Another person looking for comments on his site :)

  Goatee 00:16 07 Dec 2003

Hi there :)

I developed and maintain a website that has been running for a few months. I am very proud of it and I have had some excellent feedback from its visitors, particularly with reference to my videos.

I have had as many as 200 visitors (not hits) in one day, so it is starting to get established in the biking community too.

However, although generally happy, I am always looking to improve its visual appeal, efficiency and features (and hits of course).

Soooooo, I was hoping some of you guys would be kind enough to offer some constructive criticism, suggestions or indeed praise.

Anything would be much appreciated :)

Please click here .

Many thanks

PS. The top pic is usually more tasteful and appropriate, but I changed it for Christmas.

  lilliebet 00:53 07 Dec 2003

Nice one, though it's not my topic, my son will love it. Forgot to check while I was visiting but do you have links to other sites around the country?

And the sheep's a winner!

  Goatee 01:00 07 Dec 2003

Hi lilliebet, thanks for taking a look and sharing your thoughts, much appreciated. The links page only has a few links on at the mo, but it will soon grow. I know a of a few sites to add so I hope to update fairly soon :)

Thanks for signing the Guestbook too.

The site is very good, a goob alance of advrtising ( not too in your face) . the only suggestion I can make is to try and extend the olive green background acroos the entire screen as the clash with the white background is a bit savage on the eye.

oh and only one picture in the bikes section wont hold the attention of the gear freaks for long ( and we all know there's lots of them.)

Great photos.

  PurplePenny 16:00 07 Dec 2003

I agree with horiz5 - it looks odd squeezed up in the middle with all that space wasted down each side.

At the moment it feels like a site aimed primarily at local bikers. Is it intended to bring other bikers to the area? If so you could put in a page of information specifically for visitors - and take some of the advice to visitors from the "About Guisborough" and put it there.

Love the sunset photo.


  slowhand_1000 17:21 07 Dec 2003

Just a couple of small points.

Regarding the photos, it might be worth having them open in a separate window. I closed the site a couple of times by mistake thinking it was a separate window.

Also on your Fave Routes page it could do with more than one route. Have you others you use?

On the whole though a very nice site. Well done.

  Goatee 13:36 08 Dec 2003

Hi all

Thanks very much for your comments and suggestions :)

horiz5, I've been experimenting with different colour schemes recently as I'm not entirely happy with the white either. I might go for a very subtle image background. ??

PurplePenny, I quite like haveing the site at a fixed width on the page as then I know that it will look the same at all resolutions, which makes the design easier. It is the perfect width for 800x600 browsers (not that anyone uses that resolution anymore). I actually want to make the site full page and develop it using php, sql for a clean look but most importantly to make updating a lot easier.

I like the suggestion of having a page for visitors, it is an area that I would like to develop the site into. For example, in the future I would like to offer a guide service where I can take visitors on some of the local tracks and also help arrange accomodation for them. This would be a labour of love, so although I would be looking for a small profit, the main aim would be to promote the site and biking on the NY Moors.

slowhand_1000, I totally agree with your point on the photos. Ideally, I would like the photos to open in a window appropriate to the size of the image and without any tool bars and menus etc. Do you know the ones I mean? They often have a link to close the window too. However, I don't know how to do it. Any ideas? :)

With regards to the routes, I'm working on it. It appears that routes are what the visitors want, so that is what they will get..... asap.

Thanks again everyone, you have given me some things to work on :)

  Taran 14:32 08 Dec 2003

Since you mention PHP/MySQL as a possible future course and in the same post you also touch upon image display, you can resize images on the fly using PHP while maintaining their proportions.

You specify whether your web page images are to be say, 400x400 maximum, but you can upload any size picture you like and with a bit of clever PHPing, they get resized and configured on the fly to output to the page from their source directory to your page. Height or width will be no more than the maximum you specify and the image will resize along veritcal and horizontal axis to fit into this dimension.

It's a great timesaver and I often use it for client sites where extensive image galleries feature. It makes long term updates a breeze and you can leave older collections of images on the web server to be recalled when needed. It only gets out of hand when you start talking about many thousands of images, since you can write upload scripts that will autorename your image files and call them based on category, aplphabetical order or whatever you want to query them by.

Much depends on your hosting package and what they have installed. PHP on Windows supports JPG and PNG files by default while on Unix it requires extra configuraion to support PNG but most hosts will have preconfigure all of this for you already.

There isn't really enough space to go into this in detail here, but if you like I can point you in the right direction and offer some useful links for future reference.

When you get your head around it, PHP offers some serious capabilities for long terms site management.



  GibsonSt19 15:32 09 Dec 2003

Mint Sauce....Ride the rainbow (baa)

  Goatee 12:33 10 Dec 2003

Hi Taran, thanks very much for the info :) If you could share some links, that would be great.

I'm working on something now where I need the internet browser to launch on any PC automatically when my DVD is inserted, which will display a menu to navigate images and videos. It would also be useful if the browser launched without any menu or status bars i.e. just a plain window. Have you got any idea how I could achieve this?

GibsonSt19, Mint Sauce is a legend. One of the orignal framed prints has recently sold for £2000ish or more :oO


  Taran 06:34 11 Dec 2003

Autorunning a disk to call up a web page in a browser window for PC use is dead easy.

Removing the menu/status bars can prove a little more difficult unless you can guarantee that your users all have IE since other browsers/versions of Windows react differently sometimes to the JavaScripts used to open this kind of window.

Shellexe.exe from Whirly Wiry Web is about the simplest solution to autorunning a web page from CD or DVD in a PC click here

To remove the menu and status bars you have to get into some JavaScripting.

A JavaScript pop-up generator is click here

An introduction to JavaScript pop ups is click here

Stringing everything together could be a pain though. You'd be far better off by using one of the third party CD/DVD media authoring packages, but the above should get you up and running.

For PHP image galleries on the fly you can code your own or borrow someone elses work:

Off the peg script examples are at these links -

click here

click here

click here

Basic articles on coding your own:

click here

click here

PHP can dynamically create both the thumbnails and a browser friendly size main image to display and download to the browser from your images. It's all done server-side, and the output is all your visitor sees.


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