PDA

View Full Version : New website design - your opinion


ben89
30-08-2004, 12:36 PM
Hello,

I have just redesigned my site and would like your feedback. I will not be hosting this site permanently on Wanadoo, I will be getting paid hosting.

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/jungleweb/index.html


If you would like to try the login use:

member1
password1


Thanks,

Ben

stephenmurray
30-08-2004, 01:37 PM
Hi Ben

you say on your site that you have designed several websites however under your portfolio you have said that as you are a new business there is nothing there yet.

as i'm sure you are aware the business you are looking to enter is highly competitive. Poeple will be reluctant to use you unless they can satisfy themselves with what they can expect for their money so would suggest trying to build up your portfolio first.

Otherwise I don't feel there is much that I can add that has not been said on the previous thread that you posted.

Good luck and hope all goes well

Eagle
30-08-2004, 02:11 PM
Hi Ben

I've got to agree with Stephen here; the website comes across as a very inexperienced setup...sorry. The last thing you want to do is impart to your clients that you've only just started out - few people (especially business people) will have the confidence in your abilities unless they see examples in your portfolio.

It'll also help if you can refer people to your previous clients for testimonials (they might ask you to do this!).

It sounds harsh but in the end, we're only being fair to you, Ben :)

Mark

asherwood
30-08-2004, 02:42 PM
You also need to take a look at your choice of colours, try and use some with a high contrast ie black on a pale cream backround, at some points you almost have white on white, which even I find hard to read, someone with poor eyesight will find it imposible to read.

Your font size also seems to small.

Is there also any need to display nochex logo?

Drop down navigation can work well on some sites. It could be an idea to have the link highlighted when its scrolled over.

I also suggest you take a look at http://www.w3.org/

However your logo does look good.

BizNess
31-08-2004, 09:45 AM
i got a 404 on this?
perhaps after your constructive criticism :) he's off making some changes!

ben89
31-08-2004, 09:57 AM
Sorry,

try http://jungleweb.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/index.htm

Ben

Rachael
31-08-2004, 10:34 AM
I dont like the new improved verion. text still needs changing and i dont think the nochex symobol does you any favors. plus the login box is wonky on firefox.
i do like your idea though but its looking quite over crowed at the moment.

ben89
31-08-2004, 10:59 AM
Hello,

Could you post me a screenshot of what it looks like on Firefox?

Thanks,

Ben

Rachael
31-08-2004, 11:09 AM
here we go :)

ben89
31-08-2004, 11:22 AM
I am not at all experienced with Mozilla Firefox, has anyone got any idea why my webpage appears like this?

Ben

Incessant-Logic
31-08-2004, 11:23 PM
Hi Ben

I have had a quick look at the weby its funky and green, bit wee tho'.
I would hesitate a guess that the errors shown under firefox are due to either firefox not seeing some of your tags or mis-interpreting them, you really need to DL firefox and test locally, do some test pages with just the individual components on and see what they look like. To me not having seen your code it looks like it has problems with <iframe> tags, and with the (CSS?) that you have used to change your scroll bars.
Another point I would make is as you haven't hard coded your font sizes within your CSS if in IE you change your font size the page distorts and looks odd, either hard code the font size. Or change the design so that it resizes well (best).
Having looked at the rest of the site, yeah definatly need an example or two, if I was buying I would look for something I like then buy that. On your package options, this is where I would put links either to examples of similar sites you have done or to real sites, particularly the business package, don't quote figures. Having bought several websites in my carrer in IT knowing that I can have 'unlimited graphics within reason' for £x amount of money is not the real deal, get a contact form in there instead or a phone no. so they can contact you for details.
Lastly I can't think of any serious business who would want to have your URL as part of theirs, for small firms this might be okay, but to put it in context it is like you using a free website to host your business. You would be better off offering to arrange their own URL or to offer DNS/Hosting with their own URL

Sorry if I have come out too harshley you've obviously got more gumption than me as, I'm nowhere near offering my webdesign skills to the public...

Jon

swhiting
31-08-2004, 11:47 PM
new guy on the block!

introduce yourself!

Incessant-Logic
31-08-2004, 11:52 PM
Or should I put it in it's own thread?

Jon

Maz
01-09-2004, 01:15 AM
I would rethink your font colour scheme, white looks awful on the green background and the green text doesn't stand out enough. Just my two pence.

dave-a
01-09-2004, 09:25 AM
Sorry to sound harsh, but no one is going to part with any money after going there.

1) One fundamental aspect of web development is understanding the platform you are delivering to (web browsers) you have already said you donít.

2) You also posted before saying you donít understand PHP or scripting languages.

3) Your page shows a lack of talent in graphic design (which is not a bad thing of your a talented programmer, which your not)

I am sorry but I find you an insult to my profession. I understand how to change my tyres; I would never call myself a mechanic and insult their profession by charging for my tyre changing service.

