Website Criticism

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by garretruh, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. garretruh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #1
    To start off, I'm a newbie web developer; so don't expect anything spectacular. Having said that, I'd like the MR community to criticize every aspect of this small website. The site is for a high school based video production company that wants to start producing for actual clients. To do that, they (we) need a visually pleasing and efficient website to attract clients. This first version was made in iWeb, but I will, in all likelihood, start from scratch using RapidWeaver and Dreamweaver. I'm hoping to incorporate all of your ideas and criticisms into the new site. Don't be afraid to tear it apart. That's what I need. Thanks in advance.

    www.garretruh.com

    Note: The current URL is my personal domain, so disregard that obvious disconnection.
     
  2. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    You really need to think about optimizing your images for the web. They're all too large (KB-wise). I'm seeing images as large as 300-400KB. That's nearly half a megabyte for one picture, and your site is image heavy. The result is slow page loads.

    Other than that I rather like the design. It's simple without being too simple.
     
  3. manueld macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #3
    Think of this website as a portfolio for the production company. That being said, you need to focus the content of the home page to the content a visitor is going to be mostly concerned about, namely to probably see examples of your work which is what I would feature on your landing page.

    Take a look at various portfolio sites, from web designers, photographers, and other production company websites.
     
  4. garretruh thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #4
    Re:

    Thanks both of you. I'll try to incorporate your ideas into the site.

    @Darth.Titan
    Thanks. I'll try to down size them a little. The speed issue could also be the fact that I'm hosting it on my laptop on WiFi over a residential cable connection; I'll make the images smaller anyway.

    @manueld
    What's your opinion on using YouTube videos as project examples? Should they be replaced with an HTML5 based video library, or are they good enough for a small organization like ours? Thanks for the feedback.
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    4 pages are inconsistent in footer coverage.

    Might want footer text that claims copyright.

    Hint: YouTube is fine. If you use the right embed code it automatically serves HTML5 video on supported mobile devices.
     
  6. Big D 51 macrumors 6502a

    Big D 51

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Location:
    Mobile, AL
    #6
    x2. I like it because it is nice and clean. I am able to find what information I am looking for quickly.

    Only negative comment is that it did take some time to load each page due to the large pictures. As you said, it might be because you are hosting from your computer.

    Good job.
     
  7. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    Yes that definitely could be the major issue. :D
     
  8. manueld macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #8
    It depends, I would definitely utilize youtube for the social media aspect of it and you can provide a link to your website that way.

    I've had clients not want a youtube embed due to the "related videos" at the end of the video.

    If you have the space and bandwidth on your server, I would host my own videos.

    Marketing 101, you want to reach a wide audience, upload it EVERYWHERE.
     
  9. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #9
    Doesn't load for me... times out after 45 seconds or so.
     
  10. garretruh thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #10
    Re:

    @designguy79
    Sorry. I carry around my laptop all day and can't have it hosting 24/7. Working on hosting options this very moment.

    @manueld
    The related video's issue shouldn't affect this website as iWeb's built-in YouTube "widget" has a function in which one can turn of the "Related Videos" feature. But I understand what you mean about self-hosting; it would be much easier to make changes that way. Regarding another aspect of the site, does the plain black background detract from the experience? Should it be replaced with an image or alternate color? Or does it help keep the site clean?

    @Consultant
    Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Copyright notice and standard-spaced footer should now be live on the site.


    Thanks all for your input. It's hard to get insightful feedback.
     
  11. Synthion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    #11
    It looks kind of stock. Like a default template, you really have to make it special. Add a logo, a top-bar, something.
     
  12. manueld macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #12
    TBH, the design of the site looks very templated as someone already had mentioned. If you're looking to be hired as a professional, you need to convey that with the look of your site as that may be the a potential client's first impression of you.

    Take a look at some of these portfolio sites:
    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/11/24/69-sexy-portfolio-designs-to-inspire-you/
     
  13. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #13
    The speed of your connection does make a difference but the images are just too heavy. Look at the backgroud images - do you really need a 250K background that is just going to be written over? For example on the about page I see these images:

    http://www.garretruh.com/About_Us_files/about_me-1.png 46k
    http://www.garretruh.com/About_Us_files/about_me-1_1.png 42k
    http://www.garretruh.com/About_Us_files/about_me-1_2.png 44k

    They should be a single image and even then it can be compressed down as a jpeg. I suspect the multiples are an artifact of the program you are using. In any case, one 15k image used three times will load a lot faster than three images totaling 150k. ;)

    Same thing with other images:

    http://www.garretruh.com/About_Us_files/navfill-v2.jpg

    This shows up twice on every page. It looks like once in the page and once in some javascript.

    Overall I like the layout. A little polish and you'll be looking good.
     
  14. NXTMIKE macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
  15. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #15
    Probably has his laptop at school with him. :)
     
  16. garretruh thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #16
    Yep. :D Should be up now. Also working on a RapidWeaver site for same purpose at http://www.garretruh.com/beta/. Still working, so it's not even close to being finished.
     
  17. manueld macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #17
    you really should find some host other than your laptop. I believe I've seen a thread around here for free hosting even if it's just for testing purposes.
     
  18. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #18
    404 not found. It's hard for people to help if your site isn't even accessible. Hint: even your ISP probably includes some space for web hosting.
     
  19. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    #19
    I've had luck with using 000 web hosting for testing purposes. Not always the fastest (especially with mySQL databases) but it works (and that's all I ask of free).


    http://www.000webhost.com/
     
  20. JackT06 macrumors 6502

    JackT06

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #20
    I second that.

    OR

    www.dropbox.com is good just hosting for a test.
     

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