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Ninjakreborn

[SOLVED] redone

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After a lot of redoing, I am looking for some advice on my site
just want to see what people think. 
http://www.freelancebusinessman.com
I am still working on some of the more advanced programmnig lately, but I only work on this in my spare time, so more of just trying to get some quick opinions, advice that might make a lot of things change for the better.

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It seems kind of like you had good intentions but couldn't get valid code to work for you. I don't know if that makes any sense. for intance The middle Div should be that creamy coffee color the whole way down. having it sut of lake it look sort of wierd.

the section headers also look a bit cheap., I'm not sure that using an eistig template any modifying it was a good idea in this case ~ I'd want to show off my skill on a personal site.

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I don't think I will be actually redoing my own site for quite a number of years, and I have had considerable more comments about it, people contact me about projects off of it, but I was wanting advice on  a few things, the color scheme is it good, if not what colors, do you suggest, and where.  I want to go ahead and get things straightened up, I want to get better at graphic design even more before I try creating layouts, I am almost there, but with graphic design I still have a ways to go.

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I have many problems with your site.  Here are a few

http://multimedia-technologies.com/misc/business.jpg

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with all due respect, i'm very very reluctant to be even replying here, mainly due to the fact that half the issues were addressed in previous requests for critique, where you state "yes, i'll do that in my next rewrite".

just looking a jcombs's post, most of the stuff on there (for example, all the ethics stuff) has been addressed before several times, with extremely valid reasons as to why you should make the change.

let me put this to you bluntly. the work you do for other people is a million times better than the (lets be frank) rubbish you churn out for your own site. not saying i do a much better job, but hey - are you asking for critique on the same issues every time until someone gets tired of it, gives in and says they like it?

sorry for being so harsh, but please - at least show that you're listening+learning and prepared to actually put peoples suggestions into action. otherwise, you're pretty much wasting your time as well as everybody elses who bothers to critique.

take a lead from the work you do for others, and work out why it looks so much better than the work you do for yourself. stop trying to justify yourself with "it was this, it was that, it was a free project" and take it on the chin.

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[quote author=redbullmarky link=topic=106884.msg428805#msg428805 date=1157494531]
with all due respect, i'm very very reluctant to be even replying here, mainly due to the fact that half the issues were addressed in previous requests for critique, where you state "yes, i'll do that in my next rewrite".

just looking a jcombs's post, most of the stuff on there (for example, all the ethics stuff) has been addressed before several times, with extremely valid reasons as to why you should make the change.

let me put this to you bluntly. the work you do for other people is a million times better than the (lets be frank) rubbish you churn out for your own site. not saying i do a much better job, but hey - are you asking for critique on the same issues every time until someone gets tired of it, gives in and says they like it?

sorry for being so harsh, but please - at least show that you're listening+learning and prepared to actually put peoples suggestions into action. otherwise, you're pretty much wasting your time as well as everybody elses who bothers to critique.

take a lead from the work you do for others, and work out why it looks so much better than the work you do for yourself. stop trying to justify yourself with "it was this, it was that, it was a free project" and take it on the chin.
[/quote]

I second that! Except for the million times better part, that is just not true.

Ok, on a more positive note: here's a tip for creating better designs (all is not lost - just yet)...

Use fireworks or photoshop to create a general design. Make it look as good as you can. You have to be a little artistic to be a webdesigner, it's not all code! Don't concern yourself with possible technical complications, yet, concentrate on the DESIGN. Mind colour combinations and layout. Occasionally zoom out or take a step back. You're not making a website, you're making a painting! Ok, I take that back, you're painting a website... :P

When you finish the design, chop everything into the smallest parts possible and use css to glue everything back together, repeating certain parts, and dumping everything that can be done with css. Wich is almost everything.

Ét voila: You have a DESIGN website.

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So should I stop using templates for the most part, or create just my own site from scratch, and use templates with the rest, it does save a lot of development time?

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businessman332211 
You have helped me a lot in the past, I have read many of your posts helping others and you’ve responded to my plea’s for help.
There is no doubt in my mind that your skills are of the highest order.

I’m not going to go into detail but I think you suffer from the same problem as me.

You are to logical, everything has to make sense,

[img]http://www.websitelotto.com/images/headboppers.gif[/img]

Example I am guessing that think its odd that:
Mr headbopper inventor went to the financier and said lend me money I have this head bopper idea and they said “of course we love the idea”
Then went to the manufacturer and they said “great idea we like it”
Then went to the retailer and said “sell these”  and they said “Yes we like it”
And Mr headbopper inventor became a multimillionaire and lived happily ever after.

