SITE REVIEW: PhiAlphaDelta

  • Pariah
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • Pariah
  • Posts: 6

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi everyone, I am very new to web development. I made this site for a fraternity I am in. I just want to become a better web designer, be brutal. I would like any comments you all might have, thank you in advance!

P.S. I am a beginner :(. Any comments about things I could change, it would be nice if you could point in the direction on how :). Thanks!

PhiAlphaDelta
  • Anonymous
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  • Loc: Ozzuland
  • Status: Online

Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Hob Bramble
  • Proficient
  • Proficient
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  • Posts: 351
  • Loc: Indiana, USA

Post 3+ Months Ago

Starting at the top, the header could use a bit of work. It's neat, but I'd cut the pictures that don't stretch all the way across, as they look silly. I would also have the header cycle through the images a little slower, and run in a continuous look - the "Want Free Pizza? Click Here!" message, though somewhat amusing, doesn't really do much for the look. If you had it just keep slowly cycling through the images though, I think it would look pretty neat.

Scrap the navigation bar. Flash navigation bars are bad news all around. They take longer to load than a CSS based bar would, aren't SEO friendly, and make viewing the site a pain for those who don't have Flash - which brings me to the browser check: Your site looks and runs great in Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 2, Maxthon 2, Opera 9, and Netscape 9. However, in Lynx, it's completely impossible to use, because Lynx doesn't support Flash (this also goes for screen-readers and other accessibility tools). Also, in IE 6, your logo at the very top has a grey background, because IE 6 doesn't support PNG transparency. Enough people still use IE 6 that you should probably fix that - simply filling in the transparent area of the logo with the right background colour would work fine.

The font you are using is, in my opinion, ugly. Monospace fonts have their place, but it isn't in your average website. Try using Veranda, Arial, or a similar font - something web-safe and sans-serif is good, but monospace fonts just aren't pretty. No offence. The font size and colour are fine.

I'd also centre the page - right now it's sort of off from the left, which looks odd, like it tried to centre itself but gave up halfway from the left side to the centre.

Really, other than that, I have no problems with the visual aspect of your site. The design is different - not my favourite, but not bad. It does look a little like you have candy-cane stripes on the top and bottom, but that's personal taste and not a design issue.

Code wise, however, you need to do two things: dump the tables and fix your validation errors.

Tables are, for the most part, dead. Though they still can be used for layout, there really isn't any reason to do so, and most web designers won't show much respect for sites that do. Instead of tables, you should use CSS divs to layout your content - they are easier to use, more efficient, and product much cleaner-looking code.

As for the validating part, you've got 36 errors in your site itself, but your CSS is error free. I'd make the move from tables to divs before worrying about the errors, as the switch may remove or alter many of them. Once your on divs, though, make sure you clean your your errors. It shouldn't be to bad, for the most part, though getting the errors caused by the Flash your embedding is a little tricky - check out the Flash Satay article at A List Apart for some help there.

That's pretty much it - in short:
1. Kill the Flash navigation bar, and replace it with a CSS-based one.
2. Make the Flash header loop instead of require a manual re-start, and use only images that stretch the entire length of the header.
3. Kill the monospace font, and use something variable-width. It's prettier.
4. Fix your transparent PNG logo so it isn't transparent, so it will look right in IE 6.
5. Kill the tables, and switch to CSS divs.
6. Centre the page.
7. Fix whatever errors are left in your code.

Other than that, I like you site - it's easy to navigate, your CSS is pretty clean, and it's laid out well. Good job!

Edit: One more thing which I almost forgot - for some reason, when it open your site in Internet Explorer 6, it loads everything before the Flash, then gives me a message asking if I "would like to continue loading content on this page." If I click yes, it loads the Flash, then gives me the message a second time. If I click yes again, the rest of the page loads and that's that. It does it every time, on every page. I think it's related to your Flash, but I don't know what's causing it - maybe someone else will, though. Just to be sure I double checked, and it only happens in IE 6, not IE 7 nor IE 5.5 (or any other browsers, for that matter). It may be my settings, though, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.
  • Pariah
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • Pariah
  • Posts: 6

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hob,

Thank you for taking the time to review my site, your input is much appreciated! I think I agree with you about the candy stripe across the top, I guess I never looked at it like that... but now that you mention it, it looks ridiculous lol. Thanks a bunch!
  • celandine
  • Mastermind
  • Mastermind
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  • Posts: 2008
  • Loc: Belgrade, Serbia

Post 3+ Months Ago

well hob hasn't left much that needs covering, but I'd say a few things.... one, the yellow color you use to highlight the titles of your sections/ paragraphs is killing me - it is far too powerful, much stronger in tone and intensity than any other color on the page, and it renders the horizontal nav bar nearly invisible by its sheer power of yellowness. I'd tone that down a little. You have a red/gray combination going in the header and the header nav, which is a good, subtle combination, but that yellow just doesn't fit with the story. if you just tone it down to a more mustard shade, you will still have the visual highlight but it won't be fighting for attention with the rest of the page. make it the same shade as the mustard yellow border around the purple 'phi alpha delta' initials on the homepage.

another thing - I'd suggest changing the default blue color of the links into something a little less.... heh, less default, I guess. I'd personally make them the same red as the links in the nav bar.

which brings me back to the nav bar - I think it would help a lot if you made it so the link to a page is disabled when you're on that page, and the link is in rollover state - this helps navigation a lot, as viewers immediately know by looking at the nav bar what page they're on.

other than that, comply with hob's advice and you're there!
  • Pariah
  • Newbie
  • Newbie
  • Pariah
  • Posts: 6

Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you very much for reviewing my site, it means a lot that you guys would take the time to help me. I wanted to make it so when it was on the site, the nav bar would be in the down state, but is there an easy way to do this? Or do I have to make a separate published nav bar for each of the pages?

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