Review of purplebleeding.cjb.net

Reviewed: Daniela
Site URL: purplebleeding.cjb.net

You’ve pissed me off already. I didn’t really want to have my windows interrupted by a full-size World Casino advert. If you can’t afford hosting that doesn’t have adverts, find someone to host you at their site. There are loads of people willing to give space to “up and coming talent”. You’ll have to prove you’ve got talent first thought.

Obviously having been attacked by adverts my first impression isn’t a good one. Starting badly is not a good idea, it’s more likely to make me pick at the little things. For example, the fact that you’ve not customised the font on your splash page which means it is set to my default; Times New Roman. This doesn’t compliment your crappy splash image at ALL and should be customised.

Your requirements are ridiculous. I have an open mind, it doesn’t mean my viewing of your website will be any better. Do I get extra features for having an open mind? Do you do a brain scan and kick people out if they’ve not got an open mind? No, so remove this pointless waffle. While you’re at it, remove the image that you have decorating your page, as it looks like it’s been cut straight out of someone else’s layout and covered with text.

Your text is barely readable on the background because of the colour, and yet again it is un-customised. In fact, the only thing that you have customised is your scrollbars. Coloured scrollbars only work in Internet Explorer, so they are pretty pointless too. Wow, a lot of your site is pointless so far.

Your text is centered. That fad went out in the early ’90s. It makes pages even harder to read because the eye isn’t allowed to follow the lines as it flows. I recommend using CSS to customise your text font, colour and how your text is aligned, I’ll explain this a bit later in the review. That is, if I can bear to carry on.

I’m not even going to bother reviewing your content because it’s all taken from other sites, or is generic crap that seems to be appearing everywhere. You need to add something unique; put yourself into your site. Not only will this give you publicity, but you’ll start to form a loyal visitor crowd who will keep coming back.

I was going to spell-check your site, but I’m quite frightened that if I start, I’ll be here for hours, and I don’t have that much time. I suggest running your site through a spell-checker, just to be sure that your pages are correct. Microsoft Word has one built in.

Your coding is absolutely awful. You’ve got IE-specific coloured scrollbars, random capital letters, unclosed tags, missing quotation marks, no CSS to customise your text in the main frame; in fact, no type of font/font size customising at all. You’ve got a .html document (created with a pagebuilder) included as an external stylesheet in your links frame, which features badly written CSS to boot. Where do I start?

Okay, let’s see if we can get this sorted, because at the moment you’re not getting anywhere with what you have. Firstly, your main page, where you reference your frames. At the top of the page, you have:
<HTML><HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=black>

This is wrong. All of it. Firstly, coding should be in lowercase, not UPPERCASE. This is not just personal preference, it is a requirement if you ever decide to validate XHTML compliant (you’ve got a while to go yet thought). You need to change your coding to lowercase, and remember to use quotation marks around things like bgcolor=black. Eg. bgcolor="black". This is what the top of your HTML should look like:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<title>Purple Bleeding</title>
</head>

As you can probably see, I’ve added a title (your site name), and closed the <head> tag. The head tag should always be closed (</head>) before you open the <body> tag. I’ve also added a DOCTYPE. That is the long piece of coding on the first two lines that tells your browser how to process your code. In this case, it’s HTML 4.01 Transitional.

Next, you’ve got style coding. This should really be placed in an external stylesheet. You can find a tutorial on how to do this here. Once you’ve put your CSS in an external stylesheet, you can add the link before the closing </head> tag. So, with your stylesheet, you new coding will look like this:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<html>

<head>

<title>Purple Bleeding</title>
<link href="stylesheet.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">
</head>

<body>

I’ve now opened the <body> tag (see above). I have removed bgcolor=black from the <body> tag, because that can be specified in your CSS, like so:
body {

background-color: #000000;
}

#000000 is the hex colour code for black.

Now, onto the layout coding. Firstly, if you want to absolute position your iframes, you can do this without putting them into “div” boxes. You can give them a name, then position them with your external stylesheet. For example, this is your current code:
<div style="position:absolute; top:519; left:13">
<iframe src="http://www.freewebs.com/paulfrankluv/PBmain.htm" name="Main" width="347" height="3000" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="1" frameborder="0" scrolling="auto" scrolling=auto style="border: 1 solid #935379" allowtransparency="no"> </IFRAME>

</div>

If you remove the div, and gave your iframe a name, you could cut your code down to this:
<iframe src="http://www.freewebs.com/paulfrankluv/PBmain.htm" name="main" id="main" scrolling="auto"> </iframe>

This makes your document smaller, and tidier. Notice that I’ve added quotation marks around the things you’d missed? For this coding to work, you need to put things like your width and height in your CSS document. Take what you’ve already got, and add you frame information:
body {
background-color: #000000;
}
#main {
position: absolute;
top: 519px;

left: 13px;
border: 1 solid #935379;
width: 347px;
height: 3000px;
padding: 0px;
margin: 1px;
}

The “#main” stands for ID. This tells the browser that you’re looking for the item that you’ve given an ID of “main”. Look in the iframe coding before, notice how I added id="main"? The CSS will now co-operate with the HTML document, and assign all of this CSS properties to your iframe with the ID of “main”. You can repeat this for your “menu” iframe. Remove the unnecessary HTML, and give it an ID. Put the information for that ID in your CSS document. Once you’ve done that, you can now close your body (</body>) and html (</html>) tags in lowercase.