They don’t generate electricity to power your ipod they dont light your way on dark nights, they serve no purpose, they’re illogical.

That is the reason your website looks like a programmer did it, in fact it looks like a program did it.

Logic doesn’t sell – fun happy exciting jolly dreams sell, which is/was an alien concept to me  … but I’m learning !

To improve your site you need to include things that serve no purpose, fun happy exciting things people might like, silly things, wham bam exciting things.

It will be hard for you I know.

Anyways you’ve been on my buddy list for quite some time, for a reason, I’m going to contact you with a proposal.   

Hope this helps

Roy

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I don't see how that last post is relevant or could possibly help at all. I actually can't even make sense out of it. The irony is that you call yourself logical.

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whilst i understand templates are available for a reason, my impression is that they're there for people who aren't as experienced who want to put up a site of their own - not for people who are coding sites for other people or are marketing themselves as a web designer/coder.
sure, so it takes less time to make a site using templates - but at least you can say you've done it yourself. I'd feel very cheated if i asked you to do me a project, payed you £15 an hour or whatever you charge, and found out you'd almost completely used templates and 3rd party scripts and then had to litter my site with credit for other people.

Current site:
1, the colours you have going on in your site are awful - especially the gray backdrop.
2, gradients are hard to use without looking rubbish.
3, you have far too much text. KISS
4, the varied use of whitespace makes things look odd. look at the spacing between the items on your left nav, compared with the spacing elsewhere.
5, random selection of spelling mistakes throughout.

Good points? your section about swapping web design for dental work made me chuckle.

It used to take me weeks to put up fairly simple sites, and not just because my knowledge was limited but also because of the way I kept myself organised. Now, I have set libraries of functions and reusable code,  set ways of structuring a site (custom templating engine, seperating presentation/business, etc) and I admit I'm not very strong on design at all and it's probably my weakest point, so I don't even waste all of my time trying. I just set myself a few guidelines (spacing, number of colours, font, basic layout) and stick to them, and it just kinda works. Take a look at them and you'll see what I mean. http://www.crashandburn.co.uk/portfolio.php

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I appreciate all the help, what he said up there was helpful, it was just in his own way, it was the way he brought it across that helped me grasp what I need to do.  I need to start working on learning design, I need to stop using templates, it's just so many sites (web designers who have done it for years(www.killersites.net or something for example))  They say there, that he knows how to build designs, but he uses templates because it saves time, I do all my own custom programming, maybe I should use my own designs too, but everytime I build a "design" from scratch it ends up sucking, no matter what, bottom line, it sucks.  I cna take a template and do whatever with it, but the site itself, ends up sucking.  I am willing to learn, so now, on the side, I am going to create a plan, start with a photoshop layout, until I get better at making photoshop layouts, then get the coding/css done on it, then the programming, and start learning how to build the actual designs from scratch.  Thanks for all the advice.

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stick to what you know. if you know coding (PHP, CSS, HTML, etc) but suck at drawing, etc, then you can create a perfectly good site without even using photoshop or such like, just using CSS. As for planning it out, there's nothing wrong with a good old pen and paper.
Look at the 'resources' section pinned at the top of the website critique forum, ESPECIALLY the cssplay.co.uk and the colour scheme one. Leave photoshop (IMO) to an expert, else you'll be in serious danger of being a jack of all trades & master of none.

deja vu....

cheers
Mark

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you could also think about finding someone who is good at design and partner with him/her.  That way you could focus on your stronger points rather than your weaker points.  Your work would stand to be a lot better, and you also stand to finish projects a lot faster. 

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Hrm. I mean this with the best intentions, so sorry if I come off a bit strong:

1) Did you use a .gif extension on the banner or is it meant to be blurry and unreadable?

2) Is there supposed to be a little rectangle of white next to the title things, i.e. Featured Services, Skills, Site Navigation, etc?  I would really get rid of that, as it takes away from the design.

3) Bolding words doesn't make google index them more than other words.  I would suggest unbolding those keywords.

4) The graphics you use on your navigation are a bit sketchy, and what is with the changing arrow thing on a:hover?

5) Divide up the side navs from the content area, it looks all meshed together.  The basics of the design is good, good colors to work with, you just put them together HORRORIBLY!

6) Umm, I would remove the CSS Valid unless you PLAN ON VALIDATING YOUR CSS.  And I would suggest validating.

7) There is some bad request on the link checker, and your not accessible either!

