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  1. #1
    Junior Member jhappeal's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    Rotherham, UK
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    13344

    Current Rating

    Visual Appeal:
    3.0 out of 5

    Accessibility:
    5.0 out of 5

    Website Speed:
    5.0 out of 5

    Compatibility:
    5.0 out of 5

    Overall Rating:
    2.5 out of 5

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    Quick little background:

    I am a web developer who has been slaving away for a big design company for years and finally "got the guts" to start my own company. I have a lot of experience with PHP but not much design experience, so please checkout my site and let me know what you think of the design. I am open to making any changes and could really use some help.
    http://www.appealwebdesign.com
    Thanks a million in advance

    John

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  3. #2
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    Way to make the leap, it is always hard at first but if you have a solid business plan and knock on doors you will be fine.

    So, to review your site, first have you have good content and it is easy to nav. I think you already critiqued your site pretty well on your own.
    There is not much to the design concept and it does need some work. This site is pretty plain looking and when I look at it, I think it looks like those e-book websites that you see all over Ebay.

    I can't really tell you how to make your site look, just that you need to change it. My only advice I can give is to go out and look at other sites and get some ideas from there.
    Or pick a certain design or color scheme that you find appealing and work on it from there. For example, you have a light bulb on your site.....if that had some sort of inspiration, then go with that.

    Graphically, your site needs quite a bit. You have no logo (and that is fine), but you also have no real design.
    Your site is probably great for computer services or some technical side of the industry, but needs more to make it compete graphically.

    Anyway, good luck..........hit us back up when you get some more added to it or make any changes. Good luck also with your new venture. I wish you well.
    GMan

  4. #3
    Senior Member minute44's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
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    12849
    You obviously have avery strong understanding of web standards and accessibility, which is great, you just need to work on your "designer's eye".

    You are in a really strong position with your knowledge of PHP. You can make a site that your customers could log in to and check the prograss of their site as well as give feedback or ask questions... Also, you offer e-commerce solutions, a very desireable service.

    I also like how you've taken the time to explain to your potential cutomers about web standards. A friend of mine is always going on about "No one cares if the W3C think its valid and no one cares about section 508 or WAI", and my arguement is that if someone explained to them why these are in place they would come around.

    I think with a fresh and modern CSS based layout and design you will be unstopable. At he moment the site looks quite old fashioned.

    Problems I've seen:
    • You should make your navigation block a fixed width rather than a percentage. It all goes to hell when you shrink it down.
    • It's best to keep your home page as free of clutter as possible. Try not to have logos for stuff everywhere like the W3C or PayPal. Include these on the "Info" page or "Links" page.
    • $500 for a ecommerce site solution...? THat's what I call value! Kind of aroused my suspicions though...
    No ma'am, we in IT don't have a sense of humor we're aware of.

  5. #4
    Senior Member karinne's Avatar
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    Just one thing to add to the great comments above.

    As for the design, look at the sites of you competition! One simple way of doing it is going to css showcase sites (Lord knows there are many ) and check them out. I know that on www.cssmania.com and www.cssbeauty.com you can choose by categories.

    In that way, I say your site need ALOT of work. But like the others said, you have a very good start just keep working at the desing aspects
    [a web design portfolio - Currently NOT AVAILABLE for work | web design | Re-coding | PSD-to-HTML]
    I'm also on: virb - facebook - twitter - flickr - del.icio.us

  6. #5
    Junior Member jhappeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minute44
    • $500 for a ecommerce site solution...? THat's what I call value! Kind of aroused my suspicions though...
    I have written my own shopping cart software so I allready have a strong base to start for any ecommerce project. I need to also build my portfolio, so I am offering very cheap prices to start.

  7. #6
    Junior Member jhappeal's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    Rotherham, UK
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    Thank you all for your input, I am reciving pretty much the same feed back in a few diffrent forums. I think I will scrap my style sheets and start over.

  8. #7
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2006
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    jhappeal, you are skilled in programming and other web development work. I know that it takes years to learn and master these stuff. Your designing is reasonable.
    To be a designer, it also takes years learning and pracice. You are either a designer or a developer. Where web designing is concerned, it is best kept neat and simple for fast loading. Your site scores for this but it is too simple.:squareeyed:

  9. #8
    Senior Member solidgold's Avatar
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    Its an ok looking website, that has lots of content which is a really BIG plus in my opinion, it is a nice idea too, good one

  10. #9
    Junior Member jhappeal's Avatar
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    I finally got around to doing an overhaul last night and I am curious to see if you guys think it is an improvement. The site is not 100% finished but I think it is an improvement.

  11. #10
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2006
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    I didn't see the first version, but I will comment on what is there now.

    IMHO you should try to partner with a 'career web designer', you are a very experienced web developer, stick with what you're good at doing.

    As for the site itself, it isn't horrible, but it gives the feel that it was created by a beginner, which honestly it was. If you want to be able to compete with other established web developing teams, I strongly suggest partnering with a good, experienced web designer.


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