SITE REVIEW:

  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi all, well it is a new year so I thought I would show you what I have been up to.

My site is [url]here[/url].

Although I did publish a site there before, it was very basic, amateur and lacking in both content and inspiration - I took it down shortly after :oops: This time I am going to follow through and make a real push for it and my first website.

Unfortunately I cannot seem to validate the code at the moment (validator.w3c.org) but I think it should work ok. I welcome all feedback and all comments will be taken as constructive 8)

Thanks all.
  • lennyc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The website looks just fine. I like the photos, you did a great job. :D
  • razsports
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi lionking,

Site looks very nice, clean and well easy to use. Nice job.
  • daremedy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well unlike the other reviews, I have some actual feedback for you. First off, yellow as a background hurts the eyes. Its like having to stare at the sun and read your website content at the same time. But looking at the yellow/blue cycling jersey's on the picture you have on the index page, I'm guessing that the yellow background has more to do with the club colors than anything else. A few options available are either replace the bright yellow with a dimmer version, use a blue background instead or just replace the background with another suitable color instead.

Your HTML code is a programmers nightmare, you have no code formatting whatsoever. There are even no spaces between tags, it shows up as one big clump when you view the source. This doesnt really relate to your site, but its a piss off to look at, and personally, I find it unprofessional when I see designers code that way. I'm not trying to knock you down or anything, but little things like that do get noticed, so try and make your code more ledgible in the future. You should also try and get your code W3C validated, I just checked and it had 7 errors.

The site isnt scalable to 800x600 resolution, which is the bare minimum you should design your site to. You should definitely work on that.

When you link to external sites, like you do in your links section, open those sites up in a new window. Dont take your visitors away from your site that easily.

Enough of the bad stuff, the good thing about your site is that you have great menu navigation, which is important to any website. You always want the reader to know where they are and how to find their way around the site. The structure is also simple and effective. It loads up nicely in Explorer, Firefox and Safari, so good job. Not a bad site at all.
  • bleepnik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

daremedy wrote:
A few options available are either replace the bright yellow with a dimmer version, use a blue background instead or just replace the background with another suitable color instead.

Alternatively, you could increase the height of your blue and white "container" so that it takes up the page regardless of the content that populates it. This would let you keep your colours without blinding site visitors.

Quote:
Your HTML code is a programmers nightmare, you have no code formatting whatsoever. There are even no spaces between tags, it shows up as one big clump when you view the source.

Reviews are just a collection of individual opinions, so be sure not to take anything we say as gospel. =] An opposing viewpoint: There's nothing wrong with this. A lot of authors/coders/site producers/whatever will do this on purpose to make it more difficult for people to swipe their code. It certainly shouldn't be seen as an absolute indication of sloppiness. Your approach to this depends on your philosophical standpoint: If you're into open source and the free sharing of information, you'll format your code to be easily accessible, just like your site; otherwise, you'll take measures to make "learning" from your code as difficult as possible.

Quote:
The site isnt scalable to 800x600 resolution, which is the bare minimum you should design your site to. You should definitely work on that.

I would agree with this, but you might not. At last check, 20-25% still use 800x600, but your target demographic may vary. For best results, check your site logs to see who's visiting you, and modify accordingly.

Quote:
When you link to external sites, like you do in your links section, open those sites up in a new window. Dont take your visitors away from your site that easily.

While I agree with the philosophy behind this - not taking people away from your site that easily - I disagree with the suggested approach. I hate when sites pop open new windows. The thing I try to keep in mind is to stop trying to maintain control over a user's experience. Web surfing, by its nature, is a user-controlled experience, as it should be. Thus to keep visitors, I would suggest presenting content that engages them, that provides an incentive to return -- not making it more difficult for people to leave, which will only deter them from returning in the future.
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

First of all - thanks justG and daremedy. Your reviews and comments are EXACTLY what I was looking for. I'm learning all the time and this stuff is great!

justG wrote:
daremedy wrote:
A few options available are either replace the bright yellow with a dimmer version, use a blue background instead or just replace the background with another suitable color instead.

Alternatively, you could increase the height of your blue and white "container" so that it takes up the page regardless of the content that populates it. This would let you keep your colours without blinding site visitors.

