Site Critique

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by adamvk, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. adamvk macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #1
    Hey, I need you guys to help critique my website so I can improve on it. The forums/wallpaper section is up, and the guides/how to section will include entries that I personally write and I will also link guides from other sites which I approve.

    www.camerafocalpoint.com

    And suggestions will be listened to.

    I'm interested in how you guys like the look and feel of it.
     
  2. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    FYI, it is going to a GoDaddy "parking page" right now. I assume you changed the DNS settings recently? Will try again later...
     
  3. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #3
    I was able to load it here.

    The site is attractive and scales well across different browser/display sizes and shapes. You did a great job with that.

    I do see some problems that will make the site unfriendly to users and search engine page ranking, though.

    From an implementation perspective the URLs are sort of goofy. Is there any way you can eliminate the Camera_Focal_Point/ prefix to all the URLs? Would be a lot better for search engine page rank if you moved the sections to their own index.html (or equivalent). I think you'd be a lot better off switching to something along the lines of:

    http://camerafocalpoint.com/
    http://camerafocalpoint.com/wallpaper/
    http://camerafocalpoint.com/guides/

    Trying to eliminate any Filename.html that bleeds through.

    Having mixed-case filenames in the URL, while technically fine, looks bad to me too. I know it's a tiny nit, but there will never be an easier time to address that sort of layout and framework concern as you have right now.

    I notice that the URL is the same for page 1 and page 2 of the wallpapers. That's bad because it prevents users from being able to link to a specific page. As I navigate around the wallpapers and back to the grid the Location in my browser can get desynched from what I'm actually looking at.

    I think that the individual pages for the wallpaper browser should be referenced by unique URLs since they represent distinct content.

    When viewing a specific wallpaper image, the thumbnails do not consistently work. Only some of them are clickable to jump directly to that image.

    As you expand the site to include more textual content (presumably under tips and guides) you may find that the white text on the gradient red background is hard to read. People will probably want a higher contrast style for text information. I hope you have a plan for that design as well.

    I'm guessing you're also dissatisfied with the relative disconnect between the "real" site and the forum too. That's always a tricky one to solve, but worth the effort in the long run. The less connected the forum feels to the actual content of the site the less likely users will be to use it.

    Site loads fast for me. On the whole it looks like a good start.

    Edit to add:
    "To download wallpaper, double click on the picture, and hit “download.” is an inaccurate instruction. I assume you mean "right-click" not "double click."
     
  4. adamvk thread starter macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    Thank you very much for your post. It has been very helpful. I do plan on getting rid of the messy and long url, I have some FTP settings slightly wrong so it references them twice which makes the long url. I'll fix this with the launch.

    I am also working on getting a better solution for the wallpaper, I might just host them all on my Photobucket account and then link them over to the site.

    Also, very good suggestion on the text. I think I'll work on making that nicer to read.

    As far as the forum goes, if the site is successful enough, I think I will invest in a VBulletin forum, which I believe I can just have on MY site instead of on another site like the current forum.

    Thanks once again.

    edit: DesignGuy, can you try again and let me know if it works or not? Thanks.
     
  5. adamvk thread starter macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    Website is currently down. It doesn't appear to be my hosting services fault, so I think its on GoDaddys' end. I am trying to fix it...the forums are still online though. (http://camerafocalpoint.freeforums.org/)
     
  6. adamvk thread starter macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    Well, I flushed my DNS, and reset Safari, and now it appears to be working...So is it working for everyone else too?
     
  7. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    Sorry, still getting the GoDaddy "parking" page.

    DNS changes can take up to 72 hours to propagate throughout the entire net! My experience has been more like 8 to 24, but I have heard of longer waits that can cause lots of headache and confusion, depending the ISP of the end-user.
     
  8. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #8
    The DNS for the domain is perfectly fine. Both of the authoritative nameservers for the domain have the correct IP. The Time-to-live on the record is 14,400 seconds (4 hours) so there's no reason for anyone's local DNS cache or server to still be emitting the stale IPs.

    Anyone who still can't see the site is facing a local problem or misconfiguration. Maybe try using the google public dns -- both of their public nameservers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) have the correct information.
     
  9. adamvk thread starter macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #9
    Thanks...What whois site are you using by the way?
     
  10. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #10
    Terminal.app
     
  11. adamvk thread starter macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #11
    Lol ok.
     
  12. adamvk thread starter macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    I made some changes to the wallpaper sections, and a few other things. (Like adding the hit counter just now. Don't worry, I've had more views than that. :))

    How does everyone like the changes?

    Also if anything looks off or bizarre to you, let me know what browser you are using. Thanks.
     

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