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Author Topic: Need advice with site re-design:  (Read 20114 times)

Offline RAT

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Need advice with site re-design:
« on: May 08, 2006, 09:18:56 AM »
<site no longer here, but lots of interesting design discussion -- mod.>

As most of you here know already, I am re-creating my site in XHTML strict to get away from using Mambo CMS. This has been a learning process for me, but with alot of help from DSB, TerraHz, and others, (thanks everyone) :thumb: I have finally got the homepage and most of the content pages at least started (and validated woo hoo!)  :yey:. Before I go any further tho, I would like to get some advice on design improvements so I can incorporate it as I go. SO far, I still think the original site looks better, so please help me to figure out what I can do to make the new site look its best (until I can win the Most Unsightly Site Contest) LOL !!! (please vote for me)  8-)

Original site HERE

New site HERE

Look at the homepages and all the "About Guitar" content pages and give me some good ideas please !!!

Thanks as always, RAT
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 04:50:02 PM by MrPhil »

Offline TWebMan

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2006, 02:25:15 PM »
Hey Rat,  you've come a long way.  Looks like a lot of work went into that.

I think if you get rid of the serif font and use a nice tighter sans font (main difference I am seeing) you will achieve the desired result.

I did notice (not layout related) that on the acoustic guitar page the last sentence above the image reads
"...used in all types of music from country, rock, blues, and heavy metal."

maybe change to "...from country to rock, blues and heavy metal."

As I side note, I remember when I was young (sheez) we could go to Mexico and get our arms and fingers measured and have a custom, baked guitar made...with very small wood inlays of all different colors in true Aztec style...for about $200.  My friend and I had a couple made. They lasted quite a while but we really should have taken better care of them.  We figured for $200 we could get more.  Yeah, right.  His was a 12-string!


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Offline philvis

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2006, 02:31:15 PM »
Acoustic heavy metal? I feel a riot coming on.

Offline RAT

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2006, 04:25:01 PM »
Quote
I think if you get rid of the serif font and use a nice tighter sans font (main difference I am seeing) you will achieve the desired result.

Which one ? (proper name for coding please)

Quote
I did notice (not layout related) that on the acoustic guitar page the last sentence above the image reads
"...used in all types of music from country, rock, blues, and heavy metal."

maybe change to "...from country to rock, blues and heavy metal."

I`m on it. Thanks. (and to think I was an English major  lol ) I also have to add the links at the bottom to get from page to page and back to home, etc etc,, just wanted to get the design right first. SO more input please everyone !!!!

Quote
As I side note, I remember when I was young (sheez) we could go to Mexico and get our arms and fingers measured and have a custom, baked guitar made...with very small wood inlays of all different colors in true Aztec style...for about $200.  My friend and I had a couple made. They lasted quite a while but we really should have taken better care of them.  We figured for $200 we could get more.  Yeah, right.  His was a 12-string!

WOW, you can remember back that far ???  (just kidding) lol  I am sure those were nice axes, for sure would love to have one now,, esp a 12 string.

Quote
Acoustic heavy metal? I feel a riot coming on.

ha ha ha !!

Thanks everyone!   RAT
« Last Edit: May 08, 2006, 04:31:25 PM by RAT »

Offline philvis

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2006, 05:38:35 PM »
Site design is such an subjective undertaking that it's difficult to offer suggestions for someone else's site, especially on a broad basis as you've requested. Some people like the common box shaped 2 or 3 column designs while others like more free flowing design. Some like animation - some don't.
That said, here's my suggestions:

Ditch the table borders.
Don't use all caps for the links.
The left column with the advertisements looks crowded. Widen it by 10 - 20px.
You have clear:both in the code for your content div when there's nothing to clear.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2006, 05:40:13 PM by philvis »

Offline RAT

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2006, 05:53:36 PM »
Philvis,  thanks !   :thumb:



RAT

Offline RAT

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2006, 07:39:48 PM »
OK, I made some changes just to see the difference. My problem now is the lower table (has three links) is off to the right from the top table,,,,code is identical, I can't figure out how to straighten it up,,, any ideas anyone ?  Does it really look better with lowercase ?  NO borders ??  I need to change the font, which sans should i use ?

Quote
The left column with the advertisements looks crowded. Widen it by 10 - 20px.
Where is the code at to change that ?

edit:  OMG, I just check it in FF, there is blue everywhere on both sides that shouldnt be there !!!!!  This has to be fixed,,, anyone know what's wrong ?? The template is crazy there !!