8) Your content on your ethics pages are MUSHED together.  Add some /n or <br /> tags there to move some of the text away from those subject bars.

9)  http://www.freelancebusinessman.com/skillsandservices.php  Seriously?

10)  http://www.freelancebusinessman.com/portfolio.php  sites you have done supports statement in # 9

11) " I have gotten pricing advice from hundreds and thousands of developers over the years."  Hrm...hundreds AND thousands! REALLY?!?!

12) http://www.freelancebusinessman.com/tempdeals.php ha ha...cough cough..sorry, had something in my throat...forgot what I was going to say here...  ???

13) Hmm...what do you know.  Lucky 13 :) 

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if the idea catches on, maybe you'd be happy to volunteer your site to this: http://www.phpfreaks.com/forums/index.php/topic,110264.0.html ?

just a thought.

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It redirected back to my post, but I know what you are talking about, and I might, I want to redesign it myself once I learn those things, but it would be something fun I could do, if it took off.

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Hmm.  I just started looking through unread posts, replying to them where I felt, and came across this one along with a few other critique requests.  I am soo bored, that I felt like poking around at others sites to see what they had.  Well, here we go:

[list]
[*]The design is of poor quality.  White, with a almost white blue nav, header, and page title!
[*]Your logo is a bit of a sore thumb.  Perhaps if there was some color in the site it would look good. Add in some pixel qualities to your site before you try and mess with the rest of the web  :-\
[*]I don't much like the random numbers on the footer, but from a distance it looks like color.  That adds a bit of color to the site. Try to work from that.  I understand you want to be valid css/html, but it is soo simple a three year old could make that design valid...I haven't checked validity, but I would assume it is  ???
[*]The text on the footer.  I would align the links to the left of the footer and the copyright to the right of the footer.  Because you have link, link, and then copyright all crammed together.  Try and split it up by alignment.
[*]The navigation is of poor layout.  I found it hard to find anything.  Yet, because I am bored and feel like I should give you the full benefit of my critique, I dug around until I could make a bit of sense of your site.  How about, for example, moving your tutorials to the top of the menu. Don't make people look through everything to find help.  Put your free stuff towards the top, that will attract attention. Try and cover the stuff that you have to pay for, services, with your free tutorials and such and people will stumble upon your for sale pages without realizing it. It is fishing. You give them something on the surface that looks pleasing, let them nibble, as they explore more that is the bite,  then reel 'er in by bringing out the net (services).
[*]Work a little bit on sentence structure and grammar.  Capitalize where you need it, don't over cap, and provide full sentences.  Now, don't add so much information that it just overpowers the real content your trying to put out. I will get to that when I talk about your tutorial section.
[*]Turn important.php into a switch case.  You have to many pages dedicated to once section. Make the case execute based on what the url info is:  important.php?cmd=guidelines  You know, something like that.  It will be easier on you and your server, and save a bit of space.
[*][b]This is something I say with the UPMOST advisory.  I have even put it in bold, because I feel it is important.  skillsandservices.php  Turn this into a resume.  Don't put Language skills, side languges, Misc, and services.  Put something like Skills and list ALL your skills. Don't divide them up and DO NOT PUT HOW MANY YEARS YOU HAVE BEEN LEARNING THEM!  I know you think it is good, but it isn't.  Put what you know, not how long you have been doing it.  If someone contacts you and asks how good you are at it, or how many years you have been doing it, tell them.  That will damage business because you give too much information.  If a PHP company hires a minimum of 5 years, and you have had 4 1/2 they will reject you. Learn what they require and then add that extra half a year to it to help you better get the job.  Then after you list your skills, put in bold, Services, and beneath it list what type of service you offer.