In your frames, you need to repeat this process. Put your coding into lowercase, and make sure the correct tags are closed before you open something else. You also need to give your frames a separate stylesheet with CSS. This separate stylesheet can assign your font colours, styles, etc.

I can see you’ve tried to use an external stylesheet in your menu frame. There are two things wrong with this. First, it has a “.html” extension. All stylesheets need to have a “.css” extension, like in my example above. The ideal name for a stylesheet is “stylesheet.css”. Because you’re using frames, you could call your menu stylesheet: “menu_stylesheet.css”. The second problem is that you have HTML coding in your supposed stylesheet. DON’T put ANY HTML in your stylesheet.

I’ve taken the style coding from the “.html” document, and cleaned it up. I’ve removed the HTML, and I’ve used the correct CSS for you. Here is your new, clean CSS document which you can save as “menu_stylesheet.css”. Aren’t I kind?

body, tr, td {
background-color: #000000;
color: #935379;

font-size: 9pt;
font-family: arial, sans-serif;
text align: left;
}
a:link, a:active, a:visited {
color: #BA80A2;
font-weight: bold;
text-decoration: none;

}

a:hover {
color: #BA80A2;
font-weight: bold;
text-decoration: underline;
cursor: crosshair;
}
p {

color: #935379;
font-size: 9pt;

font-family: arial, sans-serif;
text align: left;
}
textarea, input {
background: #000000;
border: 1px solid #935379;

color: #935379;
font-size: 9pt;
font-family: courier new, monospace;

}

This CSS can also be used in your main frame. Make any changes you might want (although you don’t need to) and save it as “main_stylesheet.css”. You can then include it in your main frame too. This will ensure that all of your text is customised, and that your text is aligned left, instead of center (center = bad).

I am going to stop here. I think from what I’ve criticised, you can pick up the basics. If you need to, use a website like lissaexplains.com to remind yourself of the basics, and then w3schools.com when you start to advance. Your HTML skills are obviously beginner, and I think you need to practise a lot before you consider submitting for a review again, otherwise you could end up getting your feelings hurt. You have potential, everyone does, all you need to do is put effort and thought into your coding, because it is essentially what holds your layout together. Good luck for the future.

Review of jen.eloquensa.net

Reviewed: Jen
Site URL: jen.eloquensa.net

Initial thoughts: wow. Immediately my eyes are brought to the gorgeous rose faded down the second column, following down I see the introduction. I’m not sure if this is intentional, but it’s a great design practise. I personally would have not thought of it, and would have probably stuck the introduction above the blog. Bravo for thinking ahead.

The overall layout is pretty, but the general presentation is quite overpowering. I never usually criticise large amounts of text as it shows that the site is thought about and effort has been put into it, however this site has three columns jam-packed full of text. The reader is likely to see that and think “I’ve not got time to read this!“. I would suggest removing the third column and placing the information on your other sites/projects on a page elsewhere. This would also improve the compatibility between resolutions.

In terms of navigation, your menu is initially troublesome to find. Had I not visited your website before, I may have missed it altogether. It has improved since my last stroll around your pages, but not by much. You may want to leave a note under “Prologue” as to where your navigation is on the page, how to use it, etc.

Your links are visible as links, distinguishable from the text. I think on a flat panel (I’m currently using a CRT) they might be less identifiable though, so consider adding some sort of decoration or underlining to make them stand out. I favour bold links, but this is just personal preference. I also think you should add some sort of change to the hover decoration too; a darker colour perhaps, or an underline. These kind of changes assist those who are visually impaired.

In terms of written content, you have a whole LOAD of written content which would take me an absolute age to get through thoroughly, so I’m going to skim a bit, and just look out for obvious mistakes/etc. Here are a few typing errors I spotted:

Page Paragraph Typo Correction
girl.php?girl 2 in-depthly The correction would require the entire sentence to be retyped.
girl.php?girl 7 stubborness stubbornness
girl.php?girl 8 acheive achieve
girl.php?girl 8 acheieving achieving
girl.php?girl 11 acheive achieve
girl.php?rant001 1 webpages web pages
girl.php?rant001 4 slabbed slapped
girl.php?rant001 5 webpages web pages
girl.php?rant001 6 unsliced un-sliced
girl.php?rant001 8 enchance enhance
girl.php?rant001 8 webdesign web design
girl.php?rant001 8 recieve receive
sitely.php?stats 4 webpages web pages
sitely.php?stats 4 in-depthly The correction would require the entire sentence to be retyped.
sitely.php?about 2 i I

I didn’t go through all the pages, but most of the typos I’ve picked out are just me nitpicking unnecessarily, but may be repeated on other pages. You can do this check yourself with spell-checking software.

I love the fact that you’ve got guest content. This is certainly not a requirement for personal pages, but you’ve put so much effort into your site, I’d have assumed you would be bored by now. This is obviously not the case, even with your piles upon piles of pages, you’ve still got graphics, tutorials, layouts, etc. This is excellent. If I were grading you, I’d give you an A+ for this extra effort alone.

