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basic layout of website


twilightnights

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Hi, I've been working on this site in my spare time for about a month.  When I started I knew no php, mysql and barely any html, and I feel I have learned a lot, even though the site still has a lot to go through.  Next I will be adding user registration, and hopefully get it finished by sunday night.  I coded pretty much everything by hand, only copy and pasting myself and following a few tutorials on rating, etc.

Here is my site http://www.omgjokes.com

The main page is pretty much the only thing semi-completed so far. Though I would like to tone it a bit. You may notice the JOTD is messed up and the newest jokes are duplicated. Trying to think of a 4th way to sort 10 jokes on the main page.

I just added the new banner, I think it looks a lot better than my old one, and its not too flashy.  I plan to put google ads on the right side.

A few questions I have are:

1) What do you think about the general layout?

2) Have any ideas of what I could do for heading instead of just bolding to make it look more polished?

3) I use mysql to run multiple queries on the index page, and if I expect decent traffic is this bad?

4) Any ideas on how another way to sort jokes on main page? Thinking of 10 random jokes.
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That's probably the most uninspiring presentation I've seen in years.  Design-wise, it looks as though you spent less than five minutes on it.  True, you can succeed with inspired content even if you have a dull, boring, visually horrid, presentation - eBay and Amazon both do.  Fact of life is that unless visitors find the site attractive, they may not spend long enough there to appreciate the content, click the google ads, etc.

http://www.oswd.org/ - a zillion free templates and all you need to do is have a link back to the designer on each page.
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Erm...

What do YOU think personally? Do you think it stands out? Do you think it looks good?

The concept is good, and your goal of "we strive to be the worlds largest joke database" is admirable, but seriously, even for a HTML beginner, things just don't look good. Your font, your colour scheme, your table'd layout with standard border, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc...............

The site Andy suggested is a winner, and in this case absolutely essential. You don't need anything complex for the site - simple is fine. But you wont do yourself any harm looking for sites that DO look good (joke sites or not) and asking yourself WHY it looks good.

Don't be discouraged though - I've done some pretty horrendously nasty sites in the past - it just takes time and lots of trial/error and practice.

I see the potential, but right now it's not pretty.
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Dude I think you're both being a little harsh... the man open he's post with "I knew no php, mysql, and barely any html"...

That said, yes the layout of the site sucks BIG TIME, BUT it's nothing that some css can't fix. Personally I would lose those horrible borders from the table, center the whole thing, don't change the fon't size on the mouseOver event.

It reminds me a lot of my work when I first began, but in time you'll learn. I still have difficult times with layout and design.

Still, you may be heading the right way after you fix it properly.

BTW, I don't like eBay either, but I kind of like the amazon.com website though.....

Anyways, greetings.

PS: You can PM me if you need any help
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[quote author=rantsh link=topic=124392.msg515604#msg515604 date=1170014380]
Dude I think you're both being a little harsh... the man open he's post with "I knew no php, mysql, and barely any html"...
[/quote]
yep - so twilightnights would have known that maybe the response would have been a little less than favourable. note my last part:
[quote author=redbullmarky]
Don't be discouraged though - I've done some pretty horrendously nasty sites in the past - it just takes time and lots of trial/error and practice.
[/quote]
which does indeed accept that the first sites people do can generally be a bit off-colour, just like mine were (and still can be). but if you butter up critique with lots of nicey-niceys, then people will maintain the false impression that their sites are better than they are, and never learn.

anyway...

i'm not madly keen on the changes, but they are a step forward. some more points:
1, the colour scheme needs work
2, the rollover links - dont look good. nothing wrong with standard links or just a background colour change - the capitalisation makes the whole link jump
3, lots of whitespace that could be used and filled by more content - things look a little bit empty right now
4, you now have 2 fonts on the go. the one that you've added, and the default - change ALL of the site to the one you added. Kudos for avoiding Comic Sans - many others doing a joke site would have chosen it so I congratulate you for steering clear ;)
5, give your site a "personality" and a "face" - at the moment, there's nothing interpersonal about the site, so it just naturally feels like lots of stuff thrown on a page. An image or two, a proper logo, some way to get in touch with you, etc - all help to give a site a bit of personality.
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I don't mind the harsh criticism, maybe I didn't really specify that it was a very rough draft and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.  I have been focusing mainly on constructing the query searches, etc.

