Is my site worth more?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by 76ShovelHead, May 28, 2012.

  1. 76ShovelHead, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012

    76ShovelHead macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Okay, I'm back with a refined website.

    I removed rollover "buttons" (Not the ones in that shape of a wine bottle, cafe logo, and menu) but the ones suggested in the reviews page. Also, there's a completely new look and feel to the site.

    I think this is my best work yet, lot more refined, and just in time for my big day today (I am presenting!!!) hopefully all goes well and I can start implementing this. Even if it's not worth a lot (Which I have a hard time believing its not, considering the 6+ months that went into it, all the refining, and changes made in coding -not through design view because it always comes out wrong!!) I'll be happy if it's bought for a reasonable price, this is just the addition to my portfolio I need to get a scholarship into Full Sail :).
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    I thought this was a school project? If that's the case you shouldn't be charging at all. If I was paying someone $2,000 for a website, I'd expect a lot more than what you've presented in that link.
     
  3. 76ShovelHead, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

    76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    It is, and there's more to the site than my school server will allow. My school server doesn't support PHP or have MySQL. Both of which required for my website to function completely. My teacher told me I could sell it, so that's why I'm trying to. Sorry about the missing features at the moment. Like I said, the server is lacking so quite a bit of the functionality is lacking. But it's for demonstrative purposes anyways.
     
  4. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    I don't want to insult you in any way so just take this as constructive criticism.

    It's poor, very poor if you factor in $2000 as the price tag. There's really nowhere I can begin except to say you have a lot more to learn. I would probably consider finding a better school to begin with or find a local web designer/developer who would be willing to teach you (for a fee of course).

    In the amount of time you've been studying you should be able to do a lot more.
     
  5. AlexCC macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #5
    I can completely agree with the other, and with what you suspected yourself already, that this site would not be worth $2K.

    Reading that your school server doesn't support php and has no MySQL, makes my wonder what on earth they think they can teach their students. So finding a better school would indeed be my advice as well.
    You can go without any php or database for a bit, but not very far. So in my opinion it is absolutely essential that you have learning environment that poses no limitation in terms of support/availability of widely uses methods/techniques/standards.

    But to be more to-the-point and focus on the actual design:
    My main advice would be to minimize the use of images other than photos and/or logos.
    So get rid of the paper-ish background behind the address and the buttons on the review page. To name a few.
    Furthermore, the text on the content pages looks like they are all images. Replace them with actual text. It looks better and gives you, as design, better control over the actual look.

    And keep practicing!
     
  6. lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario
    #6
    I'll echo what everyone else says. Charging for the site, especially charging that much, could destroy chances you would otherwise have in the future. If you had been hired by the restaurant in the first place, at your level, between $500-$800 would be reasonable IMHO. That's what I would have charged when I was starting out.

    PHP and MySQL are probably 80% of the work, and 95% of the learning when developing for the web. I sincerely hope your teacher never suggested they could be "added" as another feature.

    Based on the code, I suspect you used Dreamweaver to create the site. There are cases for creating something in Dreamweaver, but part of being a developer is understanding the code. If you can't write the code in a text editor, there is a good chance you're going to run into problems in the future. Once you understand the code, there is nothing wrong with using Dreamweaver.

    I learned web design with a couple books and a lot of spare time, and that's what I would recommend for anyone else looking to get into it. Teachers who are up-to-date are rare, and I see far too many students paying tuition to learn old techniques.
     
  7. 76ShovelHead, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

    76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #7
    Yeah, Dreamweaver is sorta required for the class. Keep in mind, I'm a Junior in HS lol. I know how to hand code, and am pretty good at css considering I've only been working with it for under a year. My Ideal setup would be Ubuntu Linux, Bluefish, and Inkscape, but to keep things simple, I use what is provided by my school, Dreamweaver and Fireworks.

    With that on the side, I scheduled an appointment to meet with the owner, and am currently working on improving the site.I have a few days, and so I decided to make flash drop down menus and tweak some of the graphics. I just want to make my site nice and high-end.
     
  8. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Speaking honestly here: If I were a client, I'd never pay $2000 for a Dreamweaver site. And certainly not for one done by a high school student.

    Also, Flash drop-down menus are about the worst thing you could possibly do. They were a bad idea when Flash was current technology, and are a horrible idea now.
     
  9. lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario
    #9
    I wasn't sure whether you were in high-school or college, though I wouldn't have been surprised to hear the same post from a college student.

    +1 to what bpaluzzi said. Flash menus won't make your site "high-end", and they won't be visible on many mobile devices. I usually look for restaurants on my phone. Learning jQuery would be a much better idea IMHO.
     
  10. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #10
    What do you, or anyone, suggest I do for a drop down? I hate flash as well, and all adobe products for that matter. If it were up to me, I wouldn't be using this, as I said before, I believe heavily in open source technology.