Ahhh, valid XHTML and CSS! My browser loves you. What else can I say? Your coding is neat and you’re already using divs, IDs and classes. Excellent. Your next task is to inspire others to validate their pages. (Joke.)

Your site is lovely. It is well presented, if a little large in terms of layout (people do still use 800×600). Your text is clear, you links are useable, you have more written content than I could even imagine, and things for the guest to use. You obviously have spent a lot of time perfecting parts of your website, and it is reflected in everything you do. Keep up the awesome work!

Review of silent-mist.com

Reviewed: Christine
Site URL: silent-mist.com

Ooh, what a pretty splash page. I’m not generally interested in splash pages as I think they’re pointless, but this is nice so I’ll forgive you this time. Although, I don’t understand why you’ve got the splash page, as you’ve not listed anything that one might normally find here?

Ahh, a grey layout. I think it’s so easy to create something grey that works, because grey goes with basically everything. This is no exception. I love the use of neon-blues/neon-pinks on grey, and enjoyed the splash of colour the top image and links gave out. Unfortunately, this minor plus is overshadowed by graphic dividers (line.jpg) that seem to be stuck in place randomly (remove these, you don’t need them), and a “wallpaper contest” banner that would be better under your updates.

On the subject of your updates, you’ve got a space between the date and curly brackets (eg. { 10.27.04 } ) but no space between the end curly bracket and the text (eg. { 10.27.04 }Received). This would look better the other way around. No spaces around the date, and a space after the curly bracket (eg. {10.27.04} Received).

Other than the items I’ve mentioned above, the overall presentation of your site is good. You’ve got text which is easy to read, links which are clearly different from the text, and a navigation system that is visible above the content.

Now that I’ve mentioned content, I can quite happily say: where is it? You say that your site is a collective, but you approach it as if a normal site. A collective in my eyes is just a bunch of links to your sites, yet you include information and suchlikes. Because you started including information, I am disappointed to find that there are only FIVE lines about you, and none of these really tell me who you are, where you’re from, what you enjoy doing; all the sort of things I like to read about. Either remove this altogether, or add more information (even if it means copying what you have on your actual personal site).

I would have included mini-reviews on the sites within your collective, but you have too many for me to even know where to start. If you want any of these reviewing, you will have to submit them seperately.

I was hoping this would be an easy review, because the flaws in your site are basic, and you claim to have valid coding. However, your page currently isn’t validating, because of your <noscript> code. You can fix this by ending the <p align="center"> tag before you declare <noscript>. While you’re fixing that, you might want to consider giving your <div> boxes an ID/class and assigning properties such as width/etc in your external stylesheet, that way you can get rid of style coding from your main document.

For example, you currently have:
<div style="position: absolute; top:0px; left:0px;">

..specified to house your broken-up top images (which is actually pointless as splitting up images doesn’t increase the loading time as people say). If you gave it an ID, you could put the style coding in your stylesheet which will aid you in the future when you’re creating new layouts. So, this is what your HTML would look like:
<div id="images">

You’d add this to your stylesheet:
#images {

position: absolute;
top:0px;
left:0px;
}

..and there you have it. It might seem like fuss now, but in future you’ll be able to change JUST your stylesheet for a new layout to take affect. Magic, yes?!

Thankfully, your CSS *does* validate. Thank you.

All in all, your site is pleasant. There’s no real content or anything special to it because it’s simply a collective. To be honest, I don’t understand why you submitted for review, but heyho. You did, and now I’ve reviewed you. Work on the errors/flaws I’ve brought up to improve the general standard of your site, and that’s about all there is to it.

Review of acidgloss.net

Reviewed: Krissy
Site URL: acidgloss.net

Faced with the choice of multiple skins, I am going to review ‘Purple Vector’. I have decided to review this one because it is simple (my current favourite style), and you say you adore it. (Note: it was later discovered that Krissy stole this vector, take this review with a pinch of salt because I’m not sure any more what was hers and what wasn’t.)

I can’t say that my first impression is a good one. The vector itself is great, and I’ve only just noticed the larger ’shadow’ version behind it. This leads me to believe that you’re talented at what you do, which makes me want to continue browsing. However, there’s no introduction text. No welcome, no “this site is for bla bla..”. This makes me feel unwelcome and out of place. A small introduction explaining what the site is/what it’s for would work wonders.

I’m a little disappointed with the rest of the layout. The vector is great, stands out, presents itself with a focal point which I expect from all graphics, but after that it’s just white. For some reason, your white just seems extra scary. There’s something about it that is driving me up the wall. I can only suggest a very faint background in your sidebar, or main content/blog to break this up. Squidfingers.com has some great patterns which I’ve recently fell in love with.

I’m faced with two navigation blocks. Which do I use? They’re both more or less the same, but assuming I was a web newbie, I’d probably leave at this point out of sheer frustration. The purple navigation system ‘in’ the image is good, if a little small, but the text-linked navigation is the kind of thing I’m used to browsing.

While we’re on the topic of navigation, I notice your links are the same colour as your bold text. Not only this, but your links are bold too. How am I supposed to be able to tell the difference between links, and simple bold text unless I hover over each individual thing? Either make the links darker, or add some kind of underlining. My personal recommendation is a very faint dotted line, it does the job without being intrusive.

