Redesigning, this site needs help :)

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Chacala_Nayarit, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #1
    http://rainiersupply.com

    I am looking at ways to rewrite in CSS and XHTML plus add forms, PHPBB, picture galleries. Any other suggestions? Than ks.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #2
    What exactly are you asking?
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #3
    man that's ugly. and unhelpful.
    (I hope you didn't build the original ;) )

    a physical address, local phone number and other contact/redress details would be a good start to lend the site a bit of reality credibility as well as give customers an idea of where you are (and consequently what the shipping costs/times are likely to be).
    and i hate supplier sites that don't have stock listings (with pictures) and even worse, that don't include prices, or availability, or shipping costs, or a search function if there's a lot of stuff and the categorisation system is crap. Or mulitple views onto the catelogue (by brand, by type etc)

    and don't put Last Modified on a site unless it's actually going to be modified... just embarrassing.

    Answer the user's questions first and foremost (once you've worked out what they are) - In general i'd imagine they'll be "I want his to go with this - do you have it? will it work with this? how much is it? how much and how long will it it take to get it to me? can i trust you with my money? what will i do if it doesn't work/doesn't turn up/isn't what i wanted?
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #4
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Oryan

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #5
    I agree with not having a last updated date. Also, I would recommend running spell (and grammar) check on the site, especially the FAQ page. Also, there's no way to get back to the home page from the other pages. A consistent menu would help out. Perhaps write the menu in an include file and then use php or something to include it in every page so you only have to modify one copy if you add more pages.
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #6
    Well his first problem is this:

    Code:
    <!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en">
    <html>
    <head>
       <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
       <meta name="Microsoft Theme" content="blueprnt 001, default">
       <meta name="Microsoft Border" content="tlb, default">
       <meta name="GENERATOR" content="Mozilla/4.7 [en] (Win95; I) [Netscape]">
       <title>Welcome</title>
    </head>
    
    
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #7
    Thank you. I did not design the original. :)

    For the past three years I have bugged them about that site, it seemed they did not want to listen to a college student at the time. Until an electrician "called the kettle black" did they contact me. Unfortuantely I am working on borrowed equipment. I have no photoshop, BBEdit, or my own computer. The pay is a ****** 10.00 an hour.

    Family network is large.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #8
    10! wow.

    knowing what you want to do (or actually, knowing what the client's customers want followed by what the client wants) is far more important than the technology.

    PHP and MySQL help me maintain a 300 page site by enabling me to build a back-end admin tool set to let the client do most of the updating, but it's by no means a necessity - another site i look after is up to 1800 pages, all in straight static HTML and CSS (and could in theory all have been done in a text editor and some basic image software).

    This approach requires constant manual attention to keep it updated but it's certainly achievable, can produce a "good" site, and could be done even from a PC in the public library (presuming the shelter doesn't have one) and you can read up on PHP etc while you're there (i highly recommend Larry Ullman's books).
     
  9. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #9
    that's handy.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #10
    click on that cowzilla link in my sig and tell me if you can write a parser for ATOM 0.3 from scratch in php? How about convert a parsed feed in RSS 2.0 and html?
     
  11. macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #11
    Seems offering customers a forum would be a pretty good idea, in this case. If you don't agree with the package...suggest another such as http://www.simplemachines.org/ or http://www.vbulletin.com/

    Start simple, then add functionality such as forums and galleries. Taking on too many tasks will just cause you to lose focus. Prioritize what they would like and then implement those by priority. Gather feedback during the entire process to make sure your client is satisfied, as most often their ideas will change mid-stream and you will be able to adjust accordingly.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #12
    Oh hell yeah! I forgot about simple machines forum. Thank you! :)
     
  13. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #13
    really, this gets to the heart of s/w development process, which gets even more complicated when someone bids a project.

    on one hand, the client probably wants to scope out the entire project, regardless of how much is bid on at a time, just so they can plan. it's also useful for the consultant to know the eventual destination, since so much of s/w design relies on it.

