NEWBIE SITE for Design Company

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by N16K NE, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. N16K NE macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone!

    I just managed to sort out domain forwarding, and masking for my website.

    I know it looks a lot like it was made out if iWeb. But you know what?! I like iWeb's template!

    Any tips or bits on the site that didnt work for you.... please let me know.

    www.Grapevine-Design.org

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. MCRunning macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #2
    I just took a walk down memory lane when I saw that hit counter. Get rid of that, it would be cool if it was 1995 still :D

    Contact us page, I would change the way how they email you. Your email is going to get harvested and spammed to death.
     
  3. polar-blair macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    #3
    I have had a few looks at the website, and personally I think it is bland, I also agree get rid of the hit counter very bad idea.

    I think you have attempted to try and go for a minimalist look which can work very well if done right. Two things that really stick out is that the links on the top of the page are all out of alignment, get them equally spaced, they seemed to be crammed together try making the type smaller and thinner and pull them apart a bit (see how that looks) I personally would try and get them on one line rather than two.

    Second thing change the type, is that Arial? I would use a serif font, but use another one than Arial. I no expert on this I have just started doing graphic design at college but try using all lower case type, get rid of the bold aswell, see how that looks.
     
  4. italiano40 macrumors 65816

    italiano40

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    use some sort of CSS for your site is very easy to learn and makes a world of difference on a site
    also i would add a script to open the pictures in the same tab instead of a pop up window
    also i wouldn't use iweb, because it is so bad, i hate it, you can hand-code it with no XP
     
  5. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    1. The site doesn't look good when JavaScript is disabled and parts of it are inaccessible (clicking on thumbnails doesn't work).
    2. The welcome page is pointless, the welcome page should be the start page. Also, they way you set it up, no matter what page you're on the URL doesn't change, which means people won't be able to reference a specific page. Very frustrating to visitors.
    3. The logo is hard to read. I only know what it's says because of the name of the site.
    4. On the contact page, you should have the information closer to the top, not after your big logo. Visitors will find that very annoying and likely not contact you. Also, as MCRunning mentioned, you'd be better off not putting your email address on their as it will attract spam. A contact form generally is a better solution.
    5. Also the purpose of the site isn't clear. There's no real message for someone visiting the site.
     
  6. MojoWill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #6
    a few things:

    1) for a design company the whole thing lacks design. The logo is difficult to read and the whole site is very amateurish.

    2) It was hard to really understand what it is you do?

    If you are serious about your business then hire a proper web designer/developer, there's no shame in it but it can make the big differnece from potential clients calling and not calling,.
     
  7. N16K NE thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #7
    I have taken all the points into consideration. The counter has gone. I agree very retro and not needed.

    The thing is, i quite like the minimalist-style to the website. Very basic, information packed.

    I would like to know how to put a contact form in though. I have searched the internet, but all i can find are ways for iWeb 2. I have iWeb 1. Any links would be very helpful! Thank you!

    Nick
     
  8. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #8
    (1) If you want to be minimal scrap the welcome page. If your index.html has no real text on it, Google and other search engines won't have much to go on. And it adds an additional click for visitors.

    (2) Photoshop has built in scripts to build galleries for your portfolio pictures - I presume you're using this if you are a design company. File -> Automate -> Web Picture Gallery

    (3) Scrap the move to bold when the mouse hovers text jumping is distracting and not cool

    (4) As an above poster says the text on the logo needs separating so it can be read.

    (5) The drop shadows and reflections would be best off left out.

    (6) Don't like the double line border on welcome page.

    (7) Look at top sites like - Google, Apple, Adobe - don't copy them but try and apply some of their design rules - what do they miss out? Notice how little animation, for example, especially Google and Apple use. Look to other sites you find easy to use as well - become design conscious, it will help your work immensely.
     
  9. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #9
    I agree with all the other suggestions and criticisms made by you and all others who replied, but this one caught my eye. It's part of the design, very elegant if you ask me and adds a touch of class to the site, i.e. without it the minimalist theme becomes even more bland and amateurish. Please justify why drop shadows and reflections should "be best left out", aside from a personal design choice of yours, i.e. you don't like them. Your advice sounds as if it's a best practice and even you would agree its not overdone.

    -jim
     
  10. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #10
    I recently went to an Adobe talk at the UK PublishingExpo. The speaker remarked on how popular the dropshadow had been and how it had now been rather overused leading to visual fatigue; and looking at newspapers, etc. I have to agree - it doesn't have much life left IMO and is starting to exit from the main players in web design.

    The reflection is the new dropshadow in many respects and Apple use it over and over again. It still has life in it, and with a little more attention to visual balance the site in question here could get away with it - but be aware the reflection has a limited shelf-life and maybe use it to be contemporary but think about where you are going next, because if you want to stay fresh than you always need to think ahead.
     
  11. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #11
    @a456:

    Respectfully, and please don't take it personally, that belief system is, well, a load of crap. There are no "main players". Catch phrases like "the new [x]" are created by and limited to pundits and think tanks who rarely are in touch with the core of society. Even the W3C follows a sensible process of change by many holding panel discussions with diverse technical groups over many sessions, they create and modify drafts and slowly deprecate and phase in technologies in a documented format available to all. And with all these checks and balances, even they get it wrong sometimes (re: CSS1, 1.1, 2 and 3 annoyances).