My last comments regarding presentation is your blog ‘quick stuff’. It looks so untidy just plonked at the top of the blog like that. Either put it at the bottom, or on a page of it’s own.

The content is there. That’s about it, there’s nothing special about it. There’s nothing wrong with it either, of course. You’ve got an amusing/interesting biography which goes into enough detail without being a replica of your life story. You don’t waffle on about what you did when you were 12 to some guy in school, which seems to be a recurring theme recently. You have clearly stated your opinions, no beating about the bush here. Excellent. Sufficient information about your domain and layouts, a decent copyright notice (disclaimer) and some links out. That’ll do; no real comment or criticism, because your content does the job.

The only page I spellchecked was your biography, because to me that is the most important part of a personal website. Even if yours isn’t entirely personal, it’s still one of the ‘biggest’ pages you have. Funnily enough, I couldn’t spot a single spelling error, hoorah. I did spot a typing error on your received review pages; it should be courtesy, not curtasy. See, and I wasn’t even looking for that one. The only other content ‘error’ I could find was a broken link to Un Deux WPR on your Reviews page. Un Deux closed when the owner lost her data to a bad host.

Your coding is currently not validating. For someone who’s specified a doctype, and successfully uses divs/etc, I’m surprised. However, it won’t be too hard to fix.

For starters, take everything you’ve capitalised <head>, etc and put it into lower case. If you’re determined to use XHTML, you should change all non-closing tags (such as <img> and <meta>) and change them to self closing tags. This means adding a “/” at the end of a tag, just before the closing > sign. This is the first few lines of your code as it is now:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<HEAD>
<TITLE> !@# AcidGlossNET — Goes Vector!</TITLE>

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<META name="description" content="Misc journal domain of a bitchy sarcastic teen.">
<META name="keywords" content="sex, drugs, rock & roll, crack, whores, cam, whore, camwhores, fuck, shit, cunt">

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://www.acidgloss.net/skins/1/style.css">
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE=JavaScript>
function gbook() {window.open(’http://www.acidgloss.net/c/book/guestbook.cgi’, ‘gbook’, ‘toolbar=no, location=no, directories=no, status=no, menubar=no, marginwidth=0, marginheight=0, scrollbars=yes, resize=no, width=400, height=400′)

}
</SCRIPT>
</HEAD>
<BODY>

This is what it should like, to validate XHTML compliant:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">

<script>
<title> !@# AcidGlossNET — Goes Vector!</title>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />

<meta name="description" content="Misc journal domain of a bitchy sarcastic teen." />
<meta name="keywords" content="sex, drugs, rock & roll, crack, whores, cam, whore, camwhores, fuck, shit, cunt" />

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://www.acidgloss.net/skins/1/style.css" />
<script type="text/javascript">
function gbook() {window.open(’http://www.acidgloss.net/c/book/guestbook.cgi’, ‘gbook’, ‘toolbar=no, location=no, directories=no, status=no, menubar=no, marginwidth=0, marginheight=0, scrollbars=yes, resize=no, width=400, height=400′)

}
</script>
</head>
<body>

You can probably see the difference. Just for your reference, here’s a list of musts if you want to validate XHTML compliant:

  • Close all non-closing tags with a “/”.
  • Use lower-case letters at all times.
  • Specify an ‘alt=""‘ for every image.
  • Always surround variables with quotes (<div id=layer1> should be <div id="layer1">, etc)
  • Properly nest and close ALL tags.
  • Replace special characters with the correct entity names. “&” should be “&amp;” and so on.

To save doing all this work, you could alternatively use an HTML 4+ doctype, as they’re not as fussy. You’d be able to get away with capital letters and no quotation marks. However, some of this stuff is just good practise and should be done anyway. I guess one saving grace is the fact that your CSS is valid.

After browsing your site and realising just how much you are involved in web design; with your various domains and server stuff, I am surprised you coding is so poorly done. In my opinion, while validating a normal site isn’t an absolute necessity, I’d expect you to use it to ‘boast’ your qualifications. There’s nothing like being one step ahead of the competition, as validation also comes hand-in-hand with cross-browser compatibility which in theory ‘extends’ your reach to the public?

Your site is good enough, personal enough, incorporates your personality enough/etc. It doesn’t jump out at me as overly professional though, and this may put your potential customers off. You are a kick-ass lady, and while I would promote reflecting this anywhere else, be careful how you do it while trying to get custom. Other than that factor, I have nothing else to say. Don’t stop anyone (including me) from expressing yourself like you do, and good luck with your various business activities.

Review of lindseyonline.net

Reviewed: Lindsey
Site URL: lindseyonline.net

‘Vote’ – I would, if I were an American. As I’m not, not only does this image appear pointless to me, but it strikes me as thought your entire site is going to be about Bush/Kerry or politics. Obviously I know better, but maybe you’d be better off with a smaller image and an explanation for those who don’t?

Upon entering the site via your boring white splash, I’m given a sudden dose of colour. A relief, in that I won’t be screwing my eyes up looking at text on a huge white ‘canvas’, but bam, such a shock to swap from one to the other! I am assuming the splash will be removed after all this election stuff is out of the way?