I haven't decided what to do with that yet, though I will probably do one of those two recommendations. Yes the club colors are predominantly blue and yellow so it would be preferable to do something which will adhere to that.

justG wrote:
daremedy wrote:
Your HTML code is a programmers nightmare, you have no code formatting whatsoever. There are even no spaces between tags, it shows up as one big clump when you view the source. This doesnt really relate to your site, but its a piss off to look at, and personally, I find it unprofessional when I see designers code that way. I'm not trying to knock you down or anything, but little things like that do get noticed, so try and make your code more ledgible in the future. You should also try and get your code W3C validated, I just checked and it had 7 errors.

Reviews are just a collection of individual opinions, so be sure not to take anything we say as gospel. =] An opposing viewpoint: There's nothing wrong with this. A lot of authors/coders/site producers/whatever will do this on purpose to make it more difficult for people to swipe their code. It certainly shouldn't be seen as an absolute indication of sloppiness. Your approach to this depends on your philosophical standpoint: If you're into open source and the free sharing of information, you'll format your code to be easily accessible, just like your site; otherwise, you'll take measures to make "learning" from your code as difficult as possible.

both: Yes the source does make it difficult to read, but in my html editor it wraps and I do have breaks in there so to me it reads fine - I was not thinking about how it would look though 'View Source'. I am not against open-source at all (it was through open-source material that I taught myself HTML). Perhaps once I finish my other site tasks I will re-visit this so others can see how I did it easier.

daremedy: when you say code formatting do you mean how the code looks in 'view source'? Also how are you validating my code? Somehow I cannot get validator.w3c.org to work - it times out for me :?:

justG wrote:
daremedy wrote:
The site isnt scalable to 800x600 resolution, which is the bare minimum you should design your site to. You should definitely work on that.

I would agree with this, but you might not. At last check, 20-25% still use 800x600, but your target demographic may vary. For best results, check your site logs to see who's visiting you, and modify accordingly.

Could you elaborate more on this scalable issue? Do you mean when you change the text size the site breaks down, or what?

justG wrote:
daremedy wrote:
When you link to external sites, like you do in your links section, open those sites up in a new window. Dont take your visitors away from your site that easily.

While I agree with the philosophy behind this - not taking people away from your site that easily - I disagree with the suggested approach. I hate when sites pop open new windows. The thing I try to keep in mind is to stop trying to maintain control over a user's experience. Web surfing, by its nature, is a user-controlled experience, as it should be. Thus to keep visitors, I would suggest presenting content that engages them, that provides an incentive to return -- not making it more difficult for people to leave, which will only deter them from returning in the future.

:) This is one of those things that everyone will have a personal preference on! I do plan to have a little gif after each link which will allow the user to open in an external window as well as leaving the text link to open in the same window - so hopefully I will satisfy everyone! (if that is indeed possible).

daremedy wrote:
Enough of the bad stuff, the good thing about your site is that you have great menu navigation, which is important to any website. You always want the reader to know where they are and how to find their way around the site. The structure is also simple and effective. It loads up nicely in Explorer, Firefox and Safari, so good job. Not a bad site at all.

Thanks!

Anyone else?
  • daremedy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

lionking wrote:
daremedy: when you say code formatting do you mean how the code looks in 'view source'? Also how are you validating my code? Somehow I cannot get validator.w3c.org to work - it times out for me :?:


Yeah, when I mentioned code formatting, its the code I'm looking at when I view the source. It basically shows up as:

<html><body><h1>blah blah blah blah</h1><p>this is a paragraph</p><body></html>

To review your source code is a nightmare! As far as W3C, their "validate by url" feature hasnt been working for a while, I just uploaded your source code into the last option, "validate by direct input". Works just the same.


lionking wrote:
justG wrote:
daremedy wrote:
The site isnt scalable to 800x600 resolution, which is the bare minimum you should design your site to. You should definitely work on that.

I would agree with this, but you might not. At last check, 20-25% still use 800x600, but your target demographic may vary. For best results, check your site logs to see who's visiting you, and modify accordingly.

Could you elaborate more on this scalable issue? Do you mean when you change the text size the site breaks down, or what?