    On the point of over usage, nobody here, not even I, condones over usage within a given web site. That's actually discussed in numerous places in W3C best practices for implementing all kinds of features. This reply is not about over usage within a given web site.

    I am in agreement about overall page visual balance, including page to page. But you should note the only web development specific guidelines related to that have to do with accessibility concerns, including important issues of font size, color, screen flicker, alt text usage and image map usage. This reply is not about that either.

    So my first major point is there is no artistic police department or image Nazi's out there who control what's "out" beyond abusing best practices such as those well known ones I listed in the previous two paragraphs. If web developers adopted your belief system wouldn't our web sites resemble tabular layout, be limited to two dimensions and of course wouldn't imagination and creativity be stifled, ironically?

    And one extremely important point to drive home, from a professional perspective:

    Photo realistic effects of this type often tie directly into print medium and marketing papers or projects for a given business. Are you going to advise a client to remove the drop shadows and reflections from their flyers, brochures, brand recognizable paperwork as well as the web site because "Apple" uses it or because it's no longer trendy? Again, I'm not referring to over usage or a personal opinion specific to the site. Your comments were about ANY usage, justified by entities or organizations web developers use to inform their clients devoid of personal opinion.

    (Honest to God this isn't an attack on you!)

    -Jim
     
  12. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #12
    I'll start with your logo. Can't even read it. Grapevine is totally lost. Start there.
     
  13. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #13
    get rid of the first "welcome" page.....you don't need two welcome pages!
     
  14. one3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver-ish
    #14
    Good advice.

    I always find it hard to critique websites / logos that are submitted on these forums from 'designers' that are to be blunt very bad designs. It's tough because I know not every designer has the same skill level and talent, but I think at the same time there are too many people that learn a bit of Photoshop, some Dreamweaver (or iWeb) basics and start a design business.

    In general my advice (and I know it may seem harsh) to the OP would be .... work on your design skills some more, keep eliciting feedback, and when you notice that you are getting a lot more positive than negative feedback .. then maybe start marketing yourself as a bona fide designer.

    ( I always wanted to use 'bona fide' somewhere )
     
  15. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #15
    I totally agree, the site does not say design and I really don't understand what you do designwise. The site as a business tool fails to answer the question and add insight into your business and what it is all about.

    The big question I would be asking is do you have any formal training or qualifications as a designer? Just because I give myself ibuprofen for my knee doesn't make me a doctor, and you can't just start up a "design" business just because you think you are a designer (sorry to be harsh). It has taken me years of training and work experience to consider myself as a designer now.

    IMHO I would not go iWeb for a business site just out of principal, you'd be much better off with something designed in Dreamweaver or Rapidweaver.
     
  16. MCRunning macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #16
    PHP:
    <?php
    // Check for form submission:
    if (isset($_POST['submitted'])) {
        function 
    spam_scrubber($value) {
            
            
    $very_bad = array('to:''cc:''bcc:''content-type:''mime-version:''multipart-mixed:''content-transfer-encoding:');
            
            foreach (
    $very_bad as $v) {
                if (
    stripos($value$v) !== false) return '';
            }
            
            
    // Replace any newline characters with spaces:
            
    $value str_replace(array( "\r""\n""%0a""%0d"), ' '$value);
            
            
    // Return the value:
            
    return trim($value);
        
        } 
    // End of spam_scrubber() function.
        
        // Clean the form data:
        
    $scrubbed array_map('spam_scrubber'$_POST);

        
    // Minimal form validation:
        
    if (!empty($scrubbed['name']) && !empty($scrubbed['email']) && !empty($scrubbed['comments']) ) {
        
            
    // Create the body:
            
    $body "Name: {$scrubbed['name']}\n\nComments: {$scrubbed['comments']}";
            
    $body wordwrap($body70);
        
            
    // Send the email:
            
    mail('youremail@example.com''Contact Form Submission'$body"From: {$scrubbed['email']}");
            
            
    // Print a message:
            
    echo '<p><em>Thank you for contacting me. I will reply some soon.</em></p>';
            
            
    // Clear $_POST (so that the form's not sticky):
            
    $_POST = array();
        
        } else {
            echo 
    '<p style="font-weight: bold; color: #C00">Please fill out the form completely.</p>';
        }
        
    // End of main isset() IF.
    ?>
    <p>Please fill out this form to contact me.</p>
    <form action="email.php" method="post">
        <p>Name: <input type="text" name="name" size="30" maxlength="60" value="<?php if (isset($_POST['name'])) echo $_POST['name']; ?>" /></p>
        <p>Email Address: <input type="text" name="email" size="30" maxlength="80" value="<?php if (isset($_POST['email'])) echo $_POST['email']; ?>" /></p>
        <p>Comments: <textarea name="comments" rows="5" cols="30"><?php if (isset($_POST['comments'])) echo $_POST['comments']; ?></textarea></p>
        <p><input type="submit" name="submit" value="Send!" /></p>
        <input type="hidden" name="submitted" value="TRUE" />
    </form>
    </body>
    </html>
    Here is a contact form. All you have to do is change it to send to your email address. I don't know if you can use php with iweb?
     