I suggest in the nicest possible way you go away and learn the basics before charging people. Go and get a job as a junior for a design company (I did many years back) and work hard for a few years. When I started I did two years as a junior and while working hard at that I was reading every book under the sun and spending hours most evenings working on projects for free (for portfolio pieces). Three more years on from there I work for a company as a developer and even now am constantly humbled by more experienced guys. I have only just recently started to consider freelancing and I wouldnít dream of trying to claim it was a business as there are some very very talented freelancers out there who have spent years at university and working their way up the ranks professionally.

Your on the wrong track mate =)

ben89
01-09-2004, 01:05 PM
All I wanted to know was what I should do to improve my site. I have designed several websites. However as many of them are more than 2 years old, I have not decided to include them. I have 1 site in the works. I am only 15! I am not a computer genius just a kid TRYING to make some money!

Ben

dave-a
01-09-2004, 01:29 PM
Then make that clear on your website? And market yourself as such. Do sites for friends, family etc but donít produce a cheesy looking site and claim youíre a web designer starting a company because you are not! Your 15 years old and working from your bedroom on a PC your mum or dad got you with a boxed web design package as your main tool.

I would suggest you look for a part time job in a development company, even as a Saturday tea boy! Do you work experience for one and soak up the knowledge then come back to freelancing or running your own company when you have some serious knowledge and commercial experience.

VLAHAKISA
01-09-2004, 02:12 PM
Yes, your website implies you are starting a serious business - if you aren't planning to seriously start a professional business you should have made this clear in your initial thread asking for feedback.

If you portray yourself as someone (via your website link you gave us and the written info on those pages) who is serious about starting a real business (rather than someone trying to make just a bit of cash on the side), you are bound to get responses from people giving serious business criticisms.

This is after all a business forum, not a forum for people wanting to make a bit of pocket money! So what else would you expect other than the very serious responses you received?

Regards

Amanda

ben89
01-09-2004, 03:19 PM
I do intend to make this into a professional business. As there is no age limit, the cost of running this type of buiness is very low. I am grateful for your feedback on my website as it has helped alot.

Thanks,

Ben

barefoot_boo
01-09-2004, 05:43 PM
Hi Ben,

Not wishing to dash your hopes, but exactly how do you propose to provide a professional service if you are unavailable for the majority of the working day? (I'm assuming you attend school). Yes, you may well be able to sit up coding and doing the pretty stuff until the wee small hours, but what happens when there is a problem with a site you've built (which needs fixing asap) at 9.05am on a Tuesday morning? You're sat, totally oblivious, in a Chemistry lesson whilst your client (who having paid you is quite rightly expecting a decent level of service), is becoming more and more irate at your lack of response. I don't know of many clients who would stand for that - certainly none of mine would!

Just something for you to think on.

boo

Eagle
01-09-2004, 06:02 PM
Ben, as much as it pains me to reccommend these sites - they're full of wanna-be's, blatent amateurs and kids, to be honest - (I shudder to think what quality the clients get; especially when they usually offer a paltry $25 for a website!), you'll be able to 'cut your teeth' against other "designers" there...and pick up some much needed experience.

http://www.webhostingtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=48

http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=7


Mark :)

ben89
02-09-2004, 09:53 AM
No one has actually given me a chance to show what I can do. I will operate in a professional manner. Just give me a chance. My websites havenít been top notch as I don't have much of the appropriate software. As for my business experience, I have been selling for almost two years. My ebay feedback is almost 200. So all I ask is you give me a chance.

Thanks,

Ben

Incessant-Logic
02-09-2004, 10:53 AM
Now possibly I shouldn't comment here not being a pro web designer, in fact only really taking it up in a big way in the last 6 months or so, but...
You don't need fancy programs to design web pages, there are plenty or free graphics programs, gimp is well recomended. As for the actual coding, if you use any modern OS you will find a text editor will do the job for you. Notepad will do anything Dreamweaver or frontpage will, admitedly using a full WYSIWIG editor can make things a little easier, but all the web designers I have met quite often use basic text editors to tidy up code anyway...
As others before me have said (see above) get experience, practice, read books, look at forums (like this one), keep trying. If you want to succeed you will, but it isn't as easy as 'I can make websites please pay me'.

Again maybe not being a 'qualified' web designer I maybe shouldn't say this but to those posters above who seem to think Ben is just an annoying kid bringing 'their' profession into disrepute, get a life. Everyone starts somewhere, even Mozart the first time he picked up a violin sounded like a cat being murdered. Ben will only be making a mistake about this if he chooses to ignore constructive critisim.

Sorry not trying to get nasty, just the way I feel...

Jon

PS Ben I forgot to add, give us some more URLs to look at we are after all basing our opinions on one 'test' page and not on previous work.

hirstys
02-09-2004, 11:08 AM
I have posted on this subject before and have been quite critical of the service provided by a number of "web designers"

I think the important thing to discuss here is about SLA and contracts.

Ben, you should be encouraged whole heartedly to pursue your decision to design web sites on a commercial basis.

However, as you are going to be offering low cost, entry level type sites you will be lijkely to be dealing with sole traders, startups and charities in the first instance.