    but to keep the project under control, from a planning and budgeting standpoint, the waterfall method really does apply. i.e. sign off on the requirements before starting work, otherwise work must be redone, as you've said. but the benefit to the consultant is the ability to use the signed-off requirements as a way to avoid scopecreep.

    otoh, it's difficult to decide everything beforehand, as things are learned during the development process. minds are often changed for good reasons, and the bigger and more complicated the whole endeavor is, the more it's likely to change.

    personally, as a developer, i hated the waterfall method. i liked prototyping for the areas no one was really sure about. but then again, i never bid projects, i always did time and materials, and that lowered my risk significantly.

    there's really no right or wrong; it depends on the situation. but it's always worthwhile to figure out how the project should proceed before it actually does.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #14
    The good news is that without any of those apps, it'll probably take you a long time. Even at $10/hr you could end up making quite a bit of money!
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #15
  16. macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #16
    great work. big improvement.
    your margins are banged up against the left on the contact page and i'd still like see more info on the front page about where they are and what exactly they do, and there's a lot of stuff on there that's, well, wierd (but i'm sure you know that) but so far, well done!
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #17
    I spent about an hour today taking macro digital photos of products. Yeah I have to "cast a CSS spell" to align the contact page like http://wordpress.com central repeating y image on wordpress. I will work on it more tomorrow, drinking some good wine tonight.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #18
    Must be from NZ then... ;)
    Have you looked at PHP?
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #19
    I drank some good (only 2.00USD a bottle at a close-out grocery store!) Chardonney from Mendoza, Argentina. I like the Aussie and NZ wines too! :D

    Yeah I look at PHP in the Simple Machines index.php pages, and can do simple adjustments to the code. I put the company forum online today. I need to create a link back to the home page of the company site - not the forum index. Otherwise I need to learn more about PHP, Java, and Java Script.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #20
    More

    Added simple photo gallery and driving directions pages today, yet still have too redesign "products" and "FaQ" pages. Currently coding the "about us" page. I set a javascript to resize browser windows too. Tell me what you think: http://rainiersupply.com

    Thank you :)
     
  21. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #21
    i hate it when my window is resized. hate hate hate it. it'll cause me to swear off a site.

    case in point, i didn't even click your link.
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, Minnesota
    #22
    I'm with zimv20, please don't mess with my browser's window width, height, position, and toolbars. Users have their settings for a reason. When you change them, you are trying to influence their habits in a negative way.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #23
    hmmm. you've got a few of my pet hates in there now.

    Can't stand pop-up windows (like the map and forum pages) - if i want a separate window i'll ask (right-click) for it. Presumably there's a way to incorporate the map into your normal page rather than going off entirely to Google.

    Likewise, I don't like my window being resized by someone else - it's disconcerting, and can cause problems on small screens.

    The other major is that i'm confused by the navigation moving from the side on the home page to the top (and changing colour) on the sub pages. It seems unnecessarily confusing to me. Choose one and stick with it.

    Keep your header consistent.

    Please include an address line and contact numbers / email, preferably on every page as a footer. This is especially important for this kind of site where people are likely to print pages off for future references and you don't want them to have to go back to the site just to find out how to contact you.

    And that guy on the front page looks like he's been stretched (at least i hope he has :p )

    Apart from all that, it's a big improvement :)
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #24
    The site looks like **** when someone stretches it to anything > 1024,786. I got this idea when people at the business on 24" CRTs have browser windows opened covering the whole screen.

    Anyways I am getting ride of the SWF slideshow and am using a DHTML slideshow. This should ride the need of browser resize. I still have not figured how to edit the PHP pages to include a site menu in SMF. Anyways back to work. Thanks for the replies and critizism.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #25
    and more!

    When I showed them the site in Firefox, they wanted a Firefox button linking to the spreadfirefox Web site. :D

    It looks okay in IE 6 (have yet to test IE 7 beta), but the site looks like **** in older versions of IE - like the version that comes with Win98 or Win2k. The front page even validates! :D

    http://rainiersupply.com
     

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