I like your layout, but then I’m a sucker for simple things. Normally I would criticise you for having ‘feature’ text bigger than the title on your image, but on this occasion I’m not sure anything else would suit. I like it, even if I don’t know what the two short sentences mean.

One thing I did notice almost immediately was that you have no “home” link. Even thought “main.html” has no real content or anything that the visitor needs, I still like to start from the beginning sometimes if I feel lost, or if I simply want to get to grips with the place. I suggest a “home” link be the first link in your horizontal menu.

While we’re on the subject of your Home page, there’s unnecessary information (”After spending many years..” bla bla..) on there that would be better suited under “Domain Info” in my opinion. To fill out your Home page again, some information on what each link in your menu contains would help, even if it seems redundant.

I always get confused when the navigation changes, which your site does when I click Art (under Content). This probably wouldn’t be a problem, but when I click Home, instead of taking me back to “main.html” like I was hoping I get whooshed back to that bloody splash page again!

I was disappointed not to find a single piece of information on you on your site. Thought the main purpose of the site is to serve as a collective, it would still be nice to have a little something to read about you. This can be something basic from your name, age and location to a full biography.

You have plenty of good artwork that I thoroughly enjoyed looking at, although as a past-visitor I’ve seen most of it before. What I really like is the fact that you add comments to your images; not many people (including myself) can be bothered to do this anymore. Bravo to you. It would be even better if you could put the comments into a title tag on your pop-ups, so people could hover and read the description before clicking. This could prove quite tedious though, and is not an absolute must.

Oh my gosh, I love you even more than I did originally. I don’t have to review your coding, whoo. Valid XHTML, welcome to the club! Actually, I lie, I do have one comment on your coding. On “main.html” you use non-breaking spaces (&nbsp;) to indent your text. There is a way to do that with CSS, which you may want to look at. As you only indent one paragraph though, this is purely your choice.

To summarise this rather short review, your site is wonderful. It is exactly what I love browsing. Simplistic layout, small graphics and gorgeous artwork (both written and sketched). With the exception of your splash page and the slight glitch with the “Home” link in the navigation, your site is delightful!

Review of hexi-decimal.com

Reviewed: Jordie
Site URL: hexi-decimal.com

Thankfully I’m on a broadband modem, so the first three seconds of browsing your site is a pleasant experience. You’ve got a stunning top image that is interesting to look at. The only problem is, on dial-up I could have been waiting about one minute for that to load. The majority of site visitors exit during their first 1-30 seconds of visiting, so if any of your 1-30 second visitors are on dial-up, they’re not going to see your top image which is a great pity.

My only other criticism is because your entire top image is ‘faded and shaded’ there is no designated focal point – strengthen the center of the image, or your title for maximum impact. This just makes it easier for the eye to settle, and is not a necessity.

The overall presentation of your site is great. I rarely see a site that breaks up their blocks of text with relevant images; it works well, and adds a certain amount of personality to what would otherwise just be a plain page. I love how the pale pastel shades of the featured images fit well with the sidebar and top image, great choices made there.

You’ve picked a good, round font which contrasts just enough against the white background to be readable, without making it stand out too much. I would suggest making the content in your sidebar darker though, because on TFT monitors/laptop screens there’s not much different between the colour of the text/links and the background shade. How about swapping the hover colour with the normal colour?

Your navigation system is effective; something I have used myself in the past. More visited links featured, with others stored under ‘more’ – a good idea, some visitors are put off by large blocks of links.

I think your page would look better with justified text, simply because the main content is effectively in a “box”. I’ve just recently started thinking that boxed text looks better justified, and ‘free’ text (maidensoul.net/weblog is a good example) looks good aligned left. This is, of course, a personal preference – but try it out and see for yourself what I mean.

It’s obvious that some of site is ‘inspired’ by other sites (jordie for sale = family for sale?), but you still keep your own ideas and styles which is vitally important. It is hell reviewing sites that are just another repetition of what’s already out there, and I am sure visitors would agree they’re irritating to browse too.

Your content consists of some unique stuff (Imaginary Friends, Trash Can) and some not-so unique stuff (AIM Icons). I am thoroughly pleased, however, that you’ve not followed the trend of offering other people’s fonts for download. It is a relief that you simply list the fonts and suggest others search for them on their own: font creators will love you. I do find it incredibly amusing however, that you state how you detest chat speak yet offer a dictionary on it for your visitors (even if it is a joke).

Your XHTML validates, which saves me a tiring job. However, there’s an error with your CSS. I’ve checked it over and I think it’s because of this bit:
.head {
font-family:georgia, arial, sans-serif;

You’ve specific a serif font in the first instance, and therefore cannot specify a sans-serif font as back up. My suggestion would be to change it to something like:

.head {
font-family: georgia, times, times new roman, serif;

Times New Roman is mentioned in two instances, because certain older browsers don’t understand the abbreviation to ‘times’.