There is something else you should know.  Don't make each thing clickable.  Again, this comes to OVERSHARING!  You share way to much information, and it could do more damage than good. If you want people to know how good you are at it, show them, don't tell them. It will get you way way more heat in a community, and again, it will damage your chances of getting good business.  You may get business now, but fix up that page into a resume with just the bare basics on there, and you will be in da clear![/b]
[*]Portfolio. Don't divide it up into Full Sites and Odds and Ends.  List nice and neat a short description of what you have done, and a small screen shot of the site.  I have an example: http://thewebfreaks.com/portfolio.php  Do something like that. If you have so many that it makes a forever long page, do something like at the bottom of one page put a link going to like Page 2.  List your good sites towards the top of the first page, and push your sites that you think aren't as good towards the bottom.  Try and bring out your better work, and push your worse work out of sight.  Don't get rid of it, that might hurt you, make it viewable, but put your better work towards the top.
[*]The Contact Me page.  Yeah, it may seem hard to think up something for it, but I did.  Put a bit of CSS in it. Spice up those forms. Make the forms a tint color, or a tinted on select color.  Give them a bit of color...your entire site needs some color.  It wouldn't hurt to take a template and kind of use it as an outline for a design. It is simply standing on the shoulders of those before you, and improving what came before you.
[*]There is nothing on the Recent Updates page. Take it down!  It makes your site seem incomplete!  Add to the page, get it fix up, and then push it live on your site.  That way people will be like, "WoW! Something new!". This is a real attention grabber!
[*]Same for Resources and Links.  Not only is there nothing there, but you  told the entire world that it was poorly managed! What does that say about you! Take it down!  If there is no information that will aid me there, I don't want to have wasted my time going to it!
[*]Tutorials. This is where you put to much logic and not enough action. You put this huge ass paragraph that i have to go through. Then I reach the tutorial. It was of good quality, though you should add more, but the tutorial was all on one page!!! WTF? Each section of the tutorial should be divided up.  Insert your tutorial into a database, and draw it out with simple php and use a bit of pagination to divide it up into many pages.
[*]Take down the Everything Else page. Instead add the About Me and the Special Projects to your navigation on the left.
[*]Featured Services. This could be cleaned up a bit, but it is good. You pushed it towards the bottom, because it is not an eye catcher, it doesn't appeal to people, but you provided it as an extra resource to your work. It looks fine there, but spice it up a bit.
[/list]

All in all, you have something going here, you just have bad management skills.  You really should take the time to do some color and layout work, and organize your information. Remember, you get futher with honey than you do lemons.  So give them something sweet towards the beginning, like tutorials, and slowly let them work towards your lemons!

Hope I didn't sound harsh, but it is a harsh world and if i didn't tell you this someone else would in a way that might hurt your business.  Don't take it to heart, but take it to mind and consider it.  If I were pursuing services like you offer, and came across your page, I would click right back off just because of the site design.  I wouldn't want my site looking like that. Remember, a webdesigners site is his best advertisement!

Cheerio!

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I noticed that you changed your webpage.

The colors are a bit light. The Mint Chocolate Chip Icecream color is hard to see.

The left navigation menu, I'd push the text a bit away from the left margin.

I dont think the page needs to be 100%. I like to keep pages within 800px and then center it.  It makes the site look like it has more information in it or so I think it does ;)

It seems to be a template still... since the <title> says Main Template.

Perhaps adding some more CSS to the left navigation.  Maybe a:hover another color?

Like the other posts have mentioned: Your portfolio sites are better than your own.

If I was advertising myself as web design, I would at least make my site look as good if not better than the sites I have created for other people.

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i'm going to come right out and say it - go and study whatever you're currently studying, finish re-writing whatever it is you're currently re-writing, settle with it, and THEN come to us.  we're not here to constantly re-critique the same [s]tripe[/s] website over and over, only to have you say "okay, i'll get to that when i redo it" or "this is just an interim page until i redesign with a better logo, better graphics, etc."  you have reposted this stuff more than once without having changed anything, or if it was anything, it wasn't anything WE suggested.  that's not to say that you HAVE to take our suggestions, but don't keep asking us if you don't - we just gave you our answer, and it will not change if none of our opinions have been heeded.

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uhh, I didn't ask for a re-critique, this post set here for almost 2 week's, without me saying anything, and all of a sudden people started critiquing again, I didn't just pop in and ask.

I was actually doing a lot on my server, while keeping an eye on this post, but my last post on this specific thread was over 3-4-5 weeks ago, it died, then people resurrected it.
I wasn't asking for help agian, but it's appreciated.

Currently I am doing a lot, right now I have changed over to another server, I am "considering", a brand new domain name and website, if I keep the current one, I am going over the entire list I saw from

steelman, and going to bite the bullet and follow all or most of his advice, then see how it looks and go over what redbullmarky said.

If I don't rebuild the entire thing from scratch, I am atleast going to be rewritting all the code, to these people's advice, and redoing all the content.  A few things steelman mentioned I might not do, but most of the things he said on the design, and a lot of the things he mentioned on the content made since, so I am going to be redoing all of that, based on his ideas, as soon as I decide whether I am scraping and rebuilding under a different domain name, or keeping the current site.

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Also the main template you see, that isn't a template from somewhere else, it's what I named hte main file.
I called it maintemplate.php and maintemplate.css so I could copy and paste it's contents after creation to make the other pages.

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