Suggetions/Criticism for My Website

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by LtRammstein, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. LtRammstein macrumors 6502a

    LtRammstein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #1
    I'm in a fraternity, and this year we finally got a website up. I did a few tutorials to get it the way I like, but sadly the university doesn't allow RSOs (Recognized Student Organizations) to use PHP. Since then I've done everything in HTML, but it's lacking in my opinion. I've been busy with other things so the site isn't quite complete right now. I am wondering what can I do to improve it and make it more functional.

    Sigma Nu Website

    Steve
     
  2. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #2
    #1: Tags. None of your text is tagged. All of it should be. Enclose each paragraph in <p> </p> tags, or heading tags where appropriate. Try to avoid using <font> tags, use style sheets instead.

    #2: Style Sheets. Further to the above, assign each kind of text a class in the tag, preferably named after how it used, not what it looks like eg <p class="links"> or <p class="bodytext">. The same applies to the div tags and id elements. Meaningful names. Then make a stylesheet as an external file that all your pages link to in the head section.

    Use the <body> style to set overall styles for the page - font-family, base colour, margins etc. Then set classes in the stylesheet for each defined useage that is a variant from the body style (color, bolding, size etc). This way, if you want the same font used throughout the site, you only have to set it once and if you want to change it, you only have to change it in one place. If you want to change the way the links are displayed for example, you only have to alter the Style Sheet file and they will change across the whole site.

    Style Sheets make it vastly easier to play with, completely alter, or merely tweak your design, in one simple file, as long as you set up your tags intelligently from the beginning.

    #3: Space. Give your text more space to breathe. If you must use heavily defined borders, boxes and lines (and I suggest you don't), at least give the text a bit of padding space so as it's not fighting them directly. It will increase legibility no end. Padding and margins can be set in the style sheet too - either as part of a text class, or more feasibly for this design, give your table tags a class too ( <td class="textbox"> ) and define that class in the style sheet, with margin, color, width and padding settings.

    #4: Heirarchy. The current design makes no distinction between what is a heading, news, navigation or the site "statement". All are treated equally, which is delightfully egalitarian of you, but I don't know what to look at first, or where, or what is important, and it's asking far too much of me to read through the whole page to work that out. Once again, style sheets will make this much easier for you to experiment with.
     
  3. Zman5225 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Tacoma WA
    #3
    I think Frank's #4 point stood out the most for me. Before I read his post, I clicked your link and immediately my eyes darted everywhere. There is no flow to the website. It'd almost be better to make a blog style layout then what you have there. The colors aren't to shabby but I would use some real life photos if you could, unless you're aiming for that anime look. It looks like a cheap anime game's website.
     
  4. LtRammstein thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LtRammstein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    I've liked all of your comments so far, but Zman you said something that I literally take as an insult. As I tell everyone that talk to or debate is, that do not assume. The picture you see is actually an old paint from the fraternity itself, and I'd please like it if you don't use "anime website." Because it isn't.

    Also, I'll talk to a few of my friends and see what I do about some CSS.

    If the university's web server eventually does start allowing PHP, would that be better to use?

    Steve
     
  5. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #5
    PHP is handy for doing back-end stuff like pulling data out of databases to generate the content for the pages, or giving you a means to store and retrieve data - like blog/forum entries, or building a content management/admin system, or for templating.

    For a simple site that just has content that you'll be adding yourself and you have direct access to upload changes, there's no reason why plain HTML and CSS won't do what you want. I'd advise getting comfortable with those two first in any case, before applying another level of abstraction to manipulate them.
     

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