SITE REVIEW: Unmelted Templates

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://www.unmelted.com/

We have finally released our new template website. For those of you who do not know, we already have one over at http://templates.bigwebmaster.com/ - The goal of this new website was to make it more user friendly compared to our other. Another goal was to implement new scripting which allows full search capability unlike our other template website. Finally we were trying to make a layout that was designed structurally more correct. This design uses absolutely no tables and relies heavily on CSS for the design elements.

Please feel free to give positive or negative constructive criticism regarding our new website: http://www.unmelted.com/

We are looking for everything from spelling and grammatical errors, to cross-browser compatibility issues, SEO issues, design issues, HTML structure issues, and anything you can find.

If there is something you love about our website please do tell! If there is something you dislike please also let us know. We understand everybody has unique opinions about how they view websites and will take everyone's opinions into consideration.

A few notes that we are fully aware of: We do know that our website was built for 1024x768 resolutions and higher. So if you are viewing this in 800x600 you will most likely have horizontal scrollbars. We are also aware that the majority of template previews in IE will have horizontal scrollbars in the iframe portion. Firefox should not for the most part because it supports the min-width and max-width attributes.

I would like to give thanks ahead of time for anybody who replies.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have to say that it is a very professional and clean looking site. I really don't have anything bad to say about it. That site is one that I said wow as soon as it loaded which was pretty fast.

However, the menu is extremely long. I know you have a lot to choose from but maybe break it up. Also, the "Learn HTML" link is peculiar, I have to position my curson just right on it or it won't highlight.

Other than that, absolutely awesome work.
  • daremedy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Looks good, really good. The colors and and layout flow really nicely together. Out of personal preference, I'm not a fan of the font you used for the "You finally found the largest template....." phrase in your logo. The letters are too close to each other and, together with the faded background, makes it a tad hard on the eyes.

Your menu is pretty long, but I dont know if there's anything you can actually do about that. You just have a lot to offer. If you really wanted to go all out, you could use the same "minimize" method that phpBB has, when you click on the forum category and it minimizes it (the Show/Hide option). You might also want to consider pushing the Main Menu options up, before the Template Search. Your obvious priority is the template options, but it would be nice to have an easy to access "Home" button somewhere at the top of the screen. This problem is also solved by making your logo image a link to your homepage.

You could also use a nice closing footer, for Copyright/All Rights Reserved 2005 etc. You may also want to include a disclaimer and privacy link.

Also consider putting a ^Top of Page option for the template sections. Some of the sections make you browse pretty far down the screen, it'd be nice to have a quick jump to get back to the top of the screen. Also, when viewing an actual template, you should have a "Back" option to get back to the previous screen. If you could add a little more descriptive navigation, like a link at the top that says "Home > Computer Templates > Template 6000" or something along those lines.

Your advertising and contact menu links both lead to the same contact page (with different drop-down selection options). Maybe ease some of the menu height, and delete the advertising link? Also, in your contact section, it says required fields are denoted with a *, but no fields have the *, none are required? :roll:

Also, in some sections (FAQ) you open links to external sites on the same page. You should open those in new windows and keep your users on your site.

Other than that, everything looks awesome!
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:
Also, the "Learn HTML" link is peculiar, I have to position my curson just right on it or it won't highlight.


Hmm, what browser are you using so I can test this one out. With both IE6 and Firefox I am not able to duplicate this issue.

daremedy wrote:
Out of personal preference, I'm not a fan of the font you used for the "You finally found the largest template....." phrase in your logo. The letters are too close to each other and, together with the faded background, makes it a tad hard on the eyes.


I have had mixed feelings from people on that font. It seems that people either love it or hate it. So I am not surprised to see someone mention this ;) If I recall, Unflux is one who also dislikes it.

daremedy wrote:
You might also want to consider pushing the Main Menu options up, before the Template Search. Your obvious priority is the template options, but it would be nice to have an easy to access "Home" button somewhere at the top of the screen. This problem is also solved by making your logo image a link to your homepage.


I have thought about putting the main menu above the template search. The main reason I did not do it in this case is because with our bigwebmaster site it seems the most important things to customers was some kind of search function. I do agree with making it easier to get back home (like with ozzu) and have now already made it so the logo links back to the main page. Thanks for reminding me.

daremedy wrote:
You could also use a nice closing footer, for Copyright/All Rights Reserved 2005 etc. You may also want to include a disclaimer and privacy link.


