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apw

Website review please

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Hello

 

I am opening a new social-networking website located at

 

 

 

 

htt://social.lmninfo.com

 

I have completed most of the new layout for the website, added new features and fixed many bugs found and would like your feedback on other improvements that could be made.

 

Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.

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I like it. It has a clean simplistic look to it. Took a bit of time (granted, I don't have broadband).. but not too bad. Looks professional.

 

One thing that I found odd is the Member login link (beside the Join Now link). You already have this section beside the 'site stats' panel. I would consider either..

 

a) way to integrate member login panel (form fields and all) directly into the space where the current member login link resides (which can free up the current member login panel for other content), or

 

b) replace the member login with something else (perhaps social bookmarking icons?).

 

As it is, you have this redundancy which could be better maximized IMO.

 

Other than that.. I like it. Looks good.

 

Cheers,

 

NRG

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Thank you for your suggestions.  There are still many changes that i am working on to organize and possibly remove/replace content on the website.  I hope the website didnt overwhelm you and you were able to easily navigate and was able to use each portion of the website with little to no trouble.

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I hope the website didnt overwhelm you and you were able to easily navigate and was able to use each portion of the website with little to no trouble.

 

Althought there are many links, the area is well structured by panels and enough whitespace that it isn't so bad. Let's just say I adapted quite quickly.

But on that topic, you brought on an idea... if you find there is a little much going on, there are some options.

 

In the menu, perhaps merging some related categories (if possible) to reduce the amount of clutter.. dropdown menus that give the user access to relocated links could help lighten things up. Another option (but this would require javascript), is collapsable panels (you know, with a + or - icon, and when the user clicks on it, the panel opens up or collapses (depending on its current state). And in the event Javascript isn't enabled, by default, all panels that support this feature are opened (afterall, you want people to have access to it).

 

So for me, it wasn't bad. As I mentioned... with the panel structure and whitespace, it isn't bad.. I got used to it.. but perhaps others will feel differently. In either case, there are solutions. It's a good start overall though.

 

Cheers,

 

NRG

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If I may make one final assessment. I used Firefox with the Firebug extension and the YSlow addon and tested your homepage. There are some optimizations that can be had it seems. You can have a look at my response near the middle in this thread to get an idea of what I'm talking about:

 

http://www.phpfreaks.com/forums/index.php/topic,210994.0.html (see reply #4)

 

I noticed that you use a lot of separate images in your site. Having a look into combining those images into CSS sprites and having them load as background images can greatly reduce the amount of headers required to display your site on browsers.. (not to mention smaller file sizes). By example, your top dolphin logo (with the Community, powered by Dolphin Smart Community Builder) image, could be combined with Dolphin, Orca and Ray icons along the footer.. this would shave 4 http requests down to 1.

 

In your 'Site Stats' panel (beside the member login), you have a bunch of small icons (which when I right-clicked in firefox and selected 'view image', I saw that they are all separate. If you combined them all into a nice little CSS sprite sheet and used CSS backgrounds instead, instead of having 14 http requests (I think I count 14 unique icons), you would have just one. This saves a time and memory and bandwidth. Especially if your site gets a lot of heavy traffic, the more optimizations you can do, the better..

 

So this is just a suggestion, but I would consider optimizing things to make it lighter on downloads (and thus faster in response times for your users, and save some good bandwidth with your hosting provider). A win win situation  ;)

 

Cheers,

 

NRG

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