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View Full Version : My first site



YaymeQ
03-11-2008, 09:06 PM
Alright, the site is:

testing.webuynovahouses.com (http://testing.webuynovahouses.com)

Username: admin
Password: 2cookies

I'm sorry I had to put a password on it for the moment. Obviously it won't stay there. The form isn't working right now just because I haven't uploaded the script yet, but that will change too. Basically I want to know how to make it look better. The long pages just have too much white in my opinion but I'm not sure how to fix that. Is it semantically sound? It's my first site so it's pretty basic but anything to make it better would be cool. Oh, and I forgot to change it's title and meta data ... I'll get on that, see? You're already helping. :D Hope to hear from you soon.

Edit: also, I don't know why the background image for the wrapper div shows up in ie but not ff ...

jerry62704
03-11-2008, 10:09 PM
I like it. I would get rid of most of the side spacing.

Under IE 6, if you narrow the window the background goes away on the sellersform page. And the words "If I were to offer you case..." appear outside the colored area.

You might want to breakup the name from one field to two.

If you want AC on the phone number, better include a place for it.

Personally, I don't like repeating literals ("Property").

gnomeontherun
03-11-2008, 11:30 PM
The site gives an aura of simplicity, as the title bar suggests (I know you are on that).

Suggestions:
1) Try using a different font for the titles, or turn the headers into images with nice fonts. Everyone can tell its TNR, and would help the quality.
2) We are here to help - We're here to help - you have both of these, pick one.
3) I think your overall layout is spread out too much, but that is because I think it looks unfinished. I don't know what state your site is in, but space is very good to have, but in this case it feels like the site doesn't have a good content flow. Try to adjust test alignment, styles, and placement of the images. Think about how you can get the layout to flow better, and probably increase some of the content.
4) The text blocks are often hard to read, because they are center aligned. Big blocks for reading should probably be left-aligned.
5) Real Estate News has errors.
6) Colors are fine, but everything is largely one tone. See what some color variation could bring to the page in the graphics.
7) You are using HTML 4.0, consider upgrading it to XHTML for best performance. HTML 4.0 is outdated now.

You say it is your first site, so sorry if I sound a bit overbearing, but you have a good foundation to push to make the site look professional. A little bit of graphic work and adjustment on the layout would make a world of difference. The skills come with time, so you have a good start.

I have a link to a template which has very little content on it, but still has a strong content flow.
http://www.freecsstemplates.com/templates/css020.html

YaymeQ
03-11-2008, 11:30 PM
Jerry - Do you think a removable default text like (555) 555-5555 would give them enough of an idea to put the area code in there or should I make a new field for it? Or maybe a small note on the side? I'm running IE7 is there a way for me to check it in IE6 so I don't have to keep asking others? Thanks for looking.

YaymeQ
03-12-2008, 12:00 AM
Jeremy - I will change the font asap.
We're here to help has been chosen :)
I will be adding more content so hopefully that will help along with some google adds, though I have no idea where yet..
Text has been aligned center.
I'll check out Real estate news.
About html 4.0 how much differnt is xhtml or how hard to swich since I know nothing about it. I'm willing though.
I will definitely continue to play around with spacing and placement and no problem with sounding overbearing. It's what I came here for, plus if you just told me to be more creative or something I'd be lost ... So thanks!!!
~YaymeQ

oesxyl
03-12-2008, 12:07 AM
hi,

- replace "We're here to help" with "You can trust us.", in my opinion they can't trust you if they don't know your intention, :)
- put menu on the right side, the left side must attract the user and then
as long as menu is not hidden somewhere the user will find it
- horizontal menu? could rid off white space, but I don't know.
- don't use criptic chars in image verification, there is something I don't know what is 9 or q
- phone, fax, mail, I think you could make them half of actual height
- I think you must rework the form from this page:

http://testing.webuynovahouses.com/sellersform.html

too many fields maybe you can do something with that, but image verification is unusable.

- I understand that is still work in progress, I find this:

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /homepages/5/d233047813/htdocs/secure/realestatenews.php5 on line 49

on
http://testing.webuynovahouses.com/realestatenews.php5

Because you are still working, I don't look for meta, tags, validation, but
when you finish if you post again, I will look.

I hope this help, keep in mind that this are personal opnion, :)

best regards

YaymeQ
03-12-2008, 12:40 AM
Oesxyl - lol The "you can trust us" bit is being dealt with, I agree it sounds too contrived. I thought moving the menu would make it way too empty, but I tried it and surprisingly it looks better, I don't know where I'm going to keep it but I'll definitely play with that more. Thanks for the great suggestion. I'll work on the image verification. The phone, fax, email size was specifically requested by the person I'm doing this for so they need to stay huge (I don't like it all that much either). Thanks for taking a look!