So far I have changed the font to all sans serif, added a login box(doesn't work yet), changed uppercase to underline for hover links.

I plan to add a background color or image, deciding on what to do.  I made the stars in jpg format so they aren't transparent, just learned that only GIFs can have transparent backgrounds.  So if I change the background color ATM it shows the white behind the stars.

I like the orange color, I believe it stands out from other sites because I have never seen this color used.

I want to create the user registration, but I am afraid I won't know how to correctly avoid sql injection... trying to do some reading on that first.
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[quote author=twilightnights link=topic=124392.msg515833#msg515833 date=1170037324]
So far I have changed the font to all sans serif, added a login box(doesn't work yet), changed uppercase to underline for hover links.
[/quote]
try and also keep the font size the same for equivalent content: in your categories panel, the link/bold is a different size to the non-link and it looks (possibly) like a different font.

[quote author=twilightnights link=topic=124392.msg515833#msg515833 date=1170037324]
I like the orange color, I believe it stands out from other sites because I have never seen this color used.
[/quote]
there's probably a good reason why it's not been used ;) however, there ARE ways of using orange effectively but not necessarily this shade and not on its own. i managed to get a good "quirky" result using it with big blocks of red, blue and green - which probably sounds quite nasty on paper but still. Take a look around the site Andy provided in his earlier post ^ and look around for sites with colour schemes you like. If you insist on going for the orange theme, then you may get a few ideas of how to use it better.

[quote author=twilightnights link=topic=124392.msg515833#msg515833 date=1170037324]
I want to create the user registration, but I am afraid I won't know how to correctly avoid sql injection... trying to do some reading on that first.
[/quote]

look at [url=http://www.php.net/mysql_real_escape_string]mysql_real_escape_string[/url] for a starting point. the simple rule to help avoid SQL injection - dont trust ANYTHING the user sends, be it GET/POST/COOKIE/FILE etc.

good luck!
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Well I am not very great with graphics yet and I made all the heading thingies.  I think the yellow looks ALRIGHT. (not horribly bad and not breathtaking either) Right now I am focusing on providing code and less on design.  Once I feel that the site is fully functional I might alter the graphical look.

So far I have added monday-tuesday: registration, logon

Working on right now: logout, securing registration, securing submittals, user profile, validating email addresses


I go to school full time and work at fedex parttime(which is why I'm making this site! hopefully within 6 months have enough revenue/month to quit), so its going slow but steadily.

I am having a lot of fun, learning so much.  Appreciate everyone entertaining my questions in the various sections.

I got an idea of how to code everything except for validating email addresses to activate user accounts.  Anyone have any good tutorials?
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Here is some hints-
[list]
[*]Look at [url=http://photoshoplab.com/web20-design-kit.html]photoshoplab.com[/url] or webdesignfromscratch.com and get some good layout/design ideas
[*]That yellow/orange looks much better with dark grays than white
[*]Make your google adsense ads match the site colors!
[*]Link colors should match site design
[*]More than one color is usually needed in a site's theme (three works well)
[/list]
Just some pointers...
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Your site is a piece of crap. The very first website I made was horrible. It had horrible color schemes, all had absolute positioning tags, no tables, it was simply a mess. But you know over time it all changes. It doesn't change cause a year passes, but by you. And you having an attitude of "doing mysql first" and then design is the stupidest thing ever. [size=24pt]YOU ALWAYS DO DESIGN FIRST.[/size] Look at President Bush. The stuff he talks about and proposes are a piece of crap, but the way he says it, makes him sound like a genius. And that is how websites work. When I first saw your website I left within a second. I had more fun reading the harsh commments you got than your jokes. [size=16pt]WHY? CUZ YOUR SITE DESIGN SUCKS.[/size] Let me get something straight. Without page views and without visitors your site will be nothing. It doesn't matter if you added awesome mysql queries. If your design sucks then say goodbye to me and everyone else.
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  • 2 weeks later...
[quote author=twilightnights link=topic=124392.msg532366#msg532366 date=1171785873]
Does it still look like crap?
[/quote]

That's just asking for abuse :)

Unfortunately, it still looks like a 5-minute amateur piece of work with a vastly improved (although barely readable) logo.  Did you look at the link I gave you right at the start?

http://www.oswd.org/ - free, great-looking, designs.
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