bit confused. The text does explain what to do but i prefer seeing content on the first page. Also your tables and links and very visible but are not that attractive. Try subtler colors and I for your main table of jokes i would juggest not using the inside borders at all. Instead use alternating colors. Also you star gifs look a little ega video game style. Maybe add some color or depth to them? Besides that the content is good and I like that users can add jokes, makes keeping up with content much better. Good luck!
  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I've made some minor changes to my website.

I've made the frame collapsable, so if you get annoyed with it, you can click the "Remove frame" link in the black nav bar at the top.

I've also added a thingy in the link that it should get underlined if you move your mouse over a link in the menu... can't be bothered to check(my browser settings do it automatically) if it works if I change my settings back to default heh, but it should work ;)

Did a little bit to make the purple box a bit more distinct to it's purpose, and to remove the "feeling" that it's on top of something.
Also removed the double welcome message.

Lost the underlining of things that aren't things.

Also made for the visited links that are not in the tables(the red lists of jokes) a clear distinction if you visited it or not... not visited is purple, visited is brown.
The standard color blue just doesn't mix with this site ;)

removed the extra signup for the mailing list, and replaced it with "The newest joke" which will be displayed there, with next to it links to the page displaying all different joke categories.

I've changed the page where you can select the different categories in "THE ARCHIVE"

The header image at the top of the page? it's just a frying pan with two eggs with faces, and one of the faces winks once in a random moment in 90 seconds. It's the site logo ;)
The adsense ad there is to fill up a bit of empty space up there... it's sticking there.

Changed the names of the links in the "main" menu to represent a bit more "funny" character.

Changed the ad style for when pictures and movies are displayed, and also fixed the comment boxes, although still have to edit the shadow border picture.

And the stars... well, to find something that matches the style isn't really easy... and I think this looks nice enough for the moment...

So, please have a look at the changes, and see if you like it?

Michael
  • 8everything
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have a suggestion for your adsense ad. I would change the ad's background to match the header's background (it's a darker purple).
  • reciprocal_link
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Post 3+ Months Ago

the site looks great but my computer is set at 800 x 600 and I hate scrolling to the right. also you may wanto move your google ad so that it can be seen on 800 x 600 resolution. other than that great job.
  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

800x600 is a dying type of visitor... most people who visit have at least 1024x768, and usually that is the smallest resolution I see in my visitors.

The few people who have 800x600 are just too little in numbers visiting to completely adapt my site to them. percentagewise it's like only about 3% of my visitors having a 800x600 resolution.

You need to weigh off time against possible profit. and the possible profit just isn't worth it for me, cause 17" monitors are for sale for just €15 euro's overhere if you buy them 2nd hand, and many more people will step over to a 17"at least, if not bigger, because they are getting cheaper.
I'm sorry for the few people who can't see the page perfectly, but I honestly can't be bothered to invest a whole heap of time for just 3% of my visitors.
maybe if my page got really busy and 3% a day didn't equal 6 visitors, but equalled like 600 visitors, then I might bother. but right now? no thanks, i'd rather sort out the real design issues.

Michael
  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Anyone any other structural ideas?

Michael
  • charlie_lang
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is an attractive site, although some things didn't quite line up in the Netscape browser. I liked the content--very focused.
  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

guess this is as good as it's gonna get then heh.

Thanks for all the help ;)

Michael
  • waffles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok, so I can remove the frame if I don't like it. Which solves nothing because the look of the frames was never the problem. If I do that I lose the navigation and can't get it back.
  • mlsmls
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Good site :D
  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

waffles, you do not lose the navigation. The navigationbar still stands there by javascript scrollBy method. which of course does not work in mozilla... urg...

will fix that at some stage, but mozilla users are the last on my list, just like 800x600 users...

Michael
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Any reason why? I can understand forgetting about the resolution, but to ignore an entire browser like that? You shouldn't be using frames anyway. So getting rid of those would solve the problem. The issue was never that the top frame looked bad. It was that it's a frame.
  • _mike_
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have my reasons why I split the template up into frames.
and now it's too much effort to make it into one page again... I don't know my exact motivation anymore, but I do still know that I had a good motivation for myself.
So, not doing without frames.

Michael

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