Scalability is based on the user's screen resolution. For example, if you're using Windows, go to Start -> Control Panel and open up the Display option. Go over to the Settings tab and you'll see an option to modify your screen resolution. Making the resolution smaller (i.e. 800x600) makes everything on your monitor appear larger. If you view your site in 800x600 resolution, your site has those dreaded horizontal scroll bars. Like JustG pointed out, about 25% of internet users still use that resolution, down from 35% last year and 50% 2 years ago. So its something thats becoming "less important" but until that number is < 10%, its something to strongly consider.
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

daremedy wrote:
Yeah, when I mentioned code formatting, its the code I'm looking at when I view the source. It basically shows up as:

<html><body><h1>blah blah blah blah</h1><p>this is a paragraph</p><body></html>

To review your source code is a nightmare! As far as W3C, their "validate by url" feature hasnt been working for a while, I just uploaded your source code into the last option, "validate by direct input". Works just the same.


I thought that's what you meant. Like I said above I will look to make this easier to read after I finish other things. I too figured out I could use the "validate by direct input" option (validator.w3c.org) and have validated all but one page.

daremedy wrote:
lionking wrote:
Could you elaborate more on this scalable issue? Do you mean when you change the text size the site breaks down, or what?


Scalability is based on the user's screen resolution. For example, if you're using Windows, go to Start -> Control Panel and open up the Display option. Go over to the Settings tab and you'll see an option to modify your screen resolution. Making the resolution smaller (i.e. 800x600) makes everything on your monitor appear larger. If you view your site in 800x600 resolution, your site has those dreaded horizontal scroll bars. Like JustG pointed out, about 25% of internet users still use that resolution, down from 35% last year and 50% 2 years ago. So its something thats becoming "less important" but until that number is < 10%, its something to strongly consider.


I just checked my css and my body width was 800px. I've adjusted that to 750px so it should be ok now.

These reviews have been really helpful. Anyone else?

//note I changed the yellow background for a light gray
  • daremedy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah, I meant to comment, the gray goes a lot better on the eyes, plus it suits your color scheme. Good change.
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

OK I've added a few things:

[url]Guestbook[/url] - can someone please test it by leaving a message?

[url]Wins[/url] - cyclists can now view all their wins by clicking on number of wins in their profile.

Are these updates functioning (I think they are) and are they good updates to the site?

[crossing fingers]code holds up![/crossing fingers]
  • bleepnik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've never really understood the purpose of a guestbook (I mean, I do.. but I don't.. y'know?), but I think the "Wins" page is an excellent update! Oh, and the guestbook seems to work fine, I left a quick message.

Just a quick note about your capitalisation.. it's sort of all over the place. Your country dropdown on the guestbook form is in all caps and blinding, the name of the club is properly capitalised at the top of the page, but then the menu links are all lowercase, and the winner's name on the "Wins" page is all lowercase as well. I don't know if it's just an oversight or if it's intentional, so I figured I'd say something about it. =]
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

justG wrote:
I've never really understood the purpose of a guestbook (I mean, I do.. but I don't.. y'know?), but I think the "Wins" page is an excellent update! Oh, and the guestbook seems to work fine, I left a quick message.

Just a quick note about your capitalisation.. it's sort of all over the place. Your country dropdown on the guestbook form is in all caps and blinding, the name of the club is properly capitalised at the top of the page, but then the menu links are all lowercase, and the winner's name on the "Wins" page is all lowercase as well. I don't know if it's just an oversight or if it's intentional, so I figured I'd say something about it. =]


Thanks for the entry. I guess I added the guestbook so if people wanted to they could leave a message and say hi. Also sometimes it is nice to receive messages like people saying they like the site, or to perhaps see who has been on the site (and where they are from) - it is especially nice for people like myself who wrote the site from scratch - with no prior web-design or html knowledge.

It would have been so much easier to use one of the many templates or click-and-create websites (and I am not knocking them, they are great for those that need them) but I feel much satisfaction having done everything myself.

