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Reisswolf

Please Critique My Website

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I am planning to start a small venture on the side, and I have managed to put together a web site for it, which is located at

http://www.artecs.net (the new domain is now active)

This site is far from completion.  But (unless I really receive lots of criticism) the final, completed site should look quite like this.  Among the points on which I would like your opinion are:

1.  Does the template suit the kind of business I am looking to start?  (Note:  the template was downloaded from the web, and I am not aasking you to critique it per se.  I actually like it a lot.)

2.  Are there too many words and too few graphics?

3.  Is the navigation "clunky"?  Is it necessary to have cute floating
layers slide out when the mouse goes over a link?

4.  [Modified as per the suggestions.]

5.  Do you think the format and presentation are "clean enough" and direct enough to
inspire trust in a potential customer?

I like very simple stuff that work without problems, and I think the site reflects that.  All kinds of comments and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks a lot for your help.

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First thing I noticed: the login/register link is really just sorta floating there. Why don't you extend the white border down through those lines? Second thing, the very top background image to the left of the logo-I personally think that the occasionaly broken lines don't quite fit with the site. Aside from that, it's a good, clean CSS design. Well done!

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Thanks moberenk.  I can't really take credit for the CSS, because I downloaded the template from the Internet, but at least I have the pleasure of knowing I downloaded a good one!

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I would take the horizontal images out of there - and push the content further up. You should try and put images inside the content instead of around the content.

The letter/text spacing is a bit much IMO.

I like the gradient background.
--steve

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steviewdr, do you think it looks better now?  I have removed those horizontal images.

I have also removed that "swirling blue sun" image from the top.  [i]That[/i] is where I should place my custom image, I think.

moberemk, it would be hard for me to change the images as you are suggesting, because the following is one image:

[img]http://artecs.10gb.org/images/back_top.jpg[/img]

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yes - looks better IMO

The Navigation headings - Documents, Sections, Tools - in Dark blue are too tall.

The navigarion and its line spacing is a little too much.

Try and put one graphic back into the site - perhaps in the top right etc.

-steve

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I understand that. But that does not explain why it is impossible to change that one top section to straight unbroken lines.

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How about now?

I think I really need to fill that large space at the top, just to the right of the logo, with a nice, relevant graphic.  Otherwise, as it stands now, the site looks quite boring.

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I think it's a very clean, professional looking site.  I only have a few complaints:

1) your mouse-over effect on the left side nav is pretty weak.  The underline color is so close to the background color that you barely notice the effect.  Having an image pop-up beside the link isn't the only way to go about it.  You can change the background color, change the text color, even use CSS to throw up a square to the right or left of the nav you roll over.

2) While it's pretty clean, I think it wouldn't hurt to throw an actual photo in there to give it some life.  Right now it's pretty bland and simple.  Consulting makes me think of working with people, signing contracts, one on one meetings... you need to capture that in a picture.

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As ever - excellent words from Ober.

I think the google ads looks bad there at the top. It messes up the white and top of the website.
Do you really need google ads?

Echo Ober on all his points - fix up the a:hover on the navigation.

-steve

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[b]Please note[/b]:  my new domain name is now active.  The site can be found at

http://www.artecs.net

The ads at the old site were automatically inserted by the server.  My new hosting plan does not force ads on the pages.

*****

Thanks guys.  I'm trying to make those changes.

ober, I would love to include some graphics to bring the site to life.  But even though I have some very nice ideas in my head, my near-total lack of ability with GIMP is making life very difficult for me.  In that white space to the right of the main logo I would like a thematic banner that connects the artecs logo on the left to "the world"--a nice, attractive skyline--on the right by means of axons and synapses that represent neural networks.  There would be a face, with the eyes showing prominently, near the bottom of the skyline, looking upward.  The banner would be a nice blue that would compliment the rest of the site.

If only I could implement my ideas as effortlessly as I can describe them!

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Re. Ads - Good.

I hope you can change the css code about the a:hovers for the navigation as Ober pointed out.

Look through the css code for a a:hover and change some of the stuff. Dreamweaver is excellent if you dont know any css.

-steve

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You don't have to be an expert at Gimp to throw images on the site.  As long as you know how to crop and optomize (reducing file size without reducing quality), that's all you really need to get the basics out of the pictures you add to a site.

As far as the changes... I'm not crazy about them.  The thing at the top is very blurry and doesn't really match the rest of the site.  You need something that blends with the color scheme a little better.  As far as the picture in the content on the main page... you might want to consider going with something that's a little more artistic.  That looks like a shot you might have taken in your office.  No offense, but I should be seeing faces or at least some office space with a little more decoration.  No one wants to see a bare-bones office with nothing but your docking station and extra monitor.  It screams "boring"!

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