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"....

  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?

  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!!!

  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.

  Chillie 11:14 13 Sep 2007

Thank you for reinforcing your points about site updates. As I said in an earlier response, updates may be a problem. I am aware that I cannot depend on the Councillors or Clerk, who have never bothered even to look at it!

I shall be making some changes especially following the comments made by other contributors about colours and so on. The main objective for me is to keep the site simple and easy to update.

However, the site listed by FE does show not only what can be done, but more importantly how to do it!

I had asked earlier if you would let me have a look at the village site you designed. You can email me if you wish.

Once again, many thanks for your thoughts and advice.

  Chillie 11:19 15 Sep 2007

My thanks to all for the comments and advice. I shall find a small corner and learn!

I shall tick this as resolved.

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

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