Your site is quite hard to review. Not because it’s ugly, badly written or anything of the sort; simply because (like a few others I’ve come across) it is hard to critique something that has so obviously had time and attention put into it. Your site is free from obvious spelling errors (I have a cold, and I’m too lazy to do a full check) and has no coding or design flaws that jump out at me. It’s interesting to read through, and is certainly not like others I’ve come across. Keep up the great work, and use the few suggestions I’ve made to your advantage. Don’t let my good review go to your head; always strive to add and improve to what you have.

Review of colorfulsecrets.com

Reviewed: Michelle
Site URL: colorfulsecrets.com

Well, the crucial 3 seconds have passed and I’m yet to see something which would make me stay, or browse deeper into your site?

Your huge top image just isn’t practical, and doesn’t look right. It’s slow loading on dial-up, and really has no focus-point. You could cut it down to a simple banner which features just the site title, and still achieve the same purpose!

While we’re talking about your top image and practicality, what on Earth posessed you to put such tiny white navigation, onto a blurry pink-white image?! Had this of been my first visit to the page, I’d have skimmed down (because people rarely read the pages properly), totally missing the navigation, and the short blurb of text about its location. I can guarantee you I would have gotten bored with your lack of content and left – barely spending a minute on the page, wasting whatever effort you’ve put into your content.

I’ve always thought that it was sensible to have text in a bordered table (or div) with a different background colour, or with no border and all one colour. You’ve crossed the line between the two and have a border with two identical background colours. It looks dull, it hurts my eyes and defeats the purpose of having a border in the first place.

Your wide table doesn’t suit your page. You don’t have enough text content to merit a table wider than about 450 pixels. Reading your text means I have to drag my eyes across the screen, giving my mind the impression that I’m reading lots, when I’m actually still on the first sentence of a paragraph. If you used a smaller top image, you could cut your table down and therefore give the appearance of more text. Alternatively, you could just use a bigger/’rounder’ text size; like Verdana 10pt.

Your pages with the links to your content doesn’t sit right. Try using only one line break. It’ll make your page look smaller, but it’ll look tidier.

Your hosting page says your not hosting. If you’re not hosting, why have a hosting page? It’s a waste of space.

Your content is pretty basic. The “girl” section could be put into two/three pages instead of the seven it’s spread across now. Your “in-depth” page is hardly in-depth, and doesn’t cover half of the stuff I expected. I think you should have one “about me” page, and put the content from your other pages in it, like this:

[image since lost]

Your page will be longer, but it’ll give the impression that you have more content overall which has been thoroughly thought through. Hopefully it will entice your visitors to read, and to get to know you.

You have visitor content, which is obviously not required for a personal site – but nice. Unfortunately I can’t see the majority of it because your background is black, and so are things like your ‘button templates’. This kind of oversight is what stops your site from being a great site. Little thought for what people can see/can read lets the whole thing down.

The only vaguely original thing I’ve seen while browsing is your ‘printable stationary’ (which should be spelt stationery) and your ‘gel text’ tutorial. However, the stationery itself is not exactly exciting – try and create unique stationery by featuring some of your doodles or artwork on it. When do we get to see more tutorials?

Your coding.. where to begin? First, you’re doctype is not correct. You’ve missed out a few bits. Replace your current doctype with the correct one, which is:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">

Now you need to assign a charset parameter. I recommend this one:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

Now we can start going through the rest of your coding. Because I can’t validate the page, it’s hard to give specific details on errors. However, here are a few things I picked up on that you should sort…

Remove the ’style’ coding from your main HTML. This can be achieved by putting things that you’ve placed in “style="" ” tags, into your external stylesheet. Also, assign your background to your main page using CSS, instead of “body background="" “. While we’re on the subject of CSS – remove the unnecessary “<!–” and “–>” from your CSS; it invalidates it. Here’s a quick peek at what your CSS should look like:

body {
background-image: url(’/images/csbg.gif’);
color: #ffffff;
font-size: 8pt;
font-family: tahoma, sans-serif;
line-height: 20px;
}

a:link, a:visited, a:active {

color:#f0d3dc;
text-decoration: none;
font-weight: bold
}
a:hover {
color:#f0d3dc;
text-decoration: underline overline;

font-weight: bold
}

..instead of the untidy mess it’s in at the moment. Your CSS has no fixed style, which makes me think you didn’t write it yourself – just picked it up from various websites and stuck it all together. Don’t do that, it’s illegal. You can easily learn proper CSS at w3schools.com. Browsing there might also help you pick up some tips and tricks for neatening your HTML.

In your main HTML you have two divs assigned, but I can’t see why. My only thought is that you’re want the effects of the coding from each, but don’t know how to combine the two? Look at what you’ve got right now:

<div style="position:absolute; top:407px; left:10px; width: 10px">

<div style="padding-left: 0px; width: 0px; text-align:justify">

..look at what it could be:
<div style="position:absolute; top:407px; left:0px; padding-left: 10px; text-align:justify">

Better yet, you could cut it right down and put the style coding in your stylesheet, and just give the div an ID, like so:

Div Coding
<div id="box">

Stylesheet Coding

#box {
position:absolute;
top:407px;
left: 0px;
width: 682px;
padding-left: 10px;
text-align: justify;

}

With that coding above, not only would you then be in position of validated code, but you’d be able to delete the code for your table and be in position of a super-trendy, CSS based layout! Of course, I wouldn’t recommend hacking about your code and removing chunks just based on what you see here. Research, read up, and make yourself knowledgeable.