Yes I downloaded the country list from some page I googled - it was all uppercase there - I might just lowercase everything to make it more consistent. Give me a few mins! //done!
  • camp185
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey lionking,

Liked the site. There was a couple of things that stood out to me. There is no top margin. I am not sure if this is something you like, but I'm not a fan. Also, I liked your guestbook style, but the x link. Could I really delete that entry if I click on it. Shouldn't that be an admin option only?
  • lobonar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

well there is just one more comment i can actually give you after all this... As i alway's do when people ask you to review their pages i alway's move around my lcd screen to see if someone uses different colors with pictures... and in your case your doing that in your title picture... the right upper picture has a different blue color then the blue of the title banner... this isn't a problem if you let it flow out slowly to the other color... so may i suggest you make a flow from the two colors to eachother, this can easily be done with adobe photoshop.. and prolly the gimp too, never used the gimp though...

for the rest the page looks really good.

regards lobonar
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

daremedy wrote:
When you link to external sites, like you do in your links section, open those sites up in a new window. Dont take your visitors away from your site that easily.

I have altered my [url]links[/url] page to be XHTML 1.0 Transitional so I could open the external sites referenced there in new windows and have my code validate. There remain two external links at the top of each page that will open in the same window but I am ok with those.

lobonar wrote:
well there is just one more comment i can actually give you after all this... As i alway's do when people ask you to review their pages i alway's move around my lcd screen to see if someone uses different colors with pictures... and in your case your doing that in your title picture... the right upper picture has a different blue color then the blue of the title banner... this isn't a problem if you let it flow out slowly to the other color... so may i suggest you make a flow from the two colors to eachother, this can easily be done with adobe photoshop.. and prolly the gimp too, never used the gimp though...

for the rest the page looks really good.

regards lobonar

Thanks lobonar. I am no expert with pictures unfortunately and I do not have photoshop, but what I did after your post was convert the header image to have a transparent background so it will take up the color of the header div.

camp185 wrote:
Liked the site. There was a couple of things that stood out to me. There is no top margin. I am not sure if this is something you like, but I'm not a fan. Also, I liked your guestbook style, but the x link. Could I really delete that entry if I click on it. Shouldn't that be an admin option only?

camp185: I guess I thought that no top margin was my preference but I added it after your feedback and I actually think I like it better, so thanks for that. As for the [url]guestbook[/url], thanks for the kind remarks and re: the x link to delete posts you would have gotten a message saying only the administrator (me) had permission to delete entries, but I have now altered my guestbook code to only have this display when I am logged in.

:!: I really appreciate all your feedback - I love finding ways to improve all the time! I would welcome any other comments - good :D or bad :oops:
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Couple of updates:

* I added a cyclist search box to my websites navigation, can someone test it out and let me know if it works ok/or not?
* I applied some mod_rewrite rules to some of my pages (cyclists, wins and about-us) - I'd appreciate if you could test a few links to make sure they work ok/or not.
  • bleepnik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Looking good, everything works as expected. Tried a couple of searches, clicked around a bit. Pages loaded (extremely) quickly and I encountered no errors.

Hth.
  • Pramith
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Post 3+ Months Ago

well the sites well organized. but you should put in more design, not too much, Overall the Content is good. Remember Content is the key! CHEERS.And Gud luck!
P.B
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Pramith wrote:
well the sites well organized. but you should put in more design, not too much, Overall the Content is good. Remember Content is the key! CHEERS.And Gud luck!
P.B


Could you elaborate on the design suggestions you may have? If they are not too involved and do not interfere with load time (see below) I would consider doing some. However it would not be my priority right now as my main focus at this point in time is still working on the content of the site and generating backlinks.

justG wrote:
Looking good, everything works as expected. Tried a couple of searches, clicked around a bit. Pages loaded (extremely) quickly and I encountered no errors.

Hth.


Great! I am glad the pages load quickly, I know a few club members still have dial-up internet so that is important to me.

Thank you both for your time and comments, I appreciate it very much.
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I added a [url]forum[/url] to my site - please report any issues here :) It should be all XHTML compliant.
  • marchese72
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Good site
Good race section, stats section but you should put in more pics...
:D
  • lioness
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have added quite a bit over the past few months. More pictures, stats, records, a contact form, new forum, etc.

Please tell me how the site looks, how it is to navigate, colors ok?, any obvious mistakes, etc.

Thanks all, I appreciate it.

LINK ยป http://www.lakelandcc.org

Anyone :?:
  • alexmos
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I can't see any link to your website mate :shock:

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