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1st website design. How do I improve this site

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by boneidol, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. boneidol

    boneidol New Member

    Hi,

    Would it be possible to look through my site and give me as much constuctive critism as possible. This is my first website and there must be plenty of ways that I can improve.

    Beat the trains - beat the trains

    Many thanks
     
  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Without sounding rude, this site is very basic and everything needs improving on really, from the logo to the layout to actually adding some colour to the site. You need to look at other sites in the same field, you will see from them yourself how it can be improved....failing that I would just hire a designer.
     
  3. boneidol

    boneidol New Member

    Thanks

    Don't worry about being rude, this is a learning experiance for me and as you can see I need all the advice i can get.
    I will have a look at more sites in my industry and see what they are doing. Thanks again.

    http://www.beathettrains.com
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  4. zod

    zod New Member

    I agree with Hog. At the moment, it looks like a wireframe which would be very nice for a web designer to use for reference, but not much good as a real business site. The general layout idea is good - simple to follow - but it does need tidying up, aligning and styling.

    It could also really do with a logo. The coding is terrible..inline styles, tables, errors. If this is a personal project to learn, read a few tutorials, study some sites in css galleries etc... otherwise, hand it over to a designer - the site as it is really would be a nice change for a web designer to receive the content like that, rather than scattered in word documents or random emails.
     
  5. socreative

    socreative Member

  6. craftygeek

    craftygeek Member

    The most important thing thats needed is whitespace...content becomes hard to read if its all crammed together.

    Listen to what the others have said above as it is all valid....if this is a proper business & you want to make money from it, it would be worth your while hiring a proper designer to make it look more professional.
     
  7. boneidol

    boneidol New Member

    What I'm using

    Hi,

    At the moment I am using xsitepro2. I do realise what your going to say about that program but for a beginner like me it allows me to test out different ways of doing things and to see what is possible.

    For me this is more of a hobby site at the moment while I am learning and as my knowledge and confidence improves I will probably get either expression web or dream weaver and design and code the site properly.

    As for my banner at the top I realise how amateurish it is but I cannot draw and realise that in the future I will have to get something designed properly.

    At the moment the content is more important than the design I know many of you will disagree but if you see many sites in my industry they go out of the way to hide through flashy design and overwhelming choice to confuse and I wanted to be different.

    Many thanks again for the comments good or bad they are all helpful and I am taking them on board especially the idea about css grids i think that would help me in the future.

    Beat the trains - beat the trains
     
  8. craftygeek

    craftygeek Member

    Be aware that a site rebuild can effect your search results positioning....the search engines will essentially see your website as a new site again if you completely rebuild the site - you should look at building it with CSS from the start, starting with an "I'll fix it later" approach is not a good way to go about things - try & get it right to start with....it'll work for you better in the long run.

    As for not being able to draw & design a logo - I can't draw & I can still design a logo...spend 20 mins trying out some different fonts in a graphics program & see what you can come up with. Having some sort of branding on a website is important - particularly if its one that is supposed to generate sales...how else will a visitor remember your website?

    Mind you, I've just spotted that you're user name is Bone Idle...
     
  9. boneidol

    boneidol New Member

    Logo

    I hear caveman worshipped bone idols...

    So what your saying is that I should dump my picture Should I just go for Plain text with a background colour?

    Any suggestions?
     
  10. craftygeek

    craftygeek Member

    Your current logo is pixellated (text & outline) - this makes it look amateurish....it should be clean & smooth edged.

    I'm not saying that you have to drop your current approach - but it needs refining...& it really needs some colour....the whole page needs some colour or shading. This doesn't need to be bold & in your face...subtle tones will work fine. The logo is perhaps a tad on the large side though.

    As it currently stands, your eye is drawn to the menu on the left....the content should be getting the attention. The content itself is styled ok, but because the menu is bold & everything is spaced tightly together, its being visually strangled.

    I don't know how the site is built - if its all single pages, recoding it all will be a nightmare....if its running on a template based CMS - it'll be easy. At the moment you have CSS styling in there, but the layout is table based...this is going to make your life hard in the long run & very limiting in the future - changing the layout to be CSS as well will give you more flexibility over the layout, how it is spaced & adding new content/sections in the future.
     
  11. Logopro

    Logopro Member

    The layout "looks" fine - I said "looks" because I know it's tables.

    The layout is good but needs to be converted to CSS.
    Also, the buttons and logo need to be properly designed I'm afraid it makes the site look amateurish :icon_dunno:
     
  12. doidge

    doidge New Member

    a great place for web influence is over at Best Web Gallery - Although these are slightly hardcore and best of the best in my opinion i find it really useful to look at the detailing and the layouts and fonts etc. Use of space and imagery. I took a look at the link and read through comments so far and i can only agree. More color, because at the moment it's look very windows 98. It needs to look more professional and look like something the user can trust and something that keeps the user at your site.

    I'm no expert yet with web design but if you need any help with any of the design work just look me up and ill be glad to share ideas with you
     
  13. boneidol

    boneidol New Member

    I have tried to take your advice on board and...

    Hi,

    I would like to thank everybody for there comments and I took a long hard look at the site, went back to the drawing board.

    I have designed an improved logo re-built the site using CSS, and before anyone says anything I used the Template in dreamweaver and modded it only slightly to achieve what I needed. please remember to a beginner this is quite a lot to learn and improvement comes in small steps.

    Would it be possible to re-look at my site and get your honest opinions again please?

    I still have thick skin and tear me to shreds if you want but I need honesty, for those who remember my 1st attempt or those that haven't it is still cached on google, my family and friends told me it was great which was very supportive but they should have gone to specsavers.:icon_cursing:

    Showing you how to get cheaper train tickets

    Many thanks
     

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