First Attempt At A Web Site - Please Review

  SimpleSimon1 18:34 08 Nov 2007

Good Evening Everybody

Since I'm brand new to this whole web-design thing, I'd appreciate any feedback re my first attempt at a mini-web site for my wife's business.

The site is at click here and seems to validate OK. I know what people say about using a white background but the JuicyStudio colour checker says that contrast and brightness are OK. For what its worth, I think that the very pale blue does work fairly well.

Font obeys the Text Size functions in FF and IE and I'm only using Javascript to validate fields on the contact form (still in two minds about that from an accessibility point of view!).

I know the HTML table code is a bit ugly in places but I needed something quickly (although, I have used CSS where possible). I'll be developing her a full web site in the next month or so and, hopefully, that will be clean CSS, with no tables.

Anyway, all comments are welcome and, hopefully, people won't find the site (if that isn't too grand a name for it) too shoddy.



  gibbs1984 19:56 08 Nov 2007

I like it, it's clean, it's clearly laid out, you use white space well, clear headings, the background colour doesn't clash with the font.

Good first try in my opinion.

  Marko797 21:08 08 Nov 2007

clean, fresh, easy on the eye..good attempt!

  CodeMeister 21:55 08 Nov 2007

Hi SimpleSimon1,

It's a nice clean design, but just to be critical, the W3C validator threw up 10 errors.

click here for the W3 validator, then enter your website address and then click the "Check" button.

  Forum Editor 22:48 08 Nov 2007

is that the readability could be improved.

There's a lot of text there, and that's fine - it provides people with valuable information - but it is difficult to read. The reason is the way you've laid the page out. Because the text streams right across the page your eye has to make great journeys from side to side, and it can be distracting, it's easy to lose your place, and a lot of people will be deterred.

Take a look at some magazines and newspapers and think about what it is that makes them so easy to read - the text is laid out in columns, and is often interspersed with images and line separators. Your text divides nicely into sub-headings, so you're halfway there. All you need to do is to put it into columns, instead of running it right across the page, and insert some images or line breaks between the sections. You'll be surprised - it will be much easier on the eye, and far easier to read.

  SimpleSimon1 09:23 15 Nov 2007


Sorry it's taken a few days to reply but the real-world has been a bit frantic. Firstly, thanks to everyone for the very constructive comments.

CodeMeister: Hhm, that's what happens when you think "That's just a quick tweak - I don't need to re-validate" :-( Guess, I need to encode the three ampersands in that multimap URL (which I added at the last moment).

FE: I was wondering about that and I can see where you're coming from. However, let's assume that the text is laid out in two 'newspaper columns'. They'll both be fairly long because of the amount of text (for this exercise only, I was limited to one web page plus the contact form) so some users will probably have to scroll the viewport as they read down the first column.
When they reach the end of the first column, isn't it going to be disruptive to the 'reading flow'to then have to scroll back up to reach the beginning of the second column?

Maybe it's simply the lesser evil cos there's no doubt that shortening the line length makes it more readable (as if anyone would ever doubt FE :-)

All thoughts welcome

  robgf 13:02 15 Nov 2007

Further to the the FEs comments about the width of the text, your tables are set dynamically, so that how the site looks depends on the users screen resolution.
I run at 800*600, so your site looks fine and the text width is okay.
But if someone is running at a high resolution it will look pretty bad. I would suggest using a fixed width table, I use 740 pixels, as I like my site to look good at 800, or 1024 resolutions.

It's always a compromise and you can't please everyone, as we are all using different screen settings.
If you use a fixed width, don't forget to center your tables, otherwise they look terrible jammed up on the left.

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