    However, my site has proven to be unpopular amongst real web developers. And since I respect all your opinions, I am trying to combat these issues. My site is beta at best. I suspect the amateur spry navigation bar was helping you all form your opinions about my work, so I decided to kick it up a notch with a fancy flash menu. I thought flash was the industry standard, could someone tell me what is?

    I'd like to point out that I was charging $2,070.00, but that is with a year of maintenance (@ $50/month). So essentially, my website is $1,470.00. I need to make my site valued at-at least $1,800. That should be enough for a car, and I would be willing to drop my maintenance to 35 dollars to attain that goal.

    ----------

    Ohh, just missed this. Thanks, I didn't know jQuery could be used as to make a drop down. I'll look into it more and scratch the flash menu idea lol.
     
  11. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #11
    You can do a dropdown menu in pure CSS without much effort. Put a :hover pseudo-class on the li, changing the display from none to block.

    As for prices -- as a point of reference, I've had college students do work for me before, for sites more complex than this. I've never paid more than $500.
     
  12. 76ShovelHead, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

    76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #12
    Okay, I'm back with a refined website.

    I removed rollover "buttons" (Not the ones in that shape of a wine bottle, cafe logo, and menu) but the ones suggested in the reviews page. Also, there's a completely new look and feel to the site.

    I think this is my best work yet, lot more refined, and just in time for my big day today (I am presenting!!!) hopefully all goes well and I can start implementing this. Even if it's not worth a lot (Which I have a hard time believing its not, considering the 6+ months that went into it, all the refining, and changes made in coding -not through design view because it always comes out wrong!!) I'll be happy if it's bought for a reasonable price, this is just the addition to my portfolio I need to get a scholarship into Full Sail .

    Anyways, heres the link. You'll also notice the new navigation bar MADE COMPLETELY out of code, no images. And it is CSS3 btw.

    link taken down temporarily.
     
  13. Hexiii macrumors 65816

    Hexiii

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #13

    do you plan putting it back?
     
  14. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Location:
    Beacon, NY
    #14
    I've seen the original site you posted and the updated site, and I have to say, you need to improve your skills a lot before you start doing work commercially.

    This bit bothered me a lot. A site like this should not take anywhere close to 6 months to complete. And don't brag about using code view, working in design view shouldn't even be an option.

    Theres a bunch of bad practices used that make this site un-user friendly and unprofessional. The biggest one being images in place of text, all your main text areas are background images which makes them unelectable and invisible to search engines and screen readers. The other being having so many PDFs, when someone visits the site they want what their looking for to be on the site, not have to download a file to maybe see what they want.
     
  15. 76ShovelHead, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 30, 2012

    76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #15
    I can't control the use of PDF's, this website is using items from the original site. I simply picked through and found all the suitable content of the original site, refined some of the original images, and just copied the original text (excluding that of the Reviews, that text is quotes I selected and added, and the register pages contain text from me.) I wrapped all these elements into my design and formated them.

    I understand the importance of actual text, and I hope you got to see the new Reviews page which is text links with actual text in place of background text. Like I did in the Reviews page with the text, I will continue to roll out onto all the other pages. I plan to keep the backgrounds just for banner text and design elements.

    Thinks I'm working on (or worked on):

    No more text images. Will now implement actual text in its place. Functionality is a bigger priority.

    Home button to make more user-friendly and accessible.

    Add "(Click for Directions)" so that it is more user-friendly and accessible.

    Facebook instead of Twitter.

    New texts and Images coming.

    Cut down on graphics (Which I did).

    ----------

    http://webdesign2.flvs.net/lavallk/proj2/index.html

    Also like to point out, that a lot of Web Designers I've spoken with before recommend using Dreamweaver to beginners so that they learn from watching the code as they change things around. While I did use the design functionality when I started out, I quickly learned it was not reliable and I hate to even use it any more for preview, because the browser always displays the content differently than dreamweaver. I'm sorry if I came off as I was bragging about using code to design. I wasn't, and it's certainly nothing to brag about considering you guys have probably been doing it for over 10 years.
     
  16. olup macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    #16
    i would just leave the address in the header as a text element and implement the map on the main content. As someone already mentioned, it would be a good idea to use media queries to make it mobile friendly, which means you need to keep images to the bare minimum. Also I would reconsider the color choices for your navigation bar, since everything is in rather warm colors or white, I would pick something that goes well with the general theme of your site.
     
  17. Hexiii, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: May 31, 2012

    Hexiii macrumors 65816

    Hexiii

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #17
    I learnt HTML + CSS in like 2 months with just plain notepad. I think it's the best way to start. Also it's not more than a year ago and although I haven't done any website for a little while, I immediately saw the mistakes you've done there. (Not bragging, just that it's not only about time, but about the sense for graphics.)
     
