IS the change I made to my website an improvement?

  Red Devil 19:34 15 Nov 2005


I've posted here before asking what people thought of the design for one of my websites - click here. The premise of the website is that all content needs to appear as if it's been written onto a sheet of parchment as it's a living history website.

I've since realised that the parchment image I've used will hold only so much text before the text flows off the end of the parchment and consequently looks an unholy mess.

I've been scratching my head trying to work out a way to solve this and think I've found a solution. I've used an image that I've been able to splice up and then use in a table. If I've worked it out right then no matter how much content is on the page or what font and font size I use, the image SHOULD tile and should still appear to be written onto a sheet of parchment.

I've now put the test pages up on my website and would welcome opinions on whether it works the way I've intended or not.

The thing I've done is to put up several test pages with the text in different colours. Even though the page is supposed to look like it's been written in ink on a sheet of parchment there's something not quite "right" about the page with black text that I can't quite put my finger on.

The test pages are at the following locations:-

click here
click here
click here
click here
click here

And there's a page with the text in a much larger font size to see if it still tiles the way I want to:-

click here


  Red Devil 20:22 15 Nov 2005

Thanks for the comment.

The image I've used is an interim one to test the theory out as I felt the same way as you about the test image. I'm hoping to be able to use the original image if I can and splice that up but am concerned that the image is so irregular that the joins won't match up.

As for the use of 3 images, on the test pages I'm currently using 9 - top left, top centre, top right, centre left, centre, centre right, bottom left, bottom centre and bottom right.

The text is put onto the centre image (cell) only with the 3 middle images set to tile. I've also set the table dimensions to both 100% height and width. I've done some tests and no matter how narrow or wide I have the page the text (and images) fills the page width-wise and the length of the page is adjusted to accomodate all the text.

I guess the way to have the text not go so close to the edge of the page is to have the right and left images a little wider. Currently the images are only 45 pixels wide. If I redo them so that they're 75-100 pixels wide then the text won't go so close to the edge.

Anyway, I appreciate your comments. They've been very helpful.

  Red Devil 10:26 16 Nov 2005

OK, I've uploaded another test image to show what the site used to look like as I've converted the whole site over to the new parchment background.

Our group need to get our website active as soon as possible as we're now getting enquiries to hire us so I needed something that worked and up on the site as soon as possible.

The test image showing the old site appearence can be found click here.

I've also found, as I suspected, that the old parchment image is not suitable for being spliced up. The edges are too irregular and there's too much variation within the parchment. Whenever the image tiles it's obvious that it is doing so.

  PurplePenny 20:48 16 Nov 2005

I think I mentioned this to you .... did you get your group into Call to Arms?

  Red Devil 21:00 16 Nov 2005

Hi John,

Totally agree with you regarding the margins. It's the one area that I think needs improving most.

It would certainly improve the look and feel if the text was indented more. I'm already playing around with a new version that will, hopefully, improve the appearence quite a bit. I'll re-post in this thread asking for more opinions once I've got it working.

Cheers for the help.

  Red Devil 21:07 16 Nov 2005

Are you talking about the Call to Arms website or the magazine?

If you mean the website, every time I look on their links section, the only link they have is to Sally Green Historical Costumes - not that I have any complaint about Sally Green, I've bought a number of items of clothing from her. To me it's not worth being listed there as yet.

I'd rather see us listed at places like No Quarter Given - which I've already had us listed at - or other sites along those lines.

Not sure about the magazine. I know one of our group gets it. I'll ask the rest of our group about that the next time we meet up.


  PurplePenny 23:45 16 Nov 2005

They're the same Call to Arms. The listing goes in the print version. Henry used to put the listings online but they got copied and used on other sites so Henry was getting no return for his work. We found that getting into Call to Arms made a huge difference to event invitations, from all over Europe. We also got magazines sent to us from all over Europe ... some that we couldn't even understand!

  Red Devil 00:11 17 Nov 2005

Ahhhh, that explains it all now.

Like I said, I'm pretty sure one of our group gets Call to Arms regularly so we'll talk about getting ourselves listed the next time we have a meeting.

As a matter of interest, I take it you have an interest yourself in living history and/or re-enactment. If you don't mind me asking, what period/area do you re-enact?

  PurplePenny 15:10 17 Nov 2005

I don't do it anymore, but I used to be a (strictly Yorkist) Wars of the Roses re-enactor (The Beaufo Household, part of the Medieval Siege Society click here), occasionally doing Hundred Years War or early Tudor and just once, at a wonderful event in Ireland, Norman.

  Red Devil 21:11 17 Nov 2005

I've managed to embed a font into the website's design and I feel the font I've used - Wellsley - is a major improvement on the one I used previously - Buffied.

If I've done it right, anyone using Internet Explorer should see the every page on the site in the Wellsley font without having to worry about downloading and installing it.

If you compare the link here:-

click here

with the rest of the site:-

click here

the fonts should be the same.

I'd also appreciate it if I could get some opinions as to whether you think it's better than the way I did plan to have the writing look:-

click here

Aplogies to anyone using Opera or Firefox - neither browser supports font embedding at the current time and I've yet to try out the method supported by Netscape but plan on doing so soon.


  Red Devil 19:06 19 Nov 2005

Hi John,

Cheers for that. I'm glad it works.

It would be nice if Firefox and Opera supported the @font-face specification so that I could be sure that the overwhelming majority of potential site visitors would see the site the way I intended but while all the major browsers claim they're fully CSS1 compliant, they are far from CSS2 compliant and the @font-face specification is one of the optional parts if I've read the spec right.

One day, maybe, but they'll no doubt adopt the Netscape method of implementing the standard while Microsoft go their own way forcing web designers to have to make sure both methods are coded into the style sheet.

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