To summarise, your website is ‘nice’. You’ve got some good (but basic) content, but you seem to have skipped past some common-sense layout ideals. Focus on quality not quantity, and try and make your layouts smaller to make your text look bigger; it’s one of the oldest tricks in the proverbial ‘book’. Oh, and sort out that tiny and confusing navigation!

Review of happie-days.net

Reviewed: Dorie
Site URL: happie-days.net

As first impressions go, yours is good. You’ve got a nice, easy to see top image with large CLEAR text. The average visitor will certainly know where they are. Already I can tell your site is bright, cheery and will not be full of profanity or other undesirable content.

The layout works. It’s a generic two-column style with a top image. I have to admit it’s the style of layout I tend to favour most. At 8pt, your main text size is viewable even on higher resolutions. I would of course recommend using a percentage font-size in the future, as they’re adjustable based on the browser settings. This means those who are visually impaired may change the size to suit their personal preferences.

Another point regarding your text; the colour. The main text (and title) looks like quite a weird shade of purple-blue, whereas the background (immediately behind the text) is a sky blue. You’ve used two shades of blue from opposite ends of the ‘range’. I would suggest changing the sky blue, or a much easier task – adjust the text colour. This is obviously just for aesthetic reasons, but will make the page appear to blend better. I suggest taking the background colour (#B5E3E7) into PSP and altering the “Light” attribute only. Something like #2C7390 would suit.

Thankfully you’ve underlined your links which makes them stand out – making your pages easier to navigate, and making the overall site much more functional.

I was quite disappointed after being so analytical about the presentation of your site to discover that my critique of your content would be so basic. Why? Simply because you have very little personal content, and on a personal site I expect more. In future, I suggest working on the content that really makes the reader feel like they know you, before you submit for a review – this is what we like to see!

The personal content you do have that relates to you is quite generic – stuff that appears quite a lot on most blog-sites. I think joined would be better suited in “www”. On your “quick facts” page, why have you capitalised the place you live in but not your name? Some more interesting/unique facts would be fun to read – think about what you can add to that page carefully to make it yours, and unlike any others I’ve seen.

You have an abundance of visitor content, which sort-of makes up for the lack of content elsewhere. Your “fortune cookie” page is far too plain. Maybe you should introduce a form for users to submit their own fortunes, or to send in what they got and if it helped. Your rules are short and to the point, which is good – but you may wish to link to pages where visitors can find information on WHY they should link back. Pages like whatiscopyright.org and rightsforartists.com are good educational resources.

On the topic of rules, copyright and such – my uptight side of me tells me you shouldn’t be asking people to link back anyway. Correct me if I’m wrong (I often am), but don’t the images featured in your AIM icons, avatars and blogs belong to other people? Technically you’re not allowed to edit and redistribute them, because it’s against the law. Unless you’ve obtained written permission to use these images in free stuff on your site, you might want to be careful what you do with them.

Your reads are amusing, and it’s nice to see the odd one I’ve not seen before on your site, but surely you should credit the website you obtained them from on each page, and not just on a separate ‘credits’ page? Do you have permission to redistribute the fonts you feature on your ‘fonts’ page? Again, you should be careful with this kind of stuff. Just because everyone else does it, doesn’t make it right.

The voting link ‘3′ doesn’t work because the Jemjabella Toplist shut down. The script is one big security hole and let in unwanted ‘visitors’ – you should think seriously about this, as I noticed you’re using the same script. The link back to here would be better suited on your ‘www’ page under ‘links out’. Under ‘directories/listings’ your link to the Reverie Listing is 31×88 when it should be 88×31.

I am not going to spell-check your site because I don’t have the right software and may end up making myself look silly. I do think you should go through your site yourself though, and capitalise place names, people’s names, etc. You’ll probably find that if you give your site a read-through every now and again you’ll spot mistakes that you (and others) may have missed otherwise.

You’ve got the XHTML 1.0 Transitional doctype, and your coding looks all right enough, but your index page is currently not validating. Your little ‘diamond’ image link is missing the closing tag required to validate XHTML. Replace the current code with this new code:
I am a rare <a href="http://dandylicious.it/diamonds.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://happie-days.net/gr/diamond.gif" width="11" height="10" border="0" alt="diamond of the web!" /></a>

Your aim icons page also has a missing “</div>” tag. I haven’t checked all of your pages, but as far as I can tell there are no more errors. If you linked to the validator it would of course be easier to validate every page quickly; just by clicking the link. Your CSS validates perfectly – well done. Sort out the few minor errors and I think every page will validate without problem.

On the whole, you site is a pleasure to browse, even if it is a little dissapointing regarding content. I am sure you’re going to improve upon that over time though. Good luck with making your site unique, and with the perfect validation!

Fat Coppers

Turns out my new website look/thingy might not be up when I come home after all.

Karl and I were woken at 11ish this morning by a group of fat policemen. Ok, so not all of them were fat but they were certainly coppers. Apparently someone has signed up to Ebay and has sold/was selling a camera that they *THINK* was stolen from Telford (where I live) in July. It’s now mid-August and they’ve raided Karl’s house in Shrewsbury to look for this stolen camera.

