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my first site


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Hi all,

This is my first site so go easy on me please!!

A friend gave me the bare bones but there is barely a line of code that hasn't been changed since.

All critiques gratefully recieved even if I ignore them entirely.

I am planning some changes but being a noobie, it all takes me a hell of a lot of time. Spent ages and ages on the cms behind the jobs page and still have more work to do there on how info is stored and displayed.

I guess I am looking for suggestions about being user friendly, ease of use, and where to take it from here.  I am intending placing a "hot jobs" section somewhere on the home page (maybe in the side menu instead of the clock or under it using "Get and then if pgurl=index etc" to make sure it only shows up on that page.) And as the company grows I will need to adapt the jobs page to accomodate more jobs and make the db searchable. 

The site is

http://www.jackiebrownmedical.ie

Thank you all in advance

And thank you to all who have helped me so much along the way to this point.  This is my favorite site on the Web right now.

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Looks good. Though I do say in parts it does look a little 'rough around the edges'... not very keen on the green+white gradients, i think a little bit more work on them is needed.. Also the clock and date, why are they in an input instead of just a span or div? Just makes it look a little rough and unfitting...

 

It's coded in tables and there's 113 validation errors!

 

For some reason in the code about 2 thirds of the way down you close the head again and re-open the body?

 

Apart from that all is good, easy to navigate and find the jobs.. Though if that list gets longer id probably suggest putting in some pagination... don't know if you've already thought about that or not?

 

Adam

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113 errors!!!!! omg!!! What exactly is a validation error anyway?

How do I find them all? Is that on one page or the whole site?

Just been going through the structure and seems like I have some major issues there... 2 tables that start without finishing to start with! I'll sort that out.

The reason I have two <head> sections is because I have been treating each page as a separate entity and forgetting that I had include('header.php') and include('footer.php') in there. Or to be more honest I thought I could do it that way.  This raises fresh issues. Each individual page has important stuff in it's own <head> section but I also need the info in the <head> section of the header.php file. How do I get around that?

I will change the clock as soon as I find out what a span or a (forgotten what the other thing was temporarily) is.  I should point out that last october I couldn't write a single line of html. It's a steep hill to climb.

Should I change the structure completely.... eg find out what <div> is all about (haven't a clue right now but I keep seeing it in places).  Are tables the wrong way to go?

The boss likes the grad background though so it stays!

Many thanks for such an informative critique!!!!

I'm impressed.

Ian.

Is it salvageable?

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Hi,

I understand where you are coming from. When I first came across HTML I found it hard to understand, and then I tried throughing in some PHP (which I still can't do), which made matters worse!

If you go onto W3C's site, they have on there a HTML (and others) Validation http://validator.w3.org/ then type in your URL it will do a validation of your site. The validation is for your index page only, but you can specify which page you want it to do.

I used to use tables in my first designs, but now use <div> s , these are controlled by CSS (whether it be external or internal) I reccommend using an external stylesheet for the full layout, (that saves you having to write it out in each page!)

The date and time I would control by PHP and CSS. I have put both codes below, the only downside is with time in php, it doesn't change until the page has been refreshed again. (which can be a pain)

<div class="time" align="center">
<?php
$time = date("g:h A");
$date = date("l, j/n/o");
echo ("$time <BR> $date");
?></div>

Here would be the code to put into your css;

/*CSS COde*/
.time {
width: 188px;
float: left;
margin: auto
font-family: "Times New Roman"; /*change to the appropiate font*/
}

 

HOpe this helps,

cal

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Cheers for that.  I think I'll forget adding in the header and footer separately for a while.... put the whole thing together for each page and that will rid me of the <title> problem and the extra <head> and <body> tags. I was going to just write in some php but it was getting messy when it came to dynamic pages.  I'm off to find out about css and <div> to redesign the site from scratch..... not so much the layout as the code that makes the layout. Got rid of most of the validation errors through a mixture of editing and changing the doctype. That validation site is great.  I had a look at one of the best known and biggest job sites in Ireland on it and they had 355 validation errors!! That made me feel a lot better about my 113.  There again another big one had none at all. does validation effect google ranking?

