View Full Version : First site - opinions?

08-04-2008, 05:23 AM

First post :)

I'm new enough to web design. Haven't taken any classes, just teaching myself a bit of css and photoshop as I go along and by looking at other site's source code and replicating what I see. I've done a few small basic sites for local businesses, but this is the first proper site I've set up for myself.

www.innewbridge.com (http://www.innewbridge.com) a local guide for my hometown. It's self explanatory anyway, a guide for food,drink,events and whatever the site users suggest.

The calendar, I bought from www.flashcomponents.net
I'll do something with the menu tabs today aswell, make it look a bit more web 2.0 (if that makes sense)
The forms on the site don't work yet, I'm still trying to figure out the php end of it.
And I need to learn a bit of flash to get the scrolling restaurant bit working (it's on the main page).
That and I might re-do the structure of the main page (more links etc).
I'll be adding either a live chat applet or a forum further down the line aswell.

Basically, it's no where near the finished product ... but I know what has to be done.

There's a lot to do - I'd say another months work before I start openly advertising it to the hotels and restaurants in the town - but throw any suggestions my way ... anything at all.

Colour scheme ideas, structure, usability ... I'm open to any suggestions so nit pick away :)


08-05-2008, 10:00 AM
30 views and no opinions? Anything at all guys, feedback is key.
I might be overlooking some obvious problems.

08-05-2008, 12:15 PM
Here are two quick things.

1. Your title sucks for SEO purposes.

2. You're using the same poor title on every page, which also sucks for SEO. Your title should be specific to the page it is on. Browse through this site and notice how the title tags change.

3. Don't use .htm, use .html or better yet .php Even if your files contain no php, use .php you'll thank me later when you want to learn and add php.

08-06-2008, 11:54 AM
Site looks nice but doesn't seem that functional and has SEO problems as Chris points out.

The point about .htm - you can still keep those urls and use php through the .htaccess method Chris mentions in his tutorial.

08-06-2008, 07:34 PM
Tiny little box is a instant strike against it, though the baby sized fixed-metric fonts are a bigger strike.

Since this is your first site, let me explain that. There are two types of fonts, fixed (px) and dynamic (%/em, sometimes pt). Fixed fonts always appear the same size at default zoom, while dynamic fonts automatically increase in size according to the 'system metric' - like the "large font/120dpi" setting a great many windows users have used since the windows 3.0 days (like myself) and more users are embracing as LCD native resolutions increase while the physical size does not (my 24" 1920x1200 LCD is a great example of this). It makes all applications have 25% larger fonts in windows, and both Opera and IE obey it for %/em and pt sized fonts.

From an accessability standpoint %/em fonts are considered best for 'content' areas, while if you are going to use px anything smaller than 12px is generally considered useless to anyone over the age of 30, useless to large font users, and in general you've set yourself up to alienate anywhere from 30-40% of your potential audience.

Moving on, that odd scrollbar-box thing on the side indicates this is a fixed HEIGHT layout? That's also instant /FAIL/ since you will be breaking zoom on a lot of browsers, and not all your content is fitting the page.

Your content text of brown on tan also has legibility issues being a bit too low a contrast, as does your menu. That highlight effect may look neat on the menu buttons, but it's so bright it's making the text hard to read.

The art-deco-ish logo too is a bit too complex, it too being hard to make sense of. At first I was trying to figure out what language "ine W bridge" was.

You should get both your scripting and your inlined css out of the markup and into external files.

17 Validation errors means you've got stuff in there that isn't HTML. Among these are the use of the align attribute on elements that don't have an align attribute, incorrect use of case in attributes, and use of tags that do not exist in your chosen doctype. Most of that can be attributed to decade out of date markup techniques involving the use of 'presentational elements' - These days with a modern doctype your markup (HTML) should say what something is, NOT how it appears. How it appears should go entirely into your CSS as much as possible. FONT, ALIGN, BORDER, these have no place in modern coding techniques for an XHTML doctype (or even a HTML 4.01 one).

Likewise you have a lot of empty tags or 'space entities' being used as spacers - a job the margin or padding properties in CSS should be handling. You have stuff wrapped in paragraphs that should be headings, stuff in headings that shouldn't even exist, and a lot of DIV's, SPAN's and classes that aren't even necessary.

All that said, if this is your first page you aren't doing THAT bad. You at least seem to have grasped the basics of what tags, attributes and classes are and have a general idea how they work. To be honest what you've got here is better than 99% of the CRAP I see people asking for reviews on in various forums, and is already better than much of the shlock churned out by your charnel house design firms who've not updated their coding techniques or business practices since 1995.

Your next step is learning minimalist semantic markup, separation of presentation from content, and accessability norms. You follow those three things, and you pretty much get instant free SEO to boot - which is why things like "SEO optimization" as an industy unto itself is just a bunch of marketspeak asshattery and little more than marketing scam and predation on nubes. (Yes, I guess you'd call me "white hat" in that department)

09-09-2008, 10:33 AM
Ok, after messing about with the site for a while, I've decided to start over.

It's now www.inNewbridge.ie althought the .com still works.

The logo has been cleaned up, and is now alot more obvious from a first glance. And the new template is a bit wider and more dynamic than the last.

I'm trying to implement a database to register site users and use search bars, and open up many more possibilites for the site.

And I'm also looking about for a good CMS, if I ever need someone to update it. Either gets too busy, or if I can't for whatever reason.

In terms of the restaurants and events, and the users reviews/ratings ... should I just leave a basic form for them to fill in, which sends to my email? Or is there a better way to go about this?

www.menupages.ie have a great, user friendly set up, and I'm aiming to emulate that somehow.

The url is just a screenshot for the time being, but throw your ideas my way.


09-09-2008, 04:23 PM
I think you should add the state to the title tag.