  17. N16K NE thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #17
    WOW thank you so much, but how do i put that code into iWeb 1. I know iWeb 2 has the HTML snippet thing...but i can't see how to use that code with iWeb 1...


    anyone???

    Thanks again tho MCRunning!
     
  18. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #18
    Well I reserve the right to be opinionated and welcome the same from others, so thank you.

    By main players, I mean simply those companies that achieve goodwill and trust through a high product standard and match this with a website that is intuitive and easy to navigate thanks to among other things a design that does not jar with the viewer. For different people in different business sectors the main players will be different, and each will have different expectations. And it is also possible for start-ups to quickly become main players through good web design.

    Do you hand on heart believe that the way the web pages in question use reflections and dropshadows is skilfully done, and aesthetically pleasing? Or do you feel a bandwagon being jumped on in a not very subtle way?

    “It’s not about knowing all the gimmicks and photo tricks. If you haven’t got the eye, no program will give it to you.” (David Carson)
     
  19. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    He won't be able to use PHP code in iWeb.

    Ditto from above. Is there any reason you haven't upgraded to 2.0? I'm pretty sure it's a free upgrade.
     
  20. N16K NE thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    #20
    In reference to the above comment by ezekielrage_99, I have never said that i am a "designer". I started this company in 2006 (when i was on a gap year from A-levels) I did this because i have a business head on me, and was going to one of Europe's top business management universities. After getting 3 A's at A-Level, two of which were in Art and Photography, on my gap year opportunities presented themselves to me that incorporated photography, and later some artistic nature and an artistic eye. I then decided that instead of working in a supermarket or a shop, i thought that i'd do something different as a 19 year old, and start up a business..all-be-it a small and low key one. I got the website primarily as an online, and easy to access portfolio, then i teamed up with a friend from Uni's company, to offer printing on garments, or objects...

    So, (not that i feel why it was needed) but ezekielrage_99, that is why i have this website, and after doing many modules in marketing, e-business, entrepreneurship accounting, management etc in a top uk university, I feel that this website delievers what i am asking it do deliver.

    I asked this forum for feedback on the website...not on whether the other users in MacRumours thought i was "qualified to be a designer". As a business, my company is going as successfully as i would want it to be whilst still studying at university.

    But none-the-less...ezekielrage_99 thank you for your feedback......


    I am not sure if it is. If it is, i have not been able to find a link to it. Please, if you know where it is - show me? Sorry for being a tad stupid if it is plainly obvious!! Cheers angelwatt
     
  21. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #21
    If you are not a designer why start a design based business?

    I am sorry if I have offended you but you did ask for feedback, and for the record I said:
    1) I wouldn't use iWeb for a professional web site.
    2) I don't understand what the core business is about, or what you do designwise. If a client doesn't understand what you do they wont use your services, it's that simple.
    3) The site itself doesn't seen to speak as a professional concept or brand, which will make it harder for you to compete against other businesses.

    For what it's worth I have nearly 10 years experience in imagery and design for defence and commercial environments and I do have a B Comm (Digital Imagery), Grad Diploma (Multimedia) and a Diploma in Business Management.
     
  22. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #22
    You can get this done by a pro as well. They'll give you exactly what you want for a price of course. The point of any design site, especially those touting things like logo design is that you'd half expect (within your rights) to come to a well-designed site. Sure, you can make it in iWeb, but why make it look as though it was? I would certainly do what you can on your own and if you can't get the look you want then I would hire someone. When your life is "design" and that is what puts food in your tummy, a poorly designed website can lead to lack of clients.
     
  23. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #23
    Those people aren't main players, I just don't buy it. Everyone has goodwill and "easy navigation" is not what we are discussing. You said reflections and shadows are out of trend, I asked you to provide proof. Your last comment even indirectly hinted that reflections and shadows are gimmicks and that anyone who uses them jumps on the ugly bandwagon. I don't buy that either.

    And again, that's nothing personal - I respect your personal opinion, but you are using quotes by others out of context to justify it and make others feel they're in artistic denial. And what about your silence with respect to how web sites often tie into print medium and marketing branding where professional print designers use these things extensively? I'll just add on, "artistically" as well. That's hardcore proof to back up my belief system.

    I'll give you the final word, you know my stance on this.

    -jim
     
  24. mari0 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    #24
    This site does not make sense. If I was looking for somebody to do graphics design for me and I looked at your website I certainly would not employ you. No offence, I am sure you are great at it but your website does not offer me your potential. First impression is lasting impression. Get your website sorted out properly, start from scratch, don't use iWeb. Look at how to use PHP, CSS and MySQL and you will have a great business.

    If you want any help at any time feel free to contact me.

    Cheers
     
  25. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #25
    Check out this page at Apple's site. I started with iWeb 1 and somehow upgraded to 2, but can't remember exactly how. It may have come through Apple Software Updates.
     

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