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  1. #1
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    Comments GREATLY appreciated

    After 10 years, off and on, of trying to find a reasonable and capable website developer, finally decided to learn XHTML and CSS myself, in order to build my retirement project. It is a monthly online-only magazine for thoughtful readers.

    http://www.TheAmericanMuseum.org
    [css is http:www.TheAmericanMuseum.org/index.css ]

    The form of the site is a three-column with header and footer design by Matthew James Taylor, which he calls "The Holy Grail." I studied two books on HTML and CSS, and am currently taking an online course in intermediate HTML. My goal is to make one major and three minor improvements to the site each month.

    I'd greatly appreciate any criticism [I have a thick skin], suggestions, corrections, and advice.

    None of my pages will validate because of the Site Analytics script, but I think those are my only markup errors.

    Thanks very much.

    George

  • #2
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    the errors have to do with the iframe on your page

  • #3
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    Thanks Alex,

    The iframe stuff is a direct copy of the code generated on the www.DOTsub.com site, and embedded on my page. I don't know if there's anything I can do about fixing it. It works in all browsers I've tested.

    George

  • #4
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    not brillinat in ff3.0

    when I load it with JS disabled, there is nothing in place of the 'video' to tell me there ought to be something there. and when I did enable js, to see the whole of your site, it gave me a dialog error saying 'CaptionStats not an object'. dunno what that refers to.

    Also, when playing the video, if I moved my mouse over it (or is it the iframe), the scrollbars appear, making the video area smaller, choping off some of the 'screen'.

    what are the 'flag' icons for? are you going to publish the site in all those languages? I suppose they are OK at the top but at the bottom too? I not so sure.
    Edit:
    I like the colors. the 'olive' green and orange work very well I think. And I like especially the avoidance of the stereo-typical 'touristy' site color scheme with national colorings and symbols. It makes me feel the site is more substantial in terms of its content.

    And, finally, is it meant to look like several parts to the page or are you intending to blend them all into one? the side bars and the centre area look like they should be joined together perhaps by a background of a (light), variation of the olive shade?

    technical:
    it seems you have the centre div first in your source code and the side sections afterwards. Can't help but think you may have had to use more css than necessary there.
    If you put the side sections in the source code firstly and float each left and right respectively, the middle section will automatically place itself - in the middle if you give it a margin attribute. and this can heklp with SEO because the links in the side sections will be higher in your source code and therefore considered more important by the likes of goggle.

    OK, thats enough from me coz I ain't the hottest designer around

    bazz
    Last edited by bazz; 07-14-2009 at 08:50 PM.
    "The day you stop learning is the day you become obsolete"! - my late Dad.

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    GeoMcD1949 (07-14-2009)

  • #5
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    Thanks Bazz,

    Not sure what to do about folks with JavaScript turned off. Never thought about that. I'll study up on it, and suggestions would be appreciated.

    The flags at the top are for the countries [and other jurisdictions] where there are readers of the magazine. I hope to get them all at some point. Have about 180 to go! The flags in the footers are for U.S. states - they will be taken off once I get readers in the seven missing states.

    I copied the [freely given] design of Matthew James Taylor for the three-column with header and footer percentage-width design. Mr. Taylor says that having the center-column first helps in obtaining a higher search-engine rank for the site, because the actual content is more quickly reached by the things that crawl websites for ranking purposes. But I can see your point as well. I'm not sure it makes a hell of a lot of difference, because I doubt the magazine draws many readers from search engines anyway.

    Thanks very much for your comments and advice.

    George

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoMcD1949 View Post
    Thanks very much for your comments and advice.
    Pleasure.

    Not sure what to do about folks with JavaScript turned off. Never thought about that. I'll study up on it, and suggestions would be appreciated.
    I don't think there is too much to worry about. General concencus in the forums I have seen seem to suggest (and I would agree as a non-js person), that those with js disabled know what they have got to do if they see a site which needs it. and they have the choice of whether to do what is needed to see the site.

    I guess you are aiming at a repeat audience? I can only make a guess but when I get the newsletter from a magazine I am subscribed to, it is a familiar product/business and so if I need to enable js I will. I don;t think the same can be said for just any old website where there is no 'brand loyalty'. I would guess yours would have that amongst a core and an increasing number of new people? If so, the non-js people need only know what the missing content is for them to make that all-important 'informed choice'.

    I copied the [freely given] design of Matthew James Taylor for the three-column with header and footer percentage-width design. Mr. Taylor says that having the center-column first helps in obtaining a higher search-engine rank for the site, because the actual content is more quickly reached by the things that crawl websites for ranking purposes. But I can see your point as well. I'm not sure it makes a hell of a lot of difference, because I doubt the magazine draws many readers from search engines anyway.
    I know what he means and I had this concern about three years ago. OK so that is a long time in the world of seo but the same principle was said to be needed of a site - that important stuff has to come first to be prioritised by search engines. Yet it was an absolute *** to get my page to display when the middle content came first. May have been due to my own limitations but I went with side stuff first followed by middle. I guess those more css aware can chime in to give more substantial/substantiated wisdom.

    If word of mouth is your big marketing tool (another guess), I would focus more on content and easiness of reading/accessing the content and put concerns about seo afterwards. whilst they are useful - and in some cases absolutely essential for site development - I do not believe they are of equal use to all businesses. And I also believe that they have skewed their effectiveness for the web site owners, in favour of their own revenue streams from advertising. personal opinion/cynicism there

    bazz
    "The day you stop learning is the day you become obsolete"! - my late Dad.

    Why do some people say "I don't know for sure"? If they don't know for sure then, they don't know!
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