~YaymeQ

oesxyl
03-12-2008, 12:50 AM
Oesxyl - lol The "you can trust us" bit is being dealt with, I agree it sounds too contrived. I thought moving the menu would make it way too empty, but I tried it and surprisingly it looks better, I don't know where I'm going to keep it but I'll definitely play with that more. Thanks for the great suggestion. I'll work on the image verification. The phone, fax, email size was specifically requested by the person I'm doing this for so they need to stay huge (I don't like it all that much either). Thanks for taking a look!

~YaymeQ

you are wellcome, :)
try to explain your client that at this height, depending on the display size, the user can't see all the three fax, mail and phone and in my opinion decreasing the height don't affect them. Usualy in this case a prepare a page to show the client what how it look, in both version :)

PS: I don't say to make the smaller, :)

best regards

oracleguy
03-12-2008, 01:16 AM
In your CSS you aren't specifying the font you want the page to display with. This leaves you at the mercy of the browser's default which isn't even a certainty since it is a user customizable option. I would recommend adding that to your CSS file.

YaymeQ
03-12-2008, 02:29 AM
oracle - Fixed! (Really I can't decide though ... I've just never cared for font ...)

gnomeontherun
03-12-2008, 02:51 AM
I think you've made a few positive improvements from my last look at it a couple hours ago! I find the text easier to read and the layout seems stronger.

I'm going to disagree with the menu on the right, because I can :D. Actually I would say what if you put it along the bottom of the header box in the same line as "We're here to help."? You don't have a lot of links, and so it might be worth seeing if you like it and if it works within your layout. Maybe its just me, because research is confusing about this, but I know the first thing I do is look in the top and left parts of the screen, so if you have the links at the top and the content on the left...you get them both! If you do this, I think you will have to come up with some complimentary content on the right/left of the screen to make it layout better (customer testimonies, quick tid bits of info).

My comments are mostly opinion, but hopefully it gives you something to think about.

Edit: Oh and to upgrade to XHTML isn't a huge deal, it just requires being even more diligent about the code. www.w3schools.com has a great set of tutorials about it, and a validation tool which can help you find the errors in validation. While HTML looks fine in most browsers, XHTML is more precise about the code to ensure things look right.

oesxyl
03-12-2008, 03:19 AM
oracle - Fixed! (Really I can't decide though ... I've just never cared for font ...)
don't forget markup, validation:



Line 19, Column 54: required attribute "ALT" not specified.
<div id="img"><img src="images/content/house62.jpg"></div>


http://validator.w3.org/check?verbose=1&uri=http&#37;3A%2F%2Ftesting.webuynovahouses.com%2F

I agree with jeremywilken about xhtml, and is very simple for you to convert because is very clean.
I use to start stylesheet with a global reset for cross-browsers



* { margin: 0; padding: 0 }


I like how it look now, :)

best regards

harbingerOTV
03-13-2008, 04:20 AM
While HTML looks fine in most browsers, XHTML is more precise about the code to ensure things look right.


Huh?

I write <br> in HTML. Works fine. I write <br> in XHTML and yep no / so it doesn't validate but it still works correctly. Can you elaborate on why writing your code in XHTML renders better than HTML? Because of IE you either have to serve the page as HTML or toss in something like <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> before hand throwing IE into quirks mode making it possibly render incorrectly compared to more compliant browsers.

In your own site you use a XHTML doctype but then serve the code as HTML. So you validated and closed your tags correctly. You even wrote your tags in lowercase. Cool. You just wrote valid XHTML that renders as valid HTML. It renders the same.

If you can give me reasons why writing in HTML 4.01 is worse than writing XHTML 1.0 please do.

YaymeQ
03-13-2008, 06:13 AM
good questions harbinger. Though some of that was a bit confusing grammatically. What if I do write valid xhtml but the doc type says html ... does xhtml really give ie problems? I guess I need to do more research.

Skyzyx
03-13-2008, 07:18 AM
7) You are using HTML 4.0, consider upgrading it to XHTML for best performance. HTML 4.0 is outdated now.

This statement is completely false. The last time I checked, HTML 4.0 is a standard too. As a matter of fact, HTML 4 and XHTML 1 both became recommendations in 1999. XHTML has nothing to do with performance, and as a matter of fact, due to a variety of technical details, there are very few valid XHTML pages on the web.

