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View Full Version : General Gaming Planet - Requesting a Review



legohalflife2ma
03-29-2008, 07:01 PM
I have many websites. My most successful website is General Gaming Planet. I just redesigned it on December 31, 2007, and I have been looking for reviews. So, please let me know what you think of my newly redesigned website and give me tips and advice on how to make it better.

http://www.generalgamingplanet.com
http://www.ggpweb.net (this domain might not work)

So, please let me know what you think. By the way, if you have a problem with the red on the right being too bright, I just want to let you know that I've heard that before. ;)

WARNING: This website is best when viewed in Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer will distort some HTML output for my website. So, if you're viewing it in Internet Explorer and you see some problems, check it in Firefox before you start criticizing it.

brett7481
04-01-2008, 03:14 AM
I was going to review your site, then I saw this in your code.


<!-- GGP does not believe in DOCTYPEs or code validation, so no DOCTYPE has been or will be provided for this website. -->

So, I don't believe in reviewing sites that disregard web standards so blatantly.

knight fyre
04-01-2008, 04:59 PM
The graphics and layout are good. The only thing I would like to see is a clickable 'G' where you have the banner to take me to the home page. Not absolutely necessary just something I like to see. The only other problem I have is the same as brett7481. A disregard for standards will undoubtedly come back to bite you when more people are attracted to your site and encounter a seemingly poorly constructed website rendered in their web browser.

Apostropartheid
04-01-2008, 05:17 PM
WARNING: This website is best when viewed in Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer will distort some HTML output for my website. So, if you're viewing it in Internet Explorer and you see some problems, check it in Firefox before you start criticizing it.


I was going to review your site, then I saw this in your code.


<!-- GGP does not believe in DOCTYPEs or code validation, so no DOCTYPE has been or will be provided for this website. -->

So, I don't believe in reviewing sites that disregard web standards so blatantly.

Enough said.

Andrew Johnson
04-01-2008, 05:43 PM
Hah, I don't think I've ever actually laughed out loud at this forum before but I was giggling for a few minutes after reading this post


<!-- GGP does not believe in DOCTYPEs or code validation, so no DOCTYPE has been or will be provided for this website. -->

I can honestly say nothing has summed up what I hate most about amateur coders more than that snippet.

What do you mean you don't believe in DOCTYPEs or code validation? What do you believe in?

Fumigator
04-01-2008, 06:27 PM
Using tables for layout....

Neither of your comment forms (signup for a plan nor complaint form) has any field validation....

The contact admin form has some validation but it's not graceful in its error display...

The footer is misaligned on the BLogs page... (in FF)

And are you really developing a mod for HL1? Cuz, like, HL2 has been out for a few years now :p

Image slicing....

There's a secret "adverstising" link that can be clicked in the horizontal menu bar but it has no label....

NancyJ
04-02-2008, 06:25 PM
I gotta say, standards and potentially not working for over 70&#37; of web users aside, that has to be one of the ugliest websites I've ever seen.

I'd like to offer some constructive criticism but honestly, there's nothing about it that I like.
The button sizes and header font-size seem to suggest that you're aiming for the sight-impaired crowd but your main body text is all scrunched up with the line-height only being a pixel or 2 greater than the font-size.

Aceramic
04-03-2008, 04:16 PM
I was going to review your site, then I saw this in your code.


<!-- GGP does not believe in DOCTYPEs or code validation, so no DOCTYPE has been or will be provided for this website. -->So, I don't believe in reviewing sites that disregard web standards so blatantly.

+1


<!-- This message satisfies the 5 character rule. -->

legohalflife2ma
04-06-2008, 08:55 PM
As you can imagine, I have a lot to say. Just so you guys know, I only just turned 14 years old a short time ago, so I'm obviously a good web developer for my age if I know PHP and HTML well enough to create my website the way I did. Please just keep that in mind.

First of all, to answer all of you on the exclusion of a DOCTYPE, it is because when I added a DOCTYPE to my website, it gave all of the tables cellpadding like it thought it knew what it was doing. So, I didn't feel like tweaking my code more just to so that I can have one lousy line of code in my source code (I'm referring to the DOCTYPE here), so I excluded the DOCTYPE and just said, "Screw it."

Second of all, the Advertising page is not meant to be right out there and in your face. I use Google AdSence so I don't really care about the Advertising page or the system that I devised for it, so I just kind of put it in the website without making it really that noticeable.

