Website finished (i think)


Well-Known Member
Apart from some extra links, I think I've finally finished my first venture into web design. It's been built with tables because I know nothing about CSS (yet) so have had to work with what I can remember from Uni.

I would appreciate any input if you wouldnt mind?

Brambles Antiques and Collectables

Something I have learned from this excersice is that I NEED to get on top of css and xhtml!! Dreamweaver is a fairly restrictive tool if you cant read and write code!
Not bad - but do get to grips with html & css... I started with a book called Head First (publisher) HTML & CSS which really does help start you off... and then google for other bits you need. You have meta tags and headers which is good. I would though put the phone number on each page... and also the address on the Home page. People do use the web as a phone book!

I have a copy of Dreamweaver - but have no idea how to even start using it!
Hey Dave

Sorry to be blunt but looks very amateur, like something you would see 10 or so years ago, lots of issues with it both visually and coding wise, tables are just not good as you know.

Look at other websites similar such as (not the best example but one that popped up on google) do you feel they are on the same level design wise? Not having a go as this is your first attempt and we all have to start somewhere but you can see they are a million miles apart.

Is this site for a real customer or just something you are playing around with?

Again sorry to be blunt but hope that helps in some way.
It's been done in my spare time for a friends mum. It's not to my taste either but it's what she wanted. I am in the process of teaching myself CSS and HTML but not really with the intent of doing much, more to just say that I understand it.

The amateurish use of tables is a direct result of my lack of code knowledge.
I think there are a few basics that you can do to improve the site even if you don't know CSS.

1. You need to add a few different button states on the navigation to indicate visited and active links.
2. The page would look better if you had a variety of font sizes based on importance of the content (research H1-H6 tags)
3. The gallery page would be better if each thumbnail had a pop-up window
4. There's no call to action on any of the pages
5. You can add code from Google Maps to your contact page so that your map is interactive
6. All of your active links need to be underlined

Sorry to put your efforts down but I think you need to look at other websites and do a lot more work on getting the site up to a decent standard (and also not be guided by the client)
I welcome your criticisms, it's all useful!

I agreed to do this without really thinking about whats involved. I am reluctant to actually put anything else into the site in it's current form because I'm thinking it might be better to rebuild it from scratch as I learn CSS & XHTML?
hi dave

have you looked at joomla to get a pro look and fell with very little effort

e.g. Welcome to the Frontpage


Joo wha?......

I think I should finish reading my CSS HTML book, sort this site out and draw a line under the web thing! It's clear that its not going to be a another string to my bow! I'll stick to the design for print thing! It's what I'm good at (I think?... Phhhaa,... It pays the bills).
dont give up m8

that site you have done is a lot better than my first design.... lol

trust me look at joomla the hardest thing is installing it on the sever but if you can get your head around that the rest is easy very


@Bacon, I don't see the logic in starting to design using Joomla and diving into an MVC framework, when there's no underlying knowledge of the language itself :icon_confused:

If I was you, I'd just keep at it, keep designing static sites, have a look at some of the books on A Book Apart, get a copy of the most recent Designing with Web Standards by Zeldman, have a look at other stuff like Bulletproof web design (I think its called) by Dan Cederholm. When you become a bit more confident then look it into things like Wordpress, where you'll begin to learn the basic concepts of PHP which can be enhanced further when you start looking at things like Joomla, Drupal, Expression Engine etc.
Cheers Chris. Ive just bought a copy of HTML Dog, Best Practice XHTML & CSS. Having started reading it, I'm aware that its perhaps slightly out dated (I didn't realise that when I ordered it) but I think it'll give me as much knowledge as I need to get me up to speed.

I'm not (and dont intend to be) a web designer but it does interest me in the same way that craft brewing interests me.
Yea defiantly work on static sites to begin with and stay away from things like joomla / wordpress to begin with.
As mentioned although tables might seem to do the job ok, it really is best to use <div> elements and style them with css. It takes a while to get your head around first, but once you get the basic concepts of styling html with css you'll see the benefits.

Re the design: I'm not sure on the combination of Arial / Sans Serif with the Old English typeface.
I knew that tables suck before I started the site but she was keen to get it done so I guessed that as long as it looks ok to her, it'd be ok. She's already on about having an ecommerce site built in a few years (which I've pointed out I wouldn't do)!