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Finally got my site up and running

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by bigdave, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not a web designer in any way shape or form so until my budget allows me to employ a developer I've had to just make do with my limited HTML knowledge and iWeb.

    It's still a bit of a work in progress so things are due to change a bit but I'm chuffed that I've got it online at last.
  2. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    I like its simplicity and your logo's quite nice. On the downside, the background looks like kitchen roll to me, I dislike the pop-up portfolio and the watermark on the images isn't helpful (or necessary - certainly not seen a portfolio done like that before) - would be nice to have a bit of text explaining what I'm looking at here too.

    Also not crazy about some of the marketing-speak which is a bit OTT for my palate.
  3. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    The watermarks are too much, I agree and are something I'll be adjusting/removing over the next few days.

    The portfolio is an unfortunate combinations of my coding abilities and the limitations of iweb. The alternative was a self contained gallery which wouldn't look out of place in a primary school website from 2001. I have read a few tutorials on how to incorporate a lightbox gallery into a site built in iweb but they seem to be a bit hit and miss.
  4. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    I like the layout and feel of the site (easy to navigate, nicely spaced etc) but have to agree about that background but then I'm a 'plain white' guy myself. The background file also needs to be optimised desperately. 725kb is too big for web.

    You know I'm going to say that the coding makes me cry a little inside :icon_wink:

    I also think you need to review your text with search in mind. You haven't really said what you do. The words 'Bleed Ink is a graphic design company in York' wouldn't go amiss because, if I was looking for a graphic design company in York, that's what I'd type into Google. You may want to just check out using some header (h) tags in your text as that would help enormously.

    It's a good basis for your business website but it still needs refining which I'm sure you'll be doing.

    Oh, and lightboxes are pretty easy to install. My fave at the moment is colorbox; ColorBox - customizable lightbox plugin for jQuery 1.3, 1.4, & 1.5
  5. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Made a few gentle tweaks.
  6. garlex

    garlex Member

    Personally it looks a bit sparse, I think some graphics (considering what your site is about) on each page would increase the attractiveness. Also, perhaps case studies would be a good addition instead of just images in the portfolio.

    Are you concerned with SEO at all? I was wondering so little in alt text on the images for instance but obviously there's much more on that.

    In some ways its not specific enough, I like to see something directly about who is running the comapny and background.

    Anyway, I hope this doesn't come across over critical. It's meant to be constructive.

  7. Not sure I like the portfolio images opening in a new window
  8. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    There seems to be an overwhelming feeling of disapproval to the way the portfolio operates. I'll change it around tomorrow.
  9. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    With limited coding knowledge any reason why you didn't just use wordpress? I think wordpress looks professional and is very easy to use/skin.
  10. squeezee

    squeezee Member

    Having the mobile number before the landline makes it look like a one-man band?
    More text please, with your keywords.
    I quite like the kitchen roll :icon_wink:
  11. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Few changes made this morning! No popup portfolio and separate print & brand sections. Ive also reduced the file sizes of the images for faster loading & reduced the opacity of the 'kitchen roll' a little bit.

    I didn't use wordpress because I've never used it so I was running with the better the devil you know kinda thing.

    I've got a mate who's going to look at the SEO side of things for me in the not too distant future :icon_lol: (sorry that's funny because his company is called the distance )
  12. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    That'a much better mate. Spot on :icon_biggrin:
  13. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    I like the ease of use, that works for me.
    The only thing I couldn't do that I wanted to was to scroll through your portfolio using my left and right buttons on the keyboard. I'm not a clicker :)
  14. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I would have absolutely no idea how to make it do that. :icon_blushing:
  15. richimgd

    richimgd Member

    I think the site functions good and its impressive that you have put it together yourself without much web experience. I think there could be some improvements you could make to the overall structure of the site and also the layout.

    There’s quite a lot of empty space throughout the site and I know white space can be a good thing, it looks to me that there is too much of it and things are floating around a lot. It doesn’t look like things are arranged in the best way. For instance I think there is unnecessary space around the navigation on the right hand side, which is probably because of the logos height but the space could be utilised more effectively. Maybe try having the nav in line with heading as in just above the red line. I'm not sure how this will look - it might turn out that the nav could go where the headings are and the headings could go somewhere else, maybe below the logo and line on the left hand side? Perhaps try putting something in the header, where the nav was to fill the space but without forcing it. You have a small special offer button in the footer only visible on the services page a lot of users will miss this and it is probably one of the most important parts of you website! Why not remove this link and just put the special offers on the homepage in a way which really makes them rally stand out. Or you could add them in the space in the header along with your phone number so they appear on every page so people can’t miss it!

    Potentially you could cut down the number of clicks people have to make to view your work by displaying both print and branding together in the portfolio so it makes the page more interesting. Again it seems there’s lots of empty space there at the moment. You could try adding some other graphics on this page or show a sneak peak at branding next to the branding title and print work next to the print work just to utilise some of the space and make the page less empty.

    Just my 2 pence.
  16. byronc

    byronc Member

    jquery - google it for some examples
  17. byronc

    byronc Member

    as far as seo goes you need to do your page titles, as they dont say much and the search engines give quite a bit of value to that
  18. byronc

    byronc Member

    sorry one more thing Dave, you should be backlinking to your site as it raises your site relevance in the serp's, You should have a signature with contextual text, linking back to your site. Google stores all your signature links and the more links - the higher the relevance, dont get me started on blogging
  19. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    :icon_blushing: I don't understand a word of that... Sorry, my lack of web/code knowledge coming through again. :icon_blushing:
  20. squeezee

    squeezee Member

    instead of putting the url of your site, put
    <a href="">quality design</a>
    That way Google will credit you with a link, but more importantly will associate the words 'quality design' with your site. Wags linked to George W Bush with words like war criminal and a search for war criminal brought up his site - called googlebombing.

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