In response to NancyJ, it's nice to see that you think that my website looks worse than this website(link) (http://www.freewebs.com/webersworld) and every other sucky website that ever existed in the history of the cosmos. :rolleyes: Obviously, my website is not the worst website template ever. It just isn't what you like. Not everyone likes the same type of look in a website, so don't go around acting like everyone has your same exact viewpoint on things. There is some constructive criticism for you since you didn't have any for me. :cool:

In response to Fumigator, 1. I don't think image slicing is a bad thing (if I'm thinking of image slicing correctly). 2. I know that Half-Life 2 and the episodes have been out for a while but Half-Life 1 is more fun to MOD for and Black Mesa brings back some memories for me. 3. The website is still being worked on so not everything will be perfect, but thanks for pointing out the footer problem to me. 4. I can see that you are one of those advocates for DIVs, right? Let me just say that tables work just as well for making layouts so why does it matter what codes you use to make a layout as long as it looks the way it should and works the way it should? I could simply design my whole template just using <br> tags, but if it looks the way I want it to, then who gives a crap. Also, please explain to me what you meant by Form validation and why it matters to you. I have two ideas of it and I want to know which one you were thinking of.

In response to Andrew Johnson, I'm not being amateur by putting the Anti-DOCTYPE "snippet" in my source code, I'm simply stating my frustration about how the DOCTYPE tried to add cellpadding to tables which isn't its job. Also, I feel that having a validated site doesn't matter at all as long as the website looks the way I meant for it to look. In my opinion, validation is for old-school strict web designers who think conformity on the web is important and I support creativeness in web design.

In response to knight fyre, thank you for your kind compliments. And maybe now, because of how you suggested adding a DOCTYPE to me instead of yelling it in my face and calling me an amateur because of it, I might add a DOCTYPE to my website and try to validate it and find out why it adds extra cellpadding to my tables. Happy, guys?

So, I thank you for those who gave me helpful tips, and I look down upon those who think that conformity is an essential element for web development.
-Thank you.

Andrew Johnson
04-06-2008, 09:09 PM
You may want to google the meaning of conformity. Is creating a standard look for your website across multiple browsers conforming to something?

I understand you're 14 so you're going to be upset about any type of negative comments directed at you - however if you put your ego aside you might actually learn something on these forums.

Fumigator
04-07-2008, 06:29 AM
My apologies. I thought you put your website up for critique because you wanted honest opinion about its layout, content, and coding. Had I known you just wanted people to give you a big thumbs up on a job well done I would have refrained.

legohalflife2ma
04-07-2008, 12:54 PM
I don't want everyone to tell me I did a good job. I just didn't know my website sucked that much is all. :D

About the conformity thing, I didn't mean it as the website looking the same across all browsers. When I said conformity, I meant "every website's code having the same exact elements as the other." By conformity I mean (for example): every website not being designed with tables, every website using a DOCTYPE, every website using PHP instead of ASP, etc. So, when I said that I don't think conformity is necessary in web design, I meant that I don't think that every website should have the exact same principals for design; each website should be designed the way that the designer best sees fit for it.

Now, I'm going to take Andrew Johnson's advice and put my ego aside. So, I kindly ask that someone (or multiple people) make a list of the problems that they have with the website and please post it in this thread. I will look over the problems that you have, maybe ask a few questions, and try to fix some of those problems and ask you what you think of the site afterward. And, don't think of it as a 14-year-old's website because, if you do, then you won't hit it as hard and I'll never know how to bring my website up-to-speed. So, be honest but be helpful.

I'm sorry I got mad at some of you guys, but this comment just discouraged me a lot:

I gotta say, standards and potentially not working for over 70% of web users aside, that has to be one of the ugliest websites I've ever seen.

I'd like to offer some constructive criticism but honestly, there's nothing about it that I like.

Andrew Johnson
04-07-2008, 01:30 PM
How did it discourage you? Do you enjoy knowing that 70&#37; of users won't view your site the way you intended? Does it make you feel cool and non-conformist-like?