Good suggestion. That will most likely be implemented.

daremedy wrote:
Also consider putting a ^Top of Page option for the template sections. Some of the sections make you browse pretty far down the screen, it'd be nice to have a quick jump to get back to the top of the screen.


Very true, debating where to implement those links though without sacrificing the look of the design. Maybe a little icon would be sufficient for doing this.

daremedy wrote:
Also, when viewing an actual template, you should have a "Back" option to get back to the previous screen. If you could add a little more descriptive navigation, like a link at the top that says "Home > Computer Templates > Template 6000" or something along those lines.


That is probably a good idea. We did this with our other template site mainly because the directory levels went much deeper since it extended from the main site. In this case the max amount of levels is 3 so we were unsure if this would be all that useful. However it might help someone remember where they are in the site which could prove to be useful. Going to debate on this one, but I think it is a good suggestion.

daremedy wrote:
Your advertising and contact menu links both lead to the same contact page (with different drop-down selection options). Maybe ease some of the menu height, and delete the advertising link?


Yes, we are very aware of this. The reason we chose to do this was in the past we have found making it very clear to advertisers on how to find out more information about advertising on the site greatly increases the chance of first contact from them. I actually do plan to make the advertising page more unique, and probably ask some more basic information about the advertiser, where they are interested in advertising, and their budget. I can clearly see why you brought this up though as it mostly seems like a duplicate page. The only difference right now is the advertise link has "Advertising" already selected in the pull down menu.

daremedy wrote:
Also, in your contact section, it says required fields are denoted with a *, but no fields have the *, none are required? :roll:


Good catch! Fixed it already.

daremedy wrote:
Also, in some sections (FAQ) you open links to external sites on the same page. You should open those in new windows and keep your users on your site.


I have thought about this too. The problem is I have tried to stay with a doctype of strict, ie:

Code: [ Select ]
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">


Strict doctypes do not allow the target tag which means I would be forced to either use javascript to target a new window or drop down to the transitional doctype which would be:

Code: [ Select ]
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">


I already dropped the actual detailed pages which lists the templates down to transitional because strict also does not support iframes. Strict does support object tags but I found that the object tag is not very reliable and chose to not go for that method.

Other than that thanks for the very detailed suggestions so far. I appreciate it.
  • sana
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very Professional Site. I would suggest a customized drop down menus - like the ones done in Dhtml. Moreover , when viewed in Internet Explorer, it shows a horizontal scroll bar. In css , try to cutomize the search template button , it will make it look much better.When clicked on template details, the table on the right side are in blue and black , i suggest that they should be in grey-white. Otherwise , the site looks clean and well designed.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I was using the latest Firefox, I am at work now and using IE it worked fine. It could have been a strange bug. I'll check again with Firefox later.
  • aintlovegrand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You have some great templates! I just wish they where not so damn expensive :P (cough) free :D heh. just kidding
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

aintlovegrand wrote:
I just wish they where not so damn expensive :P (cough) free :D heh. just kidding

You get what you pay for :)
  • elwin_windleaf
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Through work, I've had to get into the accessibility side of web design a lot. Your site really seems to have that taken care of, degrading quite nicely without stylesheets applied. It even looks like you employed some source-order techniques; very nice!
  • soulseek3r
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Everyone is a templatemonster affiliate....:)

Ok the site overall is cool and impressive that it relies on CSS and completely tables, that's really awesome.

As far as eyecandy goes...there's none of that. Black and white is a tad bit plane and the font I'm not liking. I do like the logo...really cool, the only bit of color on the layout.

(can we have a template site that allows designers to sell their templates :) )

Great site though guys. Keep it up.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the additional comments guys, I really appreciate the feedback.

elwin_windleaf wrote:
Through work, I've had to get into the accessibility side of web design a lot. Your site really seems to have that taken care of, degrading quite nicely without stylesheets applied. It even looks like you employed some source-order techniques; very nice!


