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#21 steelmanronald06

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 02:37 AM

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:

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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..../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.

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!

#22 SharkBait

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 12:05 AM

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.



#23 akitchin

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:26 AM

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 tripe 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.

#24 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 03:18 PM

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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#25 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 04:07 PM

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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#26 redbullmarky

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 10:09 PM

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.

if it has been 2-3 weeks, and yet things look the same and still a bit rubbish, with none of (peoples carefully thought out) suggestions implemented, then we can only assume that you're struggling with the initial advice that was given - therefore, we want to re-iterate it so that it's crystal clear. on revisiting the site a few times, and realising that there was either tonnes of errors or no changes, the only thing "that died" (as you suggest) was your server and possibly  your career in the event that any potential or current clients were visiting your webs(h)ite at the time.

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.

how about "considering" staying where you are and just taking some advice? You say you've done alot. But every question you've asked elsewhere in this forum, trying to get help, TOTALLY contradicts your claims of 2 (or was it 4?) years experience. i get a little miffed with this, as you post in the freelance forum looking for work re-establishing these claims. any sucker that picks up work from you and realises that you charge ridiculous amounts (or swapsies for games/new teeth) for below-average results doesnt just make YOU look bad, it makes the whole community look bad.

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.

yawn, you said that last time you decided to rewrite the thing. you also said you'd take our advice then. oh look - a new site, same old stuff = none of the old advice taken.

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.

what does the domain name have to do with doing a site that smells like ass or not? surely only the logo gets affected by a new domain. and you have someone else to deal with that anyway.

seriously, you're very welcome around these parts and you show a desire to learn. but you're like a schizophrenic - one place you ask stuff that you're sposed to learn after a few weeks, and in another you're telling everyone how much you know and how much you charge. sort it out otherwise you're gonna be left with no help and definitely no career.

now i predict you'll do one of three things. 1) come out with a massive rant like last time, including comments about mothers 2) write a 14 page document about how wrong i am 3) post a topic in 'Miscellaneous' asking why you're not getting ahead in your career. hopefully you pick the 4th or 5th option which would be 4) do something useful and back up your claims or 5) pick a new career

i hate to sound like a tosser, cause i kinda like you around here, but you need to know (and appreciate and listen to) the truth.
"you have to keep pissing in the wind to learn how to keep your shoes dry..."

I say old chap, that is rather amusing!

#27 steelmanronald06

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 03:17 AM

I would like to throw my cup of tea in with redbullmarky.  I agree with everything he says.  Don't take this the wrong way. I would want someone to tell me the truth, and you should want the same. If you don't like it, take it with a shrug and go on. I mean their just words, right? Not like their killing you. 

#28 txmedic03

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 05:42 AM

Sorry, but I must say that you should contemplate some other line of work.  Graphics/CSS/XHTML the general layout stuff just doesn't suit you.  Welcome to my world.  I haven't seen your PHP (or other server-side scripting language) skills, but design is not your strong point.

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#29 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 02:18 PM

I know.
What do you all think of this,
http://www.freelancebusinessman.com/
I have
1. Rewritten all the content
2. Reorganized all the content
(almost all of that followed steelman's advice, I listened to a lot of things he said)
3. Centered it, 800 px (like redbullmarky said)
4. Redid the color scheme, but I am not done with the color scheme yet, I am wondering if everything is heading in the right direction?

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#30 Zane

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 02:40 PM

just go to the bottom of your CSS styles
and say
* {
  background-color: none;
}
You site would look fine without a 'color scheme'

maybe make the nav bar.. or maybe the body area have like a slight off white off gray background
but that's about it

and put a divider between the headers and footers where they meet the body

that's about the most I could contribute
whatever you do..just make sure people can actually see the links on the nav bar

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#31 redbullmarky

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 02:44 PM

needs tonnes of work to it, but it looks better. sort out the colours of active/visited links, as they clash too much with the background. and change your font so something nicer. Verdana/Tahoma, etc. Also, that big blue square on the right of your logo looks terrible.

[busi]mild_pat_on_the_back[/busi]  ( ;) )
"you have to keep pissing in the wind to learn how to keep your shoes dry..."

I say old chap, that is rather amusing!

#32 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 03:11 PM

red, I went ahead and
1. Added the divider between the header and content, like he suggested
2. CHanged the font size, and type like you suggested
3. Tried my best to redo the navigation coloring
4. Removed the matrix affect at the bottom, and made it the same green as the green in the lettering of the logo
5. Removed that huge blue box at the top,
ANy other advice, or thoughts, on coloring or anything

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#33 Zane

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 03:21 PM

looking muich better
but still you have background-colors for things that don't need them

my advice would be to get rid of all background colors so far
and add whatever might look good one at a time

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#34 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 03:40 PM

Zanus, I am a little confused, can you explain a little better.
I thought there suggestions was to make it more colorful, but with matching color's, the blue/green combination, I looked for, the logo had green tint in the text, so I used the green for the side color, and blue for my main color, can you be a little more specific.  Also I want to hear red's opinions too, before I do that, but most of it's because I think I am misunderstanding what you are saying, could you re-explain it.

