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View Full Version : Please review www.InfiniteGuitar.com. Thank you!



cornbob
05-11-2008, 08:42 AM
Hi everyone!

I was looking for a good community online to get some quality input regarding my new site, and was very happy to find this forum. Looks like a great place to learn. :)

I just launched my site www.infiniteguitar.com a couple months ago in March. So it's a baby business, but it's growing at a great pace already. I designed and coded most of the site myself, though I did have some help with the programming side of it.

Anyway, I'm looking for feedback regarding the site in general, and regarding the coding, design, layout, load times, overall impression, etc. And if you guys could maybe pretend you play guitar while you review. What would you change on the site to help people feel more welcomed and get involved, and ultimately buy a membership.

Any and all feedback is welcome. I love hearing how to improve current conditions or getting completely new ideas. Thank you for your time!! :)

BabyJack
05-11-2008, 10:39 AM
Your page doesn't validate! Validation (http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.infiniteguitar.com%2F&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0)

I don't really like the gradients on the sidebars, login and ad-bar.


When the links are hovered, they go too dark. My eyes are terrible and you should think of accessibility - have a text size changer and change the CSS for the links. Think about the customers!

The animation is a bit offputting


The idea is great! I'm a newbie to guitar and I think it's a helpful site

The logo, I really like. Simple and effective.



Thats about it! Everything else is great!
BabyJack

cornbob
05-11-2008, 01:53 PM
Hey thanks a lot for the feedback! :)

You bring up some good points. Now with validation, I gotta admit that's something I haven't paid much attention to. When I started building this site, I was kind of learning html as I was going, so I didn't mind the doctypes etc, I just used whatever type of coding I knew how to use. Now, when I look at the errors for validation, so much of it seems like basic code stuff, to where I don't see how I'd code anything much differently. And I've checked many massive professional sites, and many don't validate and things seem to be fine. Is there a specific doctype that would be more suitable for the site? I admit I'm a bit ignorant with this topic. Can you recommend any good learning sources regarding validation and doctype etc?

Everything else you said is seriously noted. Thanks again!

BabyJack
05-11-2008, 01:58 PM
Your Welcome ;)

Here is a site showing you which Document Type to use: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/doctype/

And if you get your code validated, then you get a button to show people you have taken time with your site - Ive even got about 149 errors and I have to validate it (don't know when but it will take forever!!)

BabyJack

ps: Getting the right doctype will reduce the number of errors by tens!

gnomeontherun
05-12-2008, 04:51 AM
Its a great looking site, but under the hood some of the coding has semantic issues. You are using tables for layout, which is considered a poor coding practice these days. In the early days everybody did it, but now we are trying to redeem the errors of the past, and tables are designed for tabular data, not for layout.

You have a DOCTYPE now, but some of the code doesn't yet fit. Keep working on it!

The design is great, I really like it overall. I'm already a guitar player, but I'll bookmark it for the future! The graphics are nice and fit the profile of the demographic.

You are using SWFObject, which makes me smile.

One thing I dont like is the right column where you use red for text, I think its just a bit hard to read and its no secret I don't like the combo (had this discussion on the site before...). I think you could soften the color some, because at first glance I thought it was an adwords box, but its not!

cornbob
05-15-2008, 10:42 AM
Thanks a lot Jeremy. Much appreciated!

You got me thinking about the whole "table coding" stuff. Read up on it quite a bit, and I decided to do some work.

First, I changed the incomplete doctype I used to have. It's now:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">

I got the validation errors down to 44. But about 40 of those errors are simply caused by the ad banner software. Besides that, the home page is almost valid.

Then I took a lot of the table stuff out and added CSS and divs instead. There's actually still a fair amount of tables, but it's a lot less than it was at least.

One question I have, is I noticed that "height" elements in tables create errors for validation. However, doesn't having all the width and height elements on the tables help pages load faster? Probably not a big deal at all. Just wondering.

Another question. If you look at the right column where the "Recent Posts" are...when you first load the page, the background image for the recent posts pretty much waits for the rest of the page content to load before it loads itself. To me, that's annoying. I know it's the last column on the page, but it'd be nice to get it to where the background image loads faster. Any ideas?