Realistically kid, there's a reason people advise against the use of tables in layout design. It is because they load slower. It's not an opinion it's a fact. Also a LOT of websites use ASP instead of PHP I don't know which internet you've been using.

gnomeontherun
04-08-2008, 01:16 AM
Ok. at 14 I could do stuff like this too. I think everything I did back then looks like crap. This isn't saying your stuff is crap, but that you know the basics. Its a process of growth and maturity in design, development, and skill. Your age does not matter, because nobody besides you will know this on your site (and maybe the friends you refer to it). If you are making a website intended for the general public, it doesn't matter who you are or what you can do, you have to be able to do what is BEST for those who will view your site.

What we say here is on a level of professional advice. The majority of the people who post here do this for a living, so when they have an opinion it carries the weight of years of experience. When you do something like your message about DOCTYPE, it is saying to those of us who want to review your site (which you asked for) that you know everything better than what we know. You are asking for our help, so when people with much more experience in the professional world say something, it should be helpful. I apologize if some of the comments were a bit rude sounding, but so was your message about DOCTYPE.

Thanks for saying you will put the ego aside. I think its great that you can develop at such a young age. But lets just move on.

The site review:
I think the best thing you can do visually is to reduce the red scheme. Its just hard to read, since such a large amount of red/black/white its definitely the hardest on the eyes. You rely on graphics too much. You can do a lot of this without large graphical banners. The site is just too heavy on the images loading time. My other comments have been noted, so I will end with that.

oracleguy
04-08-2008, 06:56 PM
Let me say something about the issue with the doc type and code validation. When you don't put a doc type and/or use valid code, the browser just guesses on what you might have wanted. So if you test in only one browser, you'll tweak your code for that one version of the browser and how it's rendering engine guesses.

Why do we think doc types and validation are important?
1) It reduces work on your side because glitches are much less likely to happen since the browser isn't guessing on the type of the document.
2) 90&#37; of your issues when dealing with multiple browsers and devices go away when you use a doc type and valid code since again there isn't any guessing.
3) A lot of us on here do programming where you can't just do whatever you want. If you decide you don't like the way the syntax or rules are in most programming languages, it just won't work period.
4) When you do have an issue, it is 100x easier for someone to help you when the code is valid because then it is well formed and easier to understand what is going on without lots of work.

As much as IE can annoy me at times, you can't just ignore it. As Nancy mentioned, a majority of the web surfers use it. But even if that isn't enough, what about the people that use Safari or Opera?

You don't have to use like XHTML 1.1 or 1.0, HTML 4.01 is fine as long as the code validates with the doc type.

How you can improve look wise:

I think it would help if the left buttons weren't so big. Plus when the image changes on the hover, don't move the text, just make it turn white.

Also in your welcome message, use paragraphs, that is just a huge blob of text. I didn't want to read it because of that.

KeZZeR
04-08-2008, 09:40 PM
Most people have covered everything said I imagine, however, I hate the colour contrast.

Apostropartheid
04-09-2008, 02:39 PM
You know the font you use for your images? I would change it to something, you know...easier to read. As it is, it looks like I'm being shouted at and, worse, it's not the nicest of fonts to read it in.

I would also stop justifying the body text, because you're gettings those horrible rivers of whitespace which are terrible for readability. Also increase the leading (CSS line-height) for the main body text, as it looks cramped. Give it air to breathe. Letters have rights too!

rafiki
04-09-2008, 03:24 PM
I only just turned 14 years old a short time ago, so I'm obviously a good web developer for my age if I know PHP and HTML well enough to create my website the way I did. Please just keep that in mind.



Anyone remember Googleit (http://www.codingforums.com/member.php?&u=37376)?
Im sure he worked with standards and believed in doctype's

legohalflife2ma
04-09-2008, 09:30 PM
Thanks for your tips, guys. Much appreciated.

Now, in response to this quote by Andrew:

Also a LOT of websites use ASP instead of PHP I don't know which internet you've been using.
When I said that whole rant about conformity it was all hypothetical. It's hard to explain what I meant when I was saying that stuff if you don't get what I meant. I was saying all of that stuff as EXAMPLES of what conformity on the web meant to me. Now, despite what you think, I respect the heck out of you guys for your knowledge - not kidding. However, as the world changes so does the web. And, things are being done much differently now. I don't think that it's important to do certain things codinging-wise that others think is important, and I'm sure many people are like that. All people have different standards. Just a note. And, by the way, check my sourcecode now. I edited out that DOCTYPE-hate message and replaced it with something you might like.