This is great and can help you develop a portfolio and relevant skills and means that those without cash can benefit from a useful site.

But beware... If a site goes wrong for you, you can just think "ah well, can try again after my A levels" but your client may find their business suffers, perhaps an order doesnt get through on email or a potential client decides not to place an order as the site is unavailable and they want a reliable company with a reliable setup...

When pitching your services make it very clear what you will and will not offer, lay down your hours of availability and stick to them, lay down who is responsible for hosting, support and updates. If they suddenly need to add a news flash to the site, how quickly can you do it? Ask yourself whether the answers you give are reasonable, even on a family holiday or during exam time...

Every week we pick up the pieces for small businesses who have lost their website and email service because "my mates cousin" has "got a new job and doesnt have time" or "my employees son did it after hours but now the employee has left and the kid has taken our domain name with him" etc.

This is unethical and benefits no-one, but so long as you lay down the deal in black and white and are willing and able to offer it, everyone can prosper. Many people dont need 247 service or guaranteed uptime, etc.

Just dont oversell yourself to get a gig and then upset the client. There are enough guys in ten gallon hats riding horses in this industry already, make sure you are not setting out to join their posse...

Best regards


James
A4 Internet ltd
0845 108 0411

dave-a
02-09-2004, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Incessant-Logic
Again maybe not being a 'qualified' web designer I maybe shouldn't say this but to those posters above who seem to think Ben is just an annoying kid bringing 'their' profession into disrepute, get a life. Everyone starts somewhere, even Mozart the first time he picked up a violin sounded like a cat being murdered. Ben will only be making a mistake about this if he chooses to ignore constructive critisim.


To be honest I really donít think you get it. This industry has long been overshadowed by rouge designers, professional agencies are losing out to 15 year old kids in their bedroom who knock out a site. The sites at first glance seem ok, but often over look basic issues like (for instance) the firefox display issue on his very own page. This often means businesses are actually losing potential sales and customers because their sites are not able to reach the widest possible audience. In the end it is people like me who fix them! That is only one aspect and there are many more considerations some of which have been touched upon here.

In regards to your comments on me saying it brings the profession into disrepute you are incorrect no one has said that. I did say I find it insulting and I do. If I stood in a courtroom and argued a legal case does that make me a solicitor? If I change my car tyre a few times am I a mechanic? At the end of the day web development is a professional industry with industry standard qualifications. Customers expect them, employers demand them. I take pride in the time have invested into gaining enough knowledge to be able to ensure my customers get the best possible service and it is almost hilarious that some people seriously think this kid can launch a design company with no money and a copy of FrontPage.

I am going to open a new law firm tomorrow because I filled out some insurance papers last week. Who wants to come in on it with me?

Incessant-Logic
02-09-2004, 12:05 PM
Okay a qualified apology, I did misunderstand what you said, however after re-reading what you did say I think you're wrong, if a 15 year old knocks out a good looking website that is indeed fatally flawed fair enough, he or she shouldn't say they are a web designer.
But if a 15 year old knocks out a good website that works and isn't flawed, and bear in mind some 'Pro' websites are hideous, use browser specific tags etc. If this kid does knock out a good site maybe you or your design agencies are employing the wrong talent. Age has no relation to ability, some of the best games (C64) were coded in bedrooms by 15 year olds.

If the great inventors and inovators all waited until they had degrees and years of experience then a lot of the things that make this world what it is wouldn't exist. (maybe a good thing ;-) )

If Ben continues taking what people say in this forum seriously then he's making a good start, perhaps he will end up creating 'good' sites perhaps not but at least we will know we offered the right advice. Well I will.

No of course if you stood in a court room and argued your case you wouldn't be a lawyer but you could win your case.

Jon

peekaboo
02-09-2004, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by Incessant-Logic
Okay a qualified apology, I did misunderstand what you said, however after re-reading what you did say I think you're wrong, if a 15 year old knocks out a good looking website that is indeed fatally flawed fair enough, he or she shouldn't say they are a web designer.
But if a 15 year old knocks out a good website that works and isn't flawed, and bear in mind some 'Pro' websites are hideous, use browser specific tags etc. If this kid does knock out a good site maybe you or your design agencies are employing the wrong talent. Age has no relation to ability, some of the best games (C64) were coded in bedrooms by 15 year olds.

If the great inventors and inovators all waited until they had degrees and years of experience then a lot of the things that make this world what it is wouldn't exist. (maybe a good thing ;-) )

If Ben continues taking what people say in this forum seriously then he's making a good start, perhaps he will end up creating 'good' sites perhaps not but at least we will know we offered the right advice. Well I will.

No of course if you stood in a court room and argued your case you wouldn't be a lawyer but you could win your case.

Jon
To be honest I don't think everyone is knocking his design skills, professional web design doesnt stop at the design, theres support etc aswell, also if he does get some big websites asked from him he would need to find a freelance programmer, and I think he may find it a struggle to get a freelancer on his books at the age of 15, espcially if the freelancer was making a living on it.

Regards
Brett White