Anyway I think the home page is at least in better shape! :) Feel free to take a look and let me know if you see how I can improve it.

Thanks so much!

cornbob
05-15-2008, 11:18 AM
Actually, I just made a javascript change that brought the error count down to 28. Apparently, the following ad banner code is making the validator mad:

<a href="http://www.infiniteguitar.com/adpeeps/adpeeps.php?bfunction=clickad&uid=100000&bzone=default&bsize=468x60&bmode=off&btype=1&bpos=default&ver=2.0" target="_blank">
<img src="http://www.infiniteguitar.com/adpeeps/adpeeps.php?bfunction=showad&uid=100000&bzone=default&bsize=468x60&bmode=off&btype=1&bpos=default&ver=2.0" width="468" height="60" alt="Ad" border=0></a>

Not sure if there's a way around it.

Apostropartheid
05-15-2008, 05:15 PM
<a href="http://www.infiniteguitar.com/adpeeps/adpeeps.php?bfunction=clickad&amp;uid=100000&amp;bzone=default&amp;bsize=468x60&amp;bmode=off&amp;btype=1&amp;bpos=default&amp;v er=2.0" target="_blank">
<img src="http://www.infiniteguitar.com/adpeeps/adpeeps.php?bfunction=showad&amp;uid=100000&amp;bzone=default&amp;bsize=468x60&amp;bmode=off&amp;btype=1&amp;bpos=default&amp;ve r=2.0" width="468" height="60" alt="Ad" style="border: 0;"></a>

cornbob
05-15-2008, 05:51 PM
Hey that's perfect! Thanks!

cornbob
05-15-2008, 06:42 PM
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.infiniteguitar.com%2F&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0

FINALLY!!!! My first validated page. :) Thanks a lot for the tips guys.

jcdevelopment
05-15-2008, 10:56 PM
Thats a nice site, easy to manage and navigate. Alot of guitar sites take you to 5 million different site, this one is clean though.

woop
05-19-2008, 09:30 PM
It's pretty nice, but I think you went overboard with gradients. It's possible to accomplish the tones you were going for and incorporate realistic textures too. For example, you could replace those gradients with a brushed metal texture that still has a very soft gradient in it. Gradients can be nice, but, like shadows and embossing, they can make your work seem like amateur work.

Let me bring up another thing. You use a black bar under some headings for various uses (search, musical era, etc.), but it has no purpose on the instructor pages. I think the reason it's there is that the 75&#37; heading image would look strange over top the full justify text beneath it. I'd recommend making your heading images take the full width of the content area and remove the additional bar below it on the instructor pages, or kill the instructor bar and introduce something like a thin horizontal rule above the text in all pages.

There's a lot of great detail in the rest of the site, so enough with the criticism, and let me compliment you for making the site look finely detailed instead of bare. ;)

FJbrian
05-23-2008, 06:03 AM
I like the look of it alot, love that header
I'm sure it sounds odd but it really reminds me of a guy that makes phpnuke themes at disipal.net. If you're curious. http://demo.disipal.net/index.php?t=19

As you scroll down, read the middle text, and notice the grey as you scroll slowly. I'd suggest maybe making that black or red or.....the grey that accentuates the top well is a little distracting there

binaryWeapon
05-26-2008, 05:19 AM
I would have reviewed this earlier but I seem to have missed the thread.

Technical:
- YESSSS! It validates! :):thumbsup:
- Tables for design is bad coding practice
- You might think about making the site more fluid, especially for laptops
- Good use of php
- Good color-contrast (http://www.accesskeys.org/tools/color-contrast.html)

Design:
- Nice design, great graphics!

Looks like a sweet site. Great content, good coding styles (minus the tables part, of course) and fitting graphics.

cornbob
06-02-2008, 10:02 PM
You guys rock!

Thank you so much for taking the time to review it. Some great points in this thread that are noted. Much appreciated! :)



- You might think about making the site more fluid, especially for laptops


I was wondering what you meant by this point? Thanks a lot!

gnomeontherun
06-02-2008, 10:36 PM
Fluid design means that it will expand on wide screens. So allowing the middle part of the site to stretch to fit any monitor is what he means. Its becoming more important as more people get wide screens for monitors.



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