Now, about the buttons, I made them big because I felt that I needed to fill up space on the left sidebar. If I make them smaller, I fear that it will look like something is missing. Also, I like the font that I use in my images because it's gaming-oriented. About the font changing its place on the mouseovers, I didn't plan it that way - it was a pixel alignment mistake in Photoshop.

Just so you know, I've heard a lot of complaints about the red being too bright. I'll try toning it down a bit. Some of you say I depend on images too much. I don't think there's anything wrong with a lot of images on a website layout accept for the fact that the first loadtime of the site will take slightly longer than usual.

And, just so you guys know, the main purpose of my website is the forum. I just made the website to make it feel more site-oriented so the text on the home page isn't that important to read, but I'll still space it out.

My website was tested in Safari, Opera, FireFox and IE 6, 7 and 8 and the website looks fine in all of them (accept for a small misalignment on the Home page in Safari). The reason why I suggest FireFox is because it is better for viewing websites with. If you want to view my website with a different browser, be my guest. I didn't mean that FireFox was the only browser that my site was made for. I've spent hours making my website look good in IE and Opera, too.

So, let's run down the list:
-Smaller Sidebar Images
-More Space Between Text Lines
-Darken The Red
-Get a DOCTYPE (in the process of doing that)
-A Few Other Things I Won't Change Yet :)

gnomeontherun
04-09-2008, 09:49 PM
Don't forget the fact I'm getting this error in IE 7. Probably has to do with your image slideshow thing.

A Runtime Error has occured. Do you wish to Debug?

Line: 11
Error: Object expected

legohalflife2ma
04-10-2008, 01:04 AM
Hmm...that's odd. Forgive my newbishness but where are you seeing this error?

gnomeontherun
04-10-2008, 01:40 AM
It pops up an error when I load the homepage. Check that your IE shows errors, or find the little icon in the bottom left to show the script errors.

nervegas87
04-12-2008, 07:20 AM
Just so you guys know, I only just turned 14 years old a short time ago, so I'm obviously a good web developer for my age
Website aside, I'd like to tell you something very important legohalflife2ma.
Don't set standards based on your age. That is the most irritating example of immaturity possible, and only makes older people think less of those of us who are younger on the coding community. I am 17, and whenever I get bad criticism on my work, I don't just say "HEY I AM 17, LEAVE ME ALONE!!".

Grow up.

mjlorbet
04-12-2008, 07:30 AM
indeed sir, i started doing this at age 9, back with dos 4.0 writing games in qbasic. age doesn't make you special. not that that's a shot. but when we're young we're easily impressed with our accomplishments, and rightfully so, but often times we (speaking as the younger version of myself) do things that seem backwards to persons of higher levels of accomplishment. i've refined my skills over the last 15 years & made a fool of myself often in the meantime by bragging to those more experienced about how much i knew at such a young age. statements such as these can do you nothing but harm. the plus side is that you know this now, that your situation is not unique, so you have to power to make it be, study & practice, get ahead of your competition before they too learn this lesson.

legohalflife2ma
04-17-2008, 03:08 AM
Whatever. Forget I even asked to get my site reviewed. It's too much work explaining everything to you all. Thanks to all those who helped.

mjlorbet
04-17-2008, 03:54 AM
easy there. it's not that we have a problem with you or that we don't like you or something, the deal is this: the web is moving towards standards based rendering, it's not something that has been really enforced before. sure there were validators back in the day to make certain your tags were closed in the appropriate order and that tags were nested within tags that could accept them as children, but most browsers implemented horribly lax rendering standards that allowed malformed content to render. based on these behaviors people could recreate, by reusing their code, sites that looked and operated similarly (but were virtually unmaintainable in the event that something needed to be changed, much less if the original developer/development team had been replaced), needless to say, the rendering behavior for malformed pages differed from browser to browser creating a, shall we say, less than desirable viewing experience for persons using different browsers.

the doctype aims to fix all that. this is the point everyone's been trying to make. again, we aren't trying to steer you away from growing as a programmer, it's just that the topic seems to have turned away from the site itself and onto the age issue which does tend to spark some controversy around here. the conversation should have gone much more down the road of the benefits of doctypes in that your content can become more readily available to more users than planning can sometimes account for. it is good that you have tested your page in the major browsers and i suggest you continue to do so in the future, it's good practice, but you'll run across fewer quirks if you include the doctype immediately and develop around it, as opposed to trying to add it after your code has already been partially developed.

