View Full Version : Looking Professional
I have been changing and updating my website for months now trying to get a more professional look, while keeping it clean and uncluttered.
I think I could use some help.
My first site was with our ISP (came with the internet connection but was free and had a fairly limited bandwidth) and I've recently upgraded to my own www site. I'm trying to remake the site, losing some stuff in the process (otherwise, there's just too much). There are still a couple of pages linked from my new site to the old one - just haven't gotten around to redoing them yet, but the links to the old site make it a little confusing.
Most of the people I deal with for portraits and events tend to be running older computers so I have to be careful about what I use on my site.
Suggestions and comments?
Jun 3/06, 12:15 PM
You should be using XHTML and CSS!!!!!!!! Makes site upkeep a lot easier. See http://www.w3.org for more info.
You should have a "Home" link on EVERY page.
Don't use frames. Frames creates problems with search engine indexing.
Your black-and-white logo is difficult to read and does not have alternate text. Again, a problem with search engines.
Your black-and-white self-portrait is fuzzy.
From a personal standpoint I don't like websites with a black background, it makes type difficult to read in many cases.
Barry M. Robinson
Barry, thanks for the suggestions - I like the black background, so I'm probably going to keep it, but before I make the final decision, is it more difficult to read white text on black than black text on white? I don't have a problem with that, but I never gave it much thought really.
My self portrait is fuzzy on purpose - it's done with a diffusion filter...I don't like to show my wrinkles.
I don't use xml or css because I don't know it, and because the program I use builds the website for me - simple and easy to keep up with the click of a button - I can change every page colour or text colour by changing the main page (similar to css). I'm not a webdesigner and the best I can do is basic html which I can code by hand, but don't have the time anymore. The frames are a function of the progam, because I could never make frames work when I coded by hand.
There is a home page link at the bottom of every page (except the gallery pages).
I'm not sure what the logo has to do with search engines - I don't know too much about that end of things. The website name is included in the metadata I think, but I'd have to check it again. What would the "alternate" text be for and how would I code that?
I haven't given much thought to search engines - mostly I send my customers to view their images and select the ones they want printed. I've gotten some work from the site, mainly by word of mouth.
Jun 3/06, 06:08 PM
Yeah, you definitely need a "home" link on every page. Why not just add it to the top of your left menu? Otherwise it's not looking too bad, but I would agree with Barry about getting away from frames if you can. The problem with frames is the individual pages get indexed by the search engines. So if one frame is linked in a search engine, people can find themselves on one frame of your site without any of the other frames that are necessary for navigation, etc. That creates a frustrating experience for the end user.
Jun 4/06, 08:23 AM
The problem with frames and search engines is twofold. One, frames sometimes don't get indexed so the search engine doesn't "know" all about your site.
The second problem, as Andrew mentioned, is when the frames are indexed they appear as orphaned pages (since your menu is on the page that calls the frame). Someone clicking on a search engine link to an orphaned frame will see the content but won't be able to go anyplace else in your site.
You also seem to have an excessive number of nested frames! On your home page the first frame is blank (calls a CSS file), the second one is your left hand menu, and the third nested frame is your content. This should do a good job of hiding your content.
The reason for the alternate text in the image is so that search engines can properly index your site. For example, your logo might have alt="The Photography of Grace" included in the image tag. I would also work at making your logo readable (it is very difficult to read the type).
The problem with white type on black is that with some sans-serif faces it can break up and become unreadable at small sizes.
Barry M. Robinson
Thanks both of you - I have never understood how frames work but I can see the problem the way you've explained it. I'll have to look for an affordable program to redesign the site - the thought of hand coding by the old html doesn't exactly turn me on. I've got an older copy of FrontPage (2000), but I didn't really want to have to reinstall it.
I've added a home button to the menu for the time being, and maybe I'll change the text to a non sans-serif temporarily til I can figure something else out.
The logo I'll have to work on - it was designed in colour and is all over my letterheads, business cards, etc., but I wanted to keep the main page in black and white...maybe I should remove the logo.
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