Anxious RAT
« Last Edit: May 08, 2006, 07:53:49 PM by RAT »

Offline TeraHz

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2006, 09:34:56 PM »
Hey Rat,
where to start... :)
The whole point of CSS is to keep attributes of html tags in the css without reusing the same code in every tag. Just assign it to a class:
Code: [Select]
<p class="c1">&#160;</p>
            <div style="text-align:center;"><a href=
"http://www.guitar-antics.com/site2/acoustic.html">Acoustic
              Guitar</a></div></td>
          <td><!--R2C2-->
            <p class="c1">&#160;</p>
            <div style="text-align:center;"><a href=
"http://www.guitar-antics.com/site2/recommendations.html">Recommendations</a></div>

Also there is no point in nesting <div> in table tags. Try to stick to one or the other.
As I said in one of my previews replays, do NOT use absolute links. Always try to use relative links.

You've used tidy. That's good. But tidy cannot guess your design and most times will just close unclosed tags at the end of the html, which might not be what you want.

So make sure you have the template of your web page done before you start making the other web pages.

Here is the fixed index.html with the fixed css
http://joro.geodar.com/Rat/index.html
http://joro.geodar.com/Rat/css/

I've added some comments what is where and I've cleaned up some of the tags you are using to optimize it.

The page looks the same in Safari and Firefox. I don't use IE and I don't care how it looks there, but I'm sure it will be fine.
-
?? ??? ?? ????????!

Offline RAT

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2006, 03:14:42 AM »
TerraHz, Once again you have amazed me and once again I express my gratitude !

I will make these changes, study it, and be back with questions like:

What is the &#160; ????? 

WHY are the "About Guitar" Links NOT centered on the page in FF and they are in IE ? Sorry , I like the IE centered look better,,,,  please advise,,,,,,

I like the way things are starting to look, but even more I love the way I am learning things !

Back later,  gotta run take brats to school now, 

RAT
« Last Edit: May 09, 2006, 04:08:29 AM by RAT »

Offline RAT

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2006, 04:05:22 AM »
OK, now we're cookin' with gas !!!  :thumb:  :yey:  :yey:  :yey:  :yey:

               latest version         

Hat's off to THz  :thumb:

Thankful RAT                                 

Offline TeraHz

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2006, 07:44:05 AM »
Hey rat, don't forget the .css files in http://joro.geodra.com/Rat/css/
When you copy them, they will center the stuff you want centered.
-
?? ??? ?? ????????!

Offline RAT

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2006, 08:02:16 AM »
Quote
Hey rat, don't forget the .css files in http://joro.geodra.com/Rat/css/
When you copy them, they will center the stuff you want centered.


I used those and FF still has the links to the left side ???????? Looks fine in IE.

Any ideas ?

Also (looking ahead) how will I be able to make that "todays date" feature work ??



Puzzled RAT
« Last Edit: May 09, 2006, 08:13:08 AM by RAT »

Offline EOBeav

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2006, 08:22:46 AM »
RAT, your website has improved drastically since I first started looking at it many moons ago.  You're on your way to a top-notch guitar site, and I wouldn't be surprised to see you get some impressive traffic real soon.

My only comment here is to lose the serif font (Times New Roman) to a sans serif font (Verdana, Trebuchet, etc...)  It goes better with the rest of your site, and serif fonts tend to look a little outdated anyway. 

My brother, who is all of 51, has decided to pick up some guitar lessons from a private teacher.  I'll also point him in your direction for some additional info. 
If you can't design an attractive, standards-compliant website using nothing more than Notepad and a decent graphics editor, you need to rethink your approach to web design.

Offline RAT

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2006, 08:53:50 AM »
Golly Gee Beav, good to hear those kind words of inspiration   :thumb:

I have done alot of work lately and had alot of help esp. from THz and DSB.  I will change the font as I dont like it either, just didnt know which one to change it to so thanks for naming it for me !

Quote
My only comment here is to lose the serif font (Times New Roman) to a sans serif font (Verdana, Trebuchet, etc...)  It goes better with the rest of your site, and serif fonts tend to look a little outdated anyway. 

Better now ??

As for the traffic, I doubt it will ever come as there are millions and millions of guitar sites that come before mine and most are more complete than mine. I am basically continuing the guitar site as a "learning process". This xhtml strict stuff is right up to date and would come in handy for top notch professional looking sites (if Hell ever freezes over and someone would actually pay me to design and/or build one for them )!! At least I`ll know how to do my next one then eh ? lol

As for your bro, if he needs any help that isnt on the site , tell him to feel free to email or pm me, I will gladly share my 30+ yrs of professional experience with him in any way I can.

Thanks again,  RAT <--still trying to figure out this FF centering problem,,,, :?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2006, 09:12:45 AM by RAT »

Offline EOBeav

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Re: Need advice with site re-design:
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2006, 09:58:20 AM »
The serif font is a huge improvement.  Another idea I had?  Move the margins in on all sides of your paragraphs by quite a bit, just to create some space in there.  As it is, you're going almost all the way to the edges.  Experiment with different margin sizes to see what looks good.

Here's an article from SitePoint that discusses web fonts:  http://www.sitepoint.com/article/anatomy-web-fonts
If you can't design an attractive, standards-compliant website using nothing more than Notepad and a decent graphics editor, you need to rethink your approach to web design.