Help and advice for new web site

  twizzlesticks 16:06 18 Nov 2006

Hi would it be possible to have alook at my website click here It was not designed by myself and i need input on how to get seen on search engines, and if the designer has done a good job or not. Also is there any good books on this subject that you can recommend.

  PurplePenny 18:14 18 Nov 2006

A small thing first: the favicon (the little picture that appears in front of the URL in the address bar) isn't a paw print! With the name and the use of paw images I'd expect the favicon to be a paw to0.

A couple pf bigger things:

The background boxes don't line up properly in Firefox.

There is a long section of text under the main screen on the home page in Firefox. It isn't supposed to be visible (and isn't in IE) and has been hidden by a technique called negative positioning. That is to say that it is supposed to appear off the top of the viewable area thus making it not visible to us the viewer.

I'm not sure why the technique isn't working in Firefox (it has worked for me in the past) but it doesn't look very good (though remember most visitors won't be scrutinising the site the way we are and may never scroll down to it).

  IClaudio 18:50 18 Nov 2006

overall... but to nitpick, I don't like the Comic Sans font in the banner, although the graphic on the right hand side is good. The font is continued throughout the site, but, IMHO, this looks rather amateurish. And the colour scheme could be a bit more vibrant.

In Firefox, there's something very wrong. First, the various boxes don't line up, with rounded corners not matching up properly, and text and pictures spilling over the borders. If you scroll down, most pages go on forever, with a long list of links, I think. While this doesn't affect the shopping part of the site, it will give the shopper an impression of slapdash design.

Some of the graphics need to be looked at; for example, the New Products at the bottom of the Home Page are wrongly sized.

Each page displays 'All paws together' on the title bar at the top of the window, but I think you should have a meaningful page title ('All paws together: Christmas', 'All paws together: Bowls'...) on each one.

The shopping itself seems to work fine, and there's a lot information along the way to make everything clear for the user.

I like the idea of a photo gallery, and it's well-implemented... but why 'Charlie's Corner'?

All in all, a very good job,, just needs a bit of tidying up, and a bit more pizzaz...

  IClaudio 18:51 18 Nov 2006

sorry PurplePenny, I've cross-posted :(

  PurplePenny 18:59 18 Nov 2006

It is usually me that gets there second! Anyway you make a lot of new points: it is only the Firefox problem that got duplicated.

  twizzlesticks 19:09 18 Nov 2006

Thankyou for you comments i will try and get them looked at, being new to this, could you advise on any books or websites that could help with these matters.

  IClaudio 19:20 18 Nov 2006

So why the 'negative positioning'? Is this just a kind of 'holding' or scratchpad work area?

  PurplePenny 21:45 18 Nov 2006

In this case it has been used to allow the web designer to get lots and lots of text keywords onto the opening page for search engines to pick up without them being visible to users. The method isn't 100% though because they *are* visible in text readers and screen readers.

I used them to provide "skip to main content" links to go over the navigation menu for those same screen reader users. This used to be considered a good accessible method of providing "skip" links to screen reader users (who need them) whilst hiding them from other users (who don't need them).

However, this thinking has been superceded by the idea that skip links are useful to other users of assistive technology; not just screen reader users. So now such links are not supposed to be hidden by this method.

  PurplePenny 21:53 18 Nov 2006

Which aspects do you want help with?

If you want to know more about what goes on behind the web page you can learn about the tools of web building (HTML and CSS) at W3Schools:
click here

If you want to know more about getting found by search engines you can read about it on Google's Webmaster Help Centre:
click here

  twizzlesticks 10:02 19 Nov 2006

agian for all your help, i will start reading as i am really interested now in how it all works

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