SITE REVIEW: www.swanzeyselfstorage.com

  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey Everyone,

I had completed the above site a while ago but was curious what people might think about it. I am pondering some revisions pushing for more CSS and a few other ideas. Designing for such a limited amount of data is a bit difficult if you are trying to incorporate SEO techniques. Any feed back would be great ... I am going to revise that in the near future as my main project, and as a side one now when I get tired of programming the java search engine :)

Address: http://www.swanzeyselfstorage.com

Thank You,

Ken
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

As an FYI ... I know the title is too low in Fire Fox ... I have not had time to alter the CSS with the programming I need to do.
  • Prime
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey,

Not a bad start but a huge amount you can improve on. I don't wish to be cruel but I'm going to assume you're relatively new to this :?: A couple of quickies, I'm sure others will add more.

1. Put your javascript in a separate file.

2. It is far far far....... harder to design an attractive website that is scalable in size. Not impossible, but a lot harder than using a static width. I prefer 800x600 centered. I think you'd be best adopting this approach.

Good luck.

Cheers, Prime ... :D
  • kc0tma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree on the fixed dimensions as well.

I'm don't know exactly what it is, but the color schemes just aren't really doing it for me. I think if you used the adobe kuler and experimented with it for a bit you could find something really good.

Another thing I would fix is kind of trivial, but the nav buttons on the left, if you are on the home page, have the the home button not be a link, and the same for the other pages. Thats just something that is kind of nice to do, even though it doesn't change the functionality at all.
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you for the responses so far ....

1) Java Script - I can definately move that to another file, shouldn't be too bad to do.

2) I have actually been doing this for about 3 years with a 2-3 year gap in the middle. I am required to do full page width ... I do not have a choice in the matter, what the president wants, the president gets, I can try to change his ways though. I have about 90% control of the page, as long as they like it, I am good to go. I will see what I can do about static width, but you are right, static widths are a lot nicer to use .... I am beefing up my CSS skills so hopefully it can be redone that way and alot more static ....

3) I like the button idea .... adopting that one seems like a good idea and keep the color change.

4) Color Scheme - Again it comes down to the president .... I will play around with it when I can, but it is another point that is well taken.

I will add these ideas to my things to do list for the site ... I know it is in need of a redesign, considering I brought it from a one page site to this its a huge advancement for the site, but no where near perfection.

The more comments the merrier!

Thank you all!
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have updated the site and followed the several of the suggestions.

If anyone notices any other improvements/comments feel free to say it.

Thanks!
  • kc0tma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It looks better. Have you ever played with round corners on you div's? check this out: http://www.w3.org/Style/Examples/007/roundshadow
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'll check it out tomorrow at work. Thanks.

The hardest part of stripping it of all of the tables,(except where I had data to put in tables) was making the boxes border properly. FireFox read it all nicely but IE only accepted certain things and percentages for table width took the window width and cancelled my border.

The rounded div boxes would be a nice touch.

I tried disabling the links when you are on a certain page, but it killed all of my roll over imaging.

I know it is not perfect yet but next step for me is tackling the image_header and making it a background that is scalable and an image. It unfortunately can not be static .... if it could this design would be a bit easier.

Anyone else have other thoughts on the page?
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I remember that this website had a review several months ago ... strange ... I can't find any trace of it, but I'm adamant that I've reviewed it here before ...

And it hasn't changed a bit ...
  • Dodger_2
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I visited your web site. Just a few comments.

1. Your banner looks dark and void. I would redesign and full encompass the banner with the existing picture in the banner. AND possible lighten it up a bit.

2. JMHO I would delete the date out of the menu , serves no purpose.

3. You need alt tags on your images. Here is a site to explain alt tags.

http://www.searchengines.com/alttags.html

4. I would ditch the hit counter..Why? Most hit counters only count how many times a page has been accessed, not how many unique visitors it has had. If one person visits the same page 10 times, that's not 10 different people. Hit counters are basically useless and they make a site look amateurish. You don't want to give people the wrong impression, especially if you have a business site. I would use site stats. Here is a fairly good one.

http://www.websitetrafficreport.com/

5. I would implement a contact form for my potential customers.

6. You have a nice clean site that is fast loading and consistent. The above comments are JMO on good web design.
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Breeze,

I have only posted this page on this one link so I follow the rules ... it is referenced under a CSS question I had on the design forum but did not see any comments there from you either .... so I don't know what to tell you. I didn't delete any so unsure what happened.

The site does look very similar, but I moved it over from tables setting up everything to CSS, which I am learning the design end of.

Dodger,

The banner was giving me problems, and I am working on lightening it up. Unfortunately the rounded corners don't work in FF 2.0.0.11 ... so looking for a new route but one is coming.

I am going to keep the date there, granted it is just there for looks, I like having a quick reference to the date when on a page, it saves me from looking at the computer calendar.