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#35 Zane

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 03:49 PM

I'm not saying to avoid a color scheme I'm just saying to actually ...
how can I explain it

right now when i look at it almost looks like you said to yourself "i need color'
so you picked random areas to add color
and asked us if that satisfied the color problem
for instance with that random blue block in the header a while back

Your logo stands out the most on the page and it has two colors on it
use the same colors to create your scheme
and then you might use i dunno maybe a red to make little things stand out but only little things
and tada a color scheme

i think you've got the idea but i figured i preach it a little anyway
just in case.


I guess another tip...if you must use background colors
make them more subtle...like they're part of the page

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#36 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 04:01 PM

See the thing I am having difficulty understanding, is I heard a lot of people hate whitespace, so I thought background color's were important.  But I think I understand what you are saying, I am going to try removing all the background color's, and thinking about what might look the best, as I go, and then see what I come up with after a few minutes of thinking.
Add it to what need's it, or what might look good with a background color.

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#37 Zane

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 04:09 PM

I heard a lot of people hate whitespace

when it's used wrong they do...

you use whitespace to keep the eyes directed where they need to be
sometimes a simple arrow pointing somewhere in the middle of the most whitespace ever
can justify that .. missuse because it directs the eyes
not saying you should put arrows all over your site or anything..just trying to make an analogy

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#38 txmedic03

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 10:14 PM

The white behind the links on the nav bar to the left ABSOLUTELY HAS TO GO.  It looks really bad and the next to last link on the footer is unreadable until you mouse over.  I like this better than the other, but now take this and think "originality".  This looks like it was built from a very basic template, which is a nice place to start, but you have to make it unique or people think you are just another average joe with little or no experience.

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#39 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 10:24 PM

You mean a basic template I created.  Yes it started with a box layout,a nd it wasn't that good, I revamped it a few time's, I think what you mentioned just now, was when I was testing, the coloring was changing a lot earlier.
Right now, after about 4 hours, of sitting down, I stripped all the color out, I redid the color scheme, I looked at color wheels, though about what it was I was looking at.
I noticed that when I looked at some color combinations, it made it hard for me to focus, on, I looked at the left nav, for about 15 minutes, I realized it was hard on the eye's, so I kept looking at it, as I changed the color scheme, until I noticed a color setup for the left nav, that made my eyes feel at home, then I moved to the footer, and noticed it was giving me the same affect, so I noticed
1. It wasn't the right color matching
2. It didn't go well with the left nav.
So I did the same thing with it, until I had something that looked good to the eye, looking over the site a few time's, the whole thing looks like the color scheme is worked out, the links within the content, I copied the leftnav link coloring into, and it still looking good on the eyes.
Now let me see what you think
?

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#40 steelmanronald06

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 10:43 PM

Well, I give you props. It does look better. Since my advice was so helpful before, I will go deep again and give you some more on the current design.  But, good job.

1) The navigation bar is very well organized.  You put what you wanted out, plushed it with your tutorials, and then put your extra towards the bottom.  However, the background on the navigation bar.  Make it a creamy milk color.  It would match so well with your use of colors if you did.  *runs to find a color chart*  Bit color blind, but I think this would look good: #FFFFCC  It isn't to dark, but it isn't white. It adds just enough color to offset it from your background and provide a gentle blend.

2) Excellent use of the logo.  You did very good on getting it cleaned up.

3) The overall frame style, the way it frames your content, is good. 

4) Your footer has to much fluff in it.  Take out some links.  Here is what I would do.  Align the copyright to the left, and align the Legal and Site Map to the right.  Leave the center open. 

5) Smooth move on getting rid of your experience in years on your skills page. You really was providing to much info there.  But I would change it around a bit. You ahve skills and other skills???? Put something like:

Programming
  all your programming languages

Design
  html, xhtml, css, etc

Databases
  MySQL, oracle, etc

Other
  SEO work, etc

And leave your services part alone. It looks perfect.

6) The porfolio looks better.  If you have done more work, list those sites as well.  Every bit helps, both good and bad.  It shows your skills, and the bad shows your not perfect/trying act perfect.

That is all i can list now. I'm running late for a meeting. Fix those up, come back, and i will recritique and go over what I missed...which wasn't much.




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