New website, comments please

  Chillie 15:11 10 Sep 2007

Taken the plunge and have tried to create a simple site for my village. It is written in XHTML Strict using HTMLgate Free. I would like to avoid using Javascript. There is still lots of work to do and would greatly appreciate your views, criticisms and advice. The site can be viewed here click here

I would like to have some drop-menus possibly using this tutorial click here; find a way to use thumbnails and let the user click and expand; use mailto-encrypter on the 'Contact Us' page and avoid image hotlinking using click here.

I do hope you can help.

Many thanks

  IClaudio 18:32 10 Sep 2007

I don't think you need worry too much about hotlinking! :)

The header graphic needs to be higher resolution.

"Please let me know if you would like to submit an image to this gallery." should possibly have the mailto: link on the "please let me know" rather than "submit an image"....

  Marko797 20:37 10 Sep 2007

I'm no expert on this but the top banner is blurred...

  Ross Murray 21:47 10 Sep 2007

Also, current trends in web-design suggest that you should not use centered text in banners. I'd either right or left align the text with the little logo/ shape next to it.

Image needs to be made clearer (top banner) by using a better contrast. Perhaps all black text?

Monochramtic colour schemes are popular at the moment (i.e. using one colour and its hues i.e. in your site stick to a choice of 2/3 blues and black and white).

Hope that helps Ross.

  Chillie 09:08 11 Sep 2007

It is much appreciated. Totally agree about the top banner. Possibly due to using PowerPoint to create banner and then saving as image; will try and get it sharper. Would Paintshop Pro be any good for this? Will also play around with colour scheme.

Any comments about drop-down menus, thumbnails and mail-encrypter please?

  gibbs1984 13:08 11 Sep 2007

You can do a CSS only drop down menu.

click here

Never used one before but I can't see anything wrong with it.

  Chillie 14:21 11 Sep 2007

Many thanks for your comments and advice, great deal of sense. I shall definitely look into the mailto question and investigate the 'php contact form' route. Good idea about the thumbnails. Question? Would I have thumbnails of the images supplied on one page with a link to full-page images?

Page updates and responsibilities have been giving me some concern. I have noted your comments.

The top banner, to me is a major concern, as it is likely to be the first thing seen by visitors. Any thoughts about using Paintshop Pro or another graphic editor?

BTW, Fourm Member, can I have a link to the village site you created? I never refuse to learn! Thanks.

Thanks also to gibbs1984, will look into that site, but I most probably go with the simple look.

I shall leave this open for a while and hope for further comments.

Many thanks to all far!!!

  IntoPCs 17:32 11 Sep 2007

should be fine - make sure the image you create is the exact size required for the site and then export for web as a jpg or png. you made need to experiment with settings to get the best appearance and lowest file size, but as you say it's the first thing people see so its worth getting it right.

  IntoPCs 22:40 12 Sep 2007

Stu Nicholls got a mention above and his work with CSS never ceases to amaze me. Try click here for a great looking photo gallery and click 'Demos' on the menu to see other examples

  Forum Editor 23:38 12 Sep 2007

in community site design is 'keep it simple' whilst at the same time providing as much information as possible.

What this means in practice is a total absence of anything that might be termed a gimmick, and a wealth of detail about the community. Village sites, by virtue of their parochial nature are only ever going to have a limited audience, so the more you can involve your site visitors the better. This means having things like a births/deaths/mariages section, a busy image gallery, and possibly a 'letters to the editor' page, where you can encourage contributions from village residents on local issues.

Don't forget a page of useful telephone numbers - emergency services, Doctors, dentists, chemists' opening hours, local taxi numbers, etc., etc.

The way to approach the project is to imagine that you are designing an online version of a magazine - keep it updated regularly, and cultivate a group of contributors who will send you information and write articles. A gardening page can be very successful. Think of linking to a weather forecast site, particularly if you have local farmers.

It goes on and on, and of course no site can be all things to all people - a lot will depend on how much time you're prepared to devote to the project. There are hundreds and hundreds of village sites out there, and a lot of them are pretty dire, but there are some gems amongst them. Nothing's perfect, but click here for a good example of what I call an information-rich village site.

  Chillie 00:01 13 Sep 2007

for your comments and advice.

FE, you have given me much food for thought; and the village site in your link is fantastic. I haven't the expertise to attempt such a site but it will help in development of our site.

The CSSPlay site will have my attention over the next few days.

Overall, lots to digest and learn.

I shall leave this Thread open for anoth day or so, whilst I try and get this old grey cell to work.

Once again, to all of you, my grateful thanks.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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