please though, calm yourself, we mean no disrespect or insult. i would, however suggest doing some reading on div layouts vs. table layouts, what color combinations are aesthetically pleasing (not necessarily commonly used ones if you don't want), and the size/quality/quantity of content and its impact on the load times for those you hope to frequent it. if you do continue devleoping this site, please post back as your work continues so that we may offer some real advice instead of getting stuck in the same rut this thread seems to have. again apologies for the part i played if you felt demeaned by the comments here, mine included.

legohalflife2ma
04-29-2008, 10:07 PM
I understand what you're saying, and I appreciate your explanations.

Now, I have another website called MultiSource and it has a DOCTYPE and is fully valid. Here is the website if you want to give me some tips on it and I appreciate your helpful criticism.

MultiSource Official Website (for your reviewing) - http://www.multisrc.org

Thanks again.

mjlorbet
04-29-2008, 10:43 PM
excellent work :) it looks nice, it validates, a good job all around

legohalflife2ma
04-30-2008, 12:50 AM
Thank you. Its template is designed in tables, but I will change over to using DIVs more when I re-code it later.

binaryWeapon
05-03-2008, 02:57 AM
Just a tip, I started coding a loooong time ago at a very young age (and coincidentally I also began with QBASIC, same as mjlorbet), and I would never reveal that on forums. Like it or not, some people will be naturally prejudiced if they discover that you're a kid. The one thing I liked about the internet (particularly forums and other community-type applications) back then was the anonymity; people couldn't really make any assumptions about you, their opinion of you was almost solely based on your ability (even if that ability is the ability to learn) and personality.

BTW, the new site looks great, and validates well too!

Just a passing comment about the GGP site: I think that's a fairly good theme for a gaming site, although the images could load a little faster and the whole thing needs a little cleaning up. I would have to disagree with NancyJ, obviously she is not a gamer! =P

legohalflife2ma
05-03-2008, 04:51 PM
Just a tip, I started coding a loooong time ago at a very young age (and coincidentally I also began with QBASIC, same as mjlorbet), and I would never reveal that on forums. Like it or not, some people will be naturally prejudiced if they discover that you're a kid. The one thing I liked about the internet (particularly forums and other community-type applications) back then was the anonymity; people couldn't really make any assumptions about you, their opinion of you was almost solely based on your ability (even if that ability is the ability to learn) and personality.

BTW, the new site looks great, and validates well too!

Just a passing comment about the GGP site: I think that's a fairly good theme for a gaming site, although the images could load a little faster and the whole thing needs a little cleaning up. I would have to disagree with NancyJ, obviously she is not a gamer! =P
Thanks, man. And, about the GGP site, that's the point I was trying to get across to the big criticizers of that website: if you aren't a gamer, then you won't like the site's design. Just like if you're not a Goth, then you won't like a Gothic website design. You'll only like a website design (usually) if you are into the content that's on the site.

I can see that you're a fellow gamer. :) Thanks for your tips, though. It's tough being a kid and presenting your work to people if they know you're a kid because then they treat you like you're 2 sometimes. Plus, I have a lot of stuff to do with school and sports, so if I had more time I would work on my websites a lot more and make them a lot better. Thanks for your understanding, binaryWeapon.

allisonwrote
05-04-2008, 03:38 AM
Also, I feel that having a validated site doesn't matter at all as long as the website looks the way I meant for it to look. In my opinion, validation is for old-school strict web designers who think conformity on the web is important and I support creativeness in web design..

Thank goodness you're only 14, because this is ridiculous. I learned web design from a woman who is all about breaking new ground in web design, and she stressed compliant coding to us more than anything else. By entering into the web design community, you agree to comply with a coding language so that others can best understand your message. It's not conforming in a mindless way, it's being respectful of others. But by saying you don't care about it, as long as it looks "right" to normal eyes, you're pretty much turning your back on the entire community of web designers who work so hard with one another.

blegh. Please mature a bit.

x
allison

gnomeontherun
05-04-2008, 07:21 AM
I request that this thread should be closed. I believe it has already covered pretty much all there is to offer about the site, and a lot more about more personal concerns which are no longer productive in this thread.



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