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#1 steelmanronald06

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 03:42 PM

Okay, here is the low-down on my site. I installed SMF and found a really really kick-@$$ theme for it called Dilber MC.  I liked it so much I wanted to make the design a layout for my site. So I did that.  Took the basics of it, messed around with it, put my own little twist to it, and had a fancy layout.  It looked cool for a whole five minutes.  Then I decided that even though the layouts were almost the same, there was no seamless design to it.  The main site and the forum had something in between them that made it where it didn't seem like the same thing.  So I broke it all back down again, and rebuilt it all.  I think I did fairly good for myself, it seems seamless, and it is something I really like.  I just want to know if you like, what you might do to improve it, etc.

Three final things and I will give you the clicky.  First is that there are a FEW tables in my design. Alot of it is CSS and <div>, and the few tables in there are defined in CSS.  Second is the logo.  Right now it is just text. I am slaving away in GIMP trying to make a good logo to put there.  Last is the Validity of the site.  There are a few things that still make it invalid.  I am working on fixing them right now.  Everytime I fix one, my site dosn't work.  They want me to take things out, or put things in, that screws up the entire design of the site. So I am working on a way to fix them without my site going to $h!t.  So I know those three things above exist as problems, and I know most people here rant and rave on them, so I was just getting it out of the way so you can move on to other aspects of my site.  :P

Clicky:  http://www.netgeekz.net

#2 jcombs_31

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 03:54 PM

well, it looks like a forum, nothing really special about it.  What exactly did you change from what you've downloaded pre-made?

#3 steelmanronald06

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 04:02 PM

The design was supposed to be JUST for the forum.  I deleted the old design on my main site and extended the forum design to it.  instead of integrating the forum into the site, i integrated the site into the forum.  I wanted to know what you all thought, etc.

#4 akitchin

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 06:31 PM

it looks exactly as you described, a site blended into a forum.  since all forums look cookie-cutter and similar to every other forum out there, your site doesn't stand out to me.  if i wasn't interested in what the forums were used for, i would very quickly leave and browse a different site.

the overall feeling is boredom for me.  the gradients add a little bit to it, but again, they're exactly like all other forum header cells in that regard.  not too sure a really good logo will save the site from looking like any other forum online.

if this is the effect you were after, good job.  however, i think that a lot of people will never even notice your non-forum content.

EDIT:  after reading your second post, i still can't tell what you're trying to do with this design - is it meant to JUST be the forum, or is it meant to be your entire site, but within the forum's design?

#5 steelmanronald06

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 06:44 PM

it is meant to be my entire site with the forum design. Kinda like a CMS.  The main thing I am looking for is how seamless it appears, if there is anything you would change about it, and any errors you find.

#6 jcombs_31

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 06:48 PM

I think a forum look should be left to forums, not entire site design. you did it backwards in my opinion, the forum should be skinned to closely match the site.

#7 steelmanronald06

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 06:57 PM

At first I was going to do that.  After making a few designs I didn't like, and coming to the conclusion that everyone skins their forums to match their site, I decided to do something a bit different. I decided to skin my site to match my forums.  Just to try something new. I am sure others have done it, but it hasn't become real popualr yet, AFAIK.  That was what sparked me doing the layout like I did.  Just to try something new and be a bit different.


#8 akitchin

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 07:35 PM

i don't find any errors.  i'll grant you that it's quite seamless, in that i can't easily differentiate between your forum content and regular site content.

as ironic as it seems, in your efforts to do something different, your site has ended up looking like a lot of the other forums on the net.  if there were something i'd change about it, i would suggest trying to get it a more unique feel, which is generally not accomplishable with forums.

#9 koolaidman52

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 07:58 PM

I'm wondering what can be done to expand the site: Will atricles about the internet and programming be wrtten? If so where will they be put? I see that there is lampgeeks and it is a fairly well designed site and wondering why netgeeks just has to be a forum.
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#10 steelmanronald06

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 08:05 PM

I am sure NetGeekz will later develop into a site similar to LAMPGeekz.  Right now this was something I have always been wanting to do, and I am experimenting as I go along.  It is a pretty much blind walk.  There will be articles and such added to the site. I have left it pretty well open to futher devlopment.  RSS feeds were a thought at first, and are still considerable, but I can't really progress futher until I meet my goals:

1) Gain a firm member database
2) Develop a firm relation with my members
3) Get a few moderators to help around the site (The entire site can be fairly well edited by moderators)
4) Find one or two admins to help with some of the nitty gritty

After I meet those four goals I plan on to looking for some article writers to help write articles.  Later plans are in the workings as well, but I don't wish to disclose them just yet as they are still a little rough around the edges.

As most of you know, your website will grow and you will find yourself developing away from the orginal plan.  This is my original plan your looking at, and as time goes by and the site grows more and more I am positive more things will change.  As I said, this is something I wanted to do and I really want to see what it devlops into.

kooaidman52 mentioned he liked lampgeekz.  That design started out as simple as google and had NO forums.  I added some columns and tables, added SMF forums, a few tutorials, and it has really grown.  I am doing futher work to it as we speak as it has recently taken a growth spurt.

#11 pixy

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 08:43 PM

Looks good--but a little boring. It's a little too simple, IMO. Maybe some graphics somewhere? Instead of only gradients, and it's a lot of blue. I prefer layouts that have several colors that work well together instead of one that is all one color.

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#12 steelmanronald06

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 08:45 PM

LOL! When I first started netgeekz i had a blue layout.  I am color blind and blue dosn't hurt my eyes like some colors do.  Sorry about all the blue. I will look at the CSS and see how I can change it up.  I am just really bad at combining colors because of the fact I can't "see" some colors.

#13 koolaidman52

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 08:56 PM

using a color scheme tool should help with that, check out the resources sticky of the website critique forum
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#14 steelmanronald06

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 09:32 PM

I have been using it.  I am working on a new color scheme right now.  Whether I find one that I like or that looks good is a different story ;) lol




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