I recently switched from XHTML 1.0 back to HTML 4.01 for these reasons (believe it or not, you CAN have semantically valid HTML4 markup that isn't "tag soup" ;)).

gnomeontherun
03-13-2008, 10:55 PM
Regardless of opinion over HTML or XHTML, validation is a good idea. Choice of DOCTYPE depends on how you read this: http://www.webstandards.org/learn/articles/askw3c/oct2003/

Apostropartheid
03-13-2008, 10:57 PM
I thought HTML 4.0 was deprecated in favor of HTML 4.01?

YaymeQ
03-16-2008, 06:24 PM
Okay everyone, I've updated a lot in the site and I think it looks better. Password and username are still the same. I can't get the background img to show up on firefox though. The form still has some bugs but I'm trying to get around that. Other than that what do you guys think? Better? Anything I forgot? (Besides the meta description - just remembered that) Is what I did for the titles on each page okay or should they be named something else? Does it look professional at all? (Kinda my aim).

gnomeontherun
03-16-2008, 07:32 PM
Sometimes the words you use make a site appear either professional or amateur, so here are a few things to think about.

Home Page sounds like 1998 to me, anytime you use "page" to describe a page, it sounds before the millennium. Seller Form is ok, but perhaps Sell Your House (or something that is more of a verb than noun) is better? Keywords should also be in your links if possible, but don't make the links obscure to get keywords in there.

You use language in several places that makes it sound like you want to develop a personal relationship that is above the typical professional realm - this is probably on purpose, but for instance "Everyone's burden will be lighter if we all work together." signifies a very different response than a statement such as "We can help you lighten your burden...etc". That all goes to company branding, but to some extent the site could use a little strengthening on its copy writing to make a consistent style. I hope that makes sense. Basically a lot of the text sounds more like a conversation instead of a brochure. I just want to make sure that you have the right tone for your business.

Your title should probably include some of your keywords, so perhaps you would want to add "We Buy Nova, Damaged, Old, Unsellable (etc) Houses, Sell Your House With We Buy Nova Houses!" Think when you are searching for your service what words will most likely help visitors to click on your link instead of the links around you, but DON'T spam with keywords!

I'm not sure, but try changing your background to a gif with transparency and see if that will help. The code looks ok, and when something works in IE and not FF, thats always a strange deal.

Overall its moving in a positive direction. I think some of the hardest stuff is always getting the site fine tuned once you make the basic structure. Suggestions: look at competitors and see what they are doing. http://novahouseinfo.com/ This site gives you an idea of what others have decided to do, NOT THAT YOU SHOULD COPY THEIR IDEAS, but that it gives you something to think about. They break down some of their information on the front page with a short list with a little graphic describing that item. I think you need more descriptive images on the main page, just to grab attention, but don't just add photos because I said to, find ones that actually fit your needs. You have the space, so the couple images you have on the right columns, make them bigger!

Validation also failed on home page, looks like a minor issue of using an ID twice. You should use a class to define a style that will be reused. ID is top.
Validation on Contact page failed with glory (28 Errors) so check on all of your pages for these things! http://validator.w3.org

PS: No matter what, someone is always going to have more opinion on what you should do with your site. So be sure to take everything said with a grain of salt (unless its an obvious issue with code).

oesxyl
03-16-2008, 07:50 PM
Okay everyone, I've updated a lot in the site and I think it looks better. Password and username are still the same. I can't get the background img to show up on firefox though. The form still has some bugs but I'm trying to get around that. Other than that what do you guys think? Better? Anything I forgot? (Besides the meta description - just remembered that) Is what I did for the titles on each page okay or should they be named something else? Does it look professional at all? (Kinda my aim).

- don't forget to validate, now you have invalid markup

http://validator.w3.org/check?verbose=1&uri=http%3A%2F%2Ftesting.webuynovahouses.com%2F10facts.html

about using html or xhtml. is nothing wrong with html and what harbingerOTV is obvious true, is a matter of option, I use xhtml because I can process it easy using xml/xslt, is an old standard allready and will be replaced with something else later than html.
using html because xhtml is inproper used by somebody is not a reason, :)

the order in menu, I suggest:
Home Page | 10 Quick Facts | Seller Form | Free Consultation | Contact Us

Free Consultation - suggest me something else than it is in fact, maybe you must change this

in 10 Quick Facts the order of facts must be after two criteria:
- what the market don't offer
- what the your target clients want
for short what you have stronger and clients want, :)

best regards



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