I thought I got the alt tags in on all my buttons .... but will check. And the others I just spaced.

Hit counter was to see if my SEO terms were working and it got plenty of hits so, good call on deleting it. We have netstats and I use google analytics and combine the results ...

Thanks for the comments!
  • alopes
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The design it's poor.
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

kbergmann wrote:
I moved it over from tables setting up everything to CSS, which I am learning the design end of.


Ah, I get you now :D

alopes wrote:
The design it's poor.


Alopes, you should be explaining why you think the design is poor.
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Breeze wrote:

alopes wrote:
The design it's poor.


Alopes, you should be explaining why you think the design is poor.


Breeze,

Alopes had done that to another review as well. This leads me to believe he made the comment to simply get his page posted ...

Also, I am working on reworking the whole design, I first need to make IE and FF view the same way, that is why the header is simply black behind the banner picture. It keeps on displaying wrong in IE. I think I found a solution though. The custom CSS design is easy to pick up but difficult to fine tune I have found. I am going to keep on upgrading this site before my others so I have a better grasp of CSS page formatting and limited use of tables for data only.
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

alopes wrote:
The design it's poor.


Very enlightening ... why is it "poor" :?:

/me ignores this "helpful" comment :)
  • alopes
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Post 3+ Months Ago

kbergmann wrote:
alopes wrote:
The design it's poor.


Very enlightening ... why is it "poor" :?:

/me ignores this "helpful" comment :)



For a PRO website that design it's poor, but for an personal that design it's normal.


That was a Frontpage or Dreamweaver default design and change some things.
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Fair enough, thank you.

I am teaching myself CSS for designing pages and using no tables unless it is a data table filled with numbers. I plan to improve the page vastly.
  • alopes
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You can find in the internet some free css templates well designed and change them.


Try:
http://www.freecsstemplates.org/
http://www.free-css-templates.com/
http://www.free-css.com
http://www.templateworld.com/free_templates.html
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

alopes wrote:
You can find in the internet some free css templates well designed and change them.


Try:
http://www.freecsstemplates.org/
http://www.free-css-templates.com/
http://www.free-css.com
http://www.templateworld.com/free_templates.html


Quite frankly I hate templates. It's really only through building your own websites from scratch that you actually learn anything. I like the feeling of someone complementing the design of one of my websites, and you just don't get it with crummy templates. There's no feeling of accomplishments with templates either.

I say to kbergmann: keep on building your own websites, you can only get better.
  • Dodger_2
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I totally agree with Breeze...It's like building a pre fab house. It's presenting something with no skill at all... My sentiments are exact the same as Breeze!
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you Breeze and Dodger. It is my hope to learn the fitness end of CSS and make my own templates and do this for a living / side job.

I am aiming for "Look at these samples, ..." then go from there.

The hardest part is making this all work with a page with variable width and IE not following any F*ing rules like FF does fine. I was forced to put in <hr>'s to hold the width in IE :(
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Alopes,

I will check out the sites you mentioned for ideas as I do with almost any page I view. I view every page as a potential tool / tip for something if it features something I like but do not know how to do yet, it can be a simple style that is listed there that I might have missed elsewhere, but noticed it there.

I plan to use a static width for my whole made templates, button designs, header designs, etc ... so it can be mix and match for the most part.

Thanks Man.
  • celandine
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Post 3+ Months Ago

here's one thing, don't know if it will help but I'll suggest it anyway - the actual content of your pages is not very wide, and you could probably afford to narrow down your central div and leave some margins on the sides. then you could extend your header banner to be the same width as the body of the site, which in my mind just looks visually way more appealing than a narrow header box and huge sprawling content box. I'd also recommend fixed width but I understand from reading comments above that you have to keep it liquid - that's ok, just bring it in a little at the sides.

I also understand you're having trouble with the header, getting it to behave right - one easy way you can make a header the same width as the body is to have the header image fade into black (or any solid color) at one end. so for instance you position the picture on the left side, make it as wide as you like (500-600 px or something) and have it fade to black towards its right edge. then you make the background of the header div also black, and give it the same size properties as your main content div. so what you get in effect is a header with an image that's always the same size and always fixed on the left, but the header will extend or contract with the body depending on the size of the viewer's window.

you can use the same technique if you want the header image right in the middle - just make it fade into solid color on both sides, and give it a css property of
Code: [ Select ]
background-position: center;

sorry if this explanation isn't the clearest, if you don't get what I mean let me know and I'll try to explain better
  • kbergmann
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have updated the site with the latest revisions.

The CSS is still not entirely as I am aiming for but added the rounded corners, new header.

IMO, The page is alot brighter and the design looks cleaner.

Still a work in progress, but better :)

Let me know what you think if you get a moment.

Thank you in advance.

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