Yes that was one of the goals with this design, concentrating on good structure and accessibility. I am glad to see someone noticed that. Eventually I would like ozzu to be redesigned that way as well.

soulseek3r wrote:
Ok the site overall is cool and impressive that it relies on CSS and completely tables, that's really awesome


I am thinking you meant to say no tables right? We decided to throw out tables completely to make the web design more semantically correct. Tables were never really meant for the layout of a website like most websites use them for today (including ozzu). So this was new for us to try and go table free.

soulseek3r wrote:
As far as eyecandy goes...there's none of that. Black and white is a tad bit plane and the font I'm not liking. I do like the logo...really cool, the only bit of color on the layout.


That is very true, I debated on the eyecandy and decided to keep it plain, simple, and boring so that the templates would stand out more since that is where the majority of the colors are. I have continued to have mixed feelings on the fonts. Thanks for stating your opinion, that may be changed down the road since numerous people have mentioned it.

soulseek3r wrote:
(can we have a template site that allows designers to sell their templates :) )


Actually that might be one of our next projects! Keep that between you and me though for now ;)

soulseek3r wrote:
Everyone is a templatemonster affiliate....:)


There are many yes, but most use the same style to sell the templates. They use a javascript code provided by them to output all of the templates.

Thanks again for everyone who has responded. I have had lots of useful feedback.
  • sogua
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Post 3+ Months Ago

wow i like ur site. the design is very nice and professional. just wan to ask if you provide any free template :p
  • silverbullit
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Good site with a good killer app: Templates nothing else. Plus templates for everything under the sun. How the heck did you get all those quality templates. I might even use your site for searching for template designs for customers. Sites design is clean and simple no excessive graphics. One thing though put a submit button for the search form at the top and the bottom of the page. On my laptop i had to scroll down to search each time.
  • soulseek3r
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Dude...as soon as that project kicks off...please let me know at least. I'll try to make the cut as designer or however you're gonna set it up.
  • tulip4heaven
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Templates looks Great , are they from Templatemonster.com ..anyway good work
  • heh3d
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like it. THe layout is nice and clean, and the CSS works really well for me.
A couple of quick comments. For a nitpick, you have some un-escaped &s which keep it from validating properly.
Also, I would suggest that it might be easier to move around the menu on the left if each category started out collapsed - Template Search, Main Menu, Etc.
Actually, Template Categories is the only problem so it you found a way to minimize that, or hide it until people wanted to look at it, it would be great.
  • dispector
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Its okay, I guess it gets the job done.

some honest critiquing:

    The weird block of ice seems out of place, and kind of cut-out on the bottom.

    The text next to the block seems unprofessional as well. I don’t really like the black text with a black drop-shadow, it seems out of place too.

    You might want to think about changing the font on the slogan under the header, it’s close to being hard to read.

    The nav. on the left is really long, but I guess there isn’t much you can do about that (maybe expandable headers? I don't know.)

    I'm not sure if I would feel safe buying a template from that site (if I were just a random visitor, I trust ya bigwebby). The design doesnt really shout 'expert template seller...people.'

    When I click 'customize this template' I'm sent off the site. I don’t know, I don’t really like when that happens

    I just noticed that the shopping cart is a pop-up window. When I dissable javascript, nothing happens. How would I purchase a template if I had javascript dissabled?

All in all it’s very functional, but the design doesn’t compel me to stay or browse around.
  • emil2k
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The logo is insane i really like the site NICE LOGO again Looks Great nothing bad to say
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

heh3d wrote:
For a nitpick, you have some un-escaped &s which keep it from validating properly.


Can you be more specific where it is not validating? As far as I was aware every page was validating for me. Thanks.
  • heh3d
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi, sure. Now I don't discount the possibility that my validator is being over zealous... But here you go:
Quote:
line 152 column 17 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 154 column 13 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 178 column 14 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 186 column 18 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 208 column 17 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 404 column 46 - Warning: unescaped & or unknown entity "&_Pets"
line 404 column 63 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 406 column 42 - Warning: unescaped & or unknown entity "&_Photography"
line 406 column 62 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 432 column 43 - Warning: unescaped & or unknown entity "&_Drink"
line 432 column 58 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 442 column 47 - Warning: unescaped & or unknown entity "&_Furniture"
line 442 column 70 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
line 467 column 46 - Warning: unescaped & or unknown entity "&_Culture"
line 467 column 66 - Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;

0 errors / 15 warnings
  • neuro
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like your site. But i have been told that the tag
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">

does no good. Its best to leave that tag off the site

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