Thanks for the clock code. Not using it because what is the use in a clock that doesn't tick? But It is useful to me anyway as it is an example of css and <div>. When I get a bit of time I'll look at it again and try and adapt it to the java I'm using.  To be honest I don't even like the clock.... not my idea.

Pagination will be introduced to the job page when necessary  I just hope I have time to find out how before it is necessary. Then again.... there is always timely advice here when I need it.

By the way..... what doctype is most up to date and will let me do most? My current validation won't let me add margin attributes to the body tag but if I get rid of them the site slips down the browser window on the background leaving whitespace above the logo. 

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I use the doctype HTML 4.01 Transitional. I am not sure whether this is the latest version, or which version is the best to use.

I am not sure whether validation helps with google page ranking. But one way to boost your way up the search engines is by using meta tags. By the look at your source code, I can't find the ones which I use. The ones I use are below;

<meta name="description" content="A DESCRIPTION OF YOUR WEBSITE HERE">
<meta name="keywords" content="PUT YOUR KEYWORDS HERE, SEPERATED BY A COMMA"> 
<meta NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="2 days">
<meta NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="ALL">
<meta name="robots" content="index all, follow all">

There are other parts to this code too, which I don't use often, which state the author of the site and some other details. Another part is adding a .txt file to your root folder, this stops google from showing specific pages (e.g. logins or codes ect.) in their searches. Some info can be found on http://www.robotstxt.org/ Unfortunately the website which created one for my site is no longer online.

I understand the problem with the PHP clock, something like Java or Flash will be more appropiate. A word of warning though if you decide to use flash. This knocks your validation back, and will produce afew errors for your site. Unfortunately there are very few methods of stopping this. But having a clean validation makes your site work better, and it shows a sign of you putting your effort in to sorting it out. It is amazing how many sites don't validate! Even the big ones.

Hope this helps cal

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not too keen on the green gradiant background. I feel it's a little overpowering, considering the page is quite small at the moment. I would possibly tone it down, but as to what color, I'm not sure. Otherwise it looks fine to me.

 

 

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ok, so I've finally sorted out the problem with the headers. They no longer occur twice on each page as before. Not sure how to handle the javascript for the clock to put it into a div but at least I now know what a div is.  Now that I've found out I'm looking into how to design the whole site using divs rather than tables.  I've no idea how long that will take but I'll get there. This is the start of month 7 of me trying to develop the site.  It's a shame that the bit I'm proudest of can't be seen....... the CMS. It's way cooler than the site it'self imho. Point taken about the green grad background but that's been approved by the boss and if she likes it it stays..... otherwise what's the point of being the boss??  ;). Still if I totally redesign the site I'll have a way of toning it down a bit.  The trouble is that I still have loads to do on the back end. While it all works fine for this site, I want to be able to post jobs to multiple job sites which means adapting how I handle stuff like arrays into sql and also learning about how to send xml.... havn't a breeze right now. It's one steep learning curve!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a minor point on the navigation...

 

When you click onto Advice Center you would usually expect the sub-links to be directly below their parent link and slightly indented:

 

e.g.

 

Home >

About Us >

Jobs >

Advice Center >

  - CV Tips >

  - CV Layout >

  - Interview Tips >

  - Medical Sales Tips >

Contact Us >

 

Its a good site and seems clean and easy to use.

 

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Nice job, but a couple of things:

 

First, and perhaps most important, the color scheme is pretty bad.  An almost avocado green (on my monitor, anyway) with orange and white?  It literally causes me to squint while looking at it.

 

For your navigation links, I think it would make more sense for the arrows at the end to point >> instead of <<.

 

Like others have said, putting a clock in a text box looks sloppy.  Do you need it to actually display a working clock?  Or would a simple timestamp (i.e. "April 29, 2008 -- 10:21 AM") in the upper corner suffice?

 

I haven't gone through the actual markup, but you should always, at the very least, make the site look identical in both Internet Explorer and Firefox.  Both display things differently.

 

Still, don't be discouraged.  You're off to a great start.

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