  18. AFPoster macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #18
    Under "Check it Out" on the home page you need to fix the wording since it's crossing over a line. Add an invisible scroll section in there.

    No offense but I wouldn't consider this site to be worth $2000 either. I'd be expecting a whole lot more, HTML5 for one, CSS3 (which you've apparently done), and I wouldn't put your "It's Lavallee Web Design" at the bottom of the page either. Most "custom" sites that are built don't have the creators mark on it anywhere. Keep that in mind and don't be offended if that's asked to be removed.

    Images also seem out-dated, I know it's a restaurant site but juice it up a little.

    Pages also take time to load, you want this site to move quickly.

    Just my opinion.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #19
    Just wanted to comment on this. While true, an option is to place a commented line in the HTML or CSS files. While not visible on the site itself, it leaves a mark for other designers or savvy users to see who designed the site. Very rarely will a client object to that (if they even know it's there).

    jW
     
  20. lucasgladding, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: May 31, 2012

    lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario
    #20
    Comments:
    - Google can't index the site as the pages are images. Disable stylesheets and images for an idea about what Google indexes.
    - Your reliance on images is going to impact load times. It might not be an issue on broadband, but mobile devices without a good connection are going to have trouble. Because everything is an image, the users sees nothing until the document has loaded.

    For your next site, try writing the content as HTML before touching the CSS and images. Also, be careful with layer styles, especially bevel and emboss. With some rare exceptions, layer styles date the site and make text less readable.

    Also, spend some time on design galleries and pay attention to design elements that make sites appealing. dribbble.com is great for implementation ideas.
     
  21. AFPoster macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #21
    Yes this is true. Always leave a comment line in the code, thought I put that in my comment but I guess my mind moved faster than my fingers.
     
  22. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #22
    Wow, that didn't show on any of my computers. What browser are you using? and thanks for bringing this to my attention. So far, Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox have been the only browsers I tested with. I will be getting rid of my company name from the bottom. I have actually been thinking about it for a month now, but was told to just leave it there by my mom so that visitors would be able see who designed the site.

    Good news,

    I am getting rid of all the background images. In place I will have CSS3 with rounded bottom edges and 92% transparency. Not only will it be easier to update content, but if the page ever extends, so will the background. Less hassle for me as a designer and faster loading times for users.

    The original site shouldn't even be deemed a website, I see that now. At most, it was a mock up for how it could look. Looking back afew days ago before I posted here, I wonder how I could have even made it into Web Design 2. I can't believe how half-@$**! my site was, and there is no excuse other than I was being lazy and immature. Thank you guys so much for the criticism, it woke me up from whatever I was in lol.

    I've already finished working on the CSS3 menu. It is warmer, and follows suite with the rest of the website. Meaning black text that turns red when hovered over. Taking into consideration the actual audience of this website, elderly people, I went with a brighter red for the menu list items when hovered over, so that is more distinguishable.

    I also plan on implementing CushyCMS, the owner asked me if there was a way that she could update specials herself. What's funny is that, a few days prior to my interview, I came across CushyCMS and decided to check it out. It's free and will allow her to update specials.

    Next time I post with an update, hopefully everything will have been addressed. I'm working with the site now, and maybe it'll be finished tonight. Again, big thanks to all you and I my next update will address all the amateur moves on my part. :)
     
  23. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #23
    I've noticed that Bluefish Editor (Linux) does this by default. And since I'm getting rid of all images in favor of css3, I will be implementing this.
     
  24. AFPoster macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #24
    I was using Safari when I noticed that. Also great to hear about the changes being made. For a CMS site I recommend CMSMadeSimple. Probably the best one out their imo only downside is their support is very delayed since they are a foreign company all over Europe so we have that time delay.

    Make sure the red isn't a bright red but more of a darkened red with a good black text for the elderly.
     
  25. AlexCC macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #25
    Building this particular website in a CMS would be highly recommendable and my advice would be to use either Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal.

    However, I do remember from one of your first posts in the thread that your server at school does not support php and has no MySQL. That rules out the option of a CMS as all of them are written in php and use databases.

    The alternative is to develop the website on the server of your client. Create an additional folder in the root and build the website in there. When it's finished, throw the old site away, place the new one in the root and you're done.

    I see of course that this probably falls outside the scope of your course you are taking. However, if you want to be serious about doing web design that can actually be functional for a business using a CMS is inevitable.

    Packages like Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress are free, but are highly developed and can be extended with all sorts of extensions. They offer possibilities that are far beyond what you can build yourself in Notepad. Furthermore, and this is maybe the most important for you as a beginning web designer, there are boatloads of forums/board that are focussed specifically on these packages. Every question that you could possibly have a beginner has already been answered on these forums. So the available knowledge base is enormous.
     

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