They’ve taken ALL of the computers from Karl’s place – that includes my laptop (with my new website, my new VB work, my hand-written piece of Javascript from last night..), Karl’s laptop (which contains the school website he’s been working on all summer), Karl’s main PC upstairs, Karl’s spare crappy ‘server’ in the shed, Karl’s Mum’s PC (with all of her accounts work on).. everything.

I am just really fucked off because I only got my VB.net trial yesterday. I NEED to use it, practise/etc.. so I can do Programming Year 2 in college which I can only do because the lecturer has got me on the Programming course as a favour. I didn’t do Programming Year 1, which is why the lecturer has done this favour, and why I’ve had to study over Summer.

Anyway. How fucking ironic that the knob who has taken this stuff away was the wanker who drove my brother to kill himself. *sigh* Heyho.. I’m going to go rant and whine some more. Fucking bastard fucking coppers.. fucking fucking fucking..

Tony Blair Was Wrong

Wow.. Tony Blair just admitted he was wrong about the Weapons of Mass Destruction.

“I have to accept that we haven’t found them, and may never find them.”

Holy shit, he admitted it. I didn’t see that coming!

Review of fluffyland.com

Reviewed: Sam
Site URL: fluffyland.com

You didn’t specify a skin, so I’m just going to review your new one – Abstract Butterfly.

Surprisingly enough, I like the colour scheme. The particular colours you’ve chosen fit well together, and you’ve obviously picked them to complement the butterfly. Unfortunately, I think that the fact your side-bar is almost the same size as your normal content ’section’ lets your whole layout style down. Side-bars are supposed to integrate into a layout as an aid for the user, and not be a huge waste of page space. Resize/cut the image and decrease the size of your left hand sidebar to make the layout more practical.

I was a little irritated that this skin was only viewable in 1024×768 or above. While you’ve made-up for this in the size of your other two skins, I think Abstract Butterfly is the most elegant and therefore should be viewable by everyone. A good percentage of computer users still use smaller resolutions, especially those who are new to the Internet.

The presentation of the site is simple enough, and easy to navigate. Typical side-bar/column layout with basic links to the various parts of your site. You should set a margin on your headers though, so there isn’t such a huge gap between the header and the links/content underneath. My main problem was that some links were hard to find – I completely missed the “links” mini-image the first time I looked, which would have resulted in the deletion of your review.

I think content possibilities are endless – there’s so much you could do for your site, but it’s honestly lacking. You have a well-sized bio that gives minimal insight into who you are but you should try adding some things like likes (like your “Favorites” only more detailed), dislikes (along with your own reasons), etc. Information on how long you’ve been designing sites for, where you picked up your knowledge of HTML/etc – anything, as long as it gives your visitors a way to get to know you and your site better.

I noticed a few typing errors on your site, they are listed here for your convenience:

Page Paragraph Typo Correction
aboutme.php 4 swordfighting sword fighting
aboutme.php 5 kinda kind of
aboutme.php 6 ends.I’m ends. I’m
faves.php (sentance) 3 Carribbean Caribbean
site.php 1 availibility availability
site.php 1 thingie thingy
site.php 2 thingie thingy
printables.php 1 crosspoints cross points
colorize.php n/a colors. the colors. The

Your other content is basic, at most. Basic backgrounds which are easily created with Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop and basic ‘builders’ which lack any real interest. They’re good, they just don’t hold the attention of the user for long. How about some articles, or some of your opinions on controversial subjects that users can read – these will help involve the visitor. If you’re going to have a tutorials section, add more tutorials.

Your coding is untidy. You use excessive line breaks instead of paragraph tags or margin/paddings. Instead of using:

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <br /><br />

..to set a height for the “pic1″ column, you could have placed the butterfly image as an image instead of a background picture. Alternatively, you could have set a height in your CSS. Your code would look like this (replacing ### with the correct measurement):

td.pic1 {
text-align: center;
width: 350px;
height: ###px
background: url(http://www.fluffyland.com/images/butterfly.png);
border: 5px solid #FFFFFF;
padding: 2px;
}

Just as a helpful note – you don’t need to use “valign=”top”” in your main coding, you can simply specify vertical-align: top; in your CSS on the columns that you want top-aligned. Also, instead of typing the full URL to the picture (http://www.fluffyland.com/images/butterfly.png) you could simply write /images/butterfly.png.

Your coding would be much tidier, and easy to keep track of if you used paragraph tags everywhere, not just in your main content. <p> to open a paragraph, and </p> to close it, with line breaks where ever necessary. For example, your menu, would look like this:
<p>
<a href="aboutme.php">About Me</a><br />
<a href="site.php">About Fluffyland</a><br />
<a href="skins.php">Skin the Site</a><br />
</p>

<p>
<a href="backgrounds.php">Backgrounds</a><br />
<a href="builders.php">Builders</a><br />
<a href="adoptables.php">Fluffy Pixels</a><br />
<a href="templates.php">Icon Templates</a><br />
<a href="printables.php">Printables</a><br />
<a href="tutorials.php">Tutorials</a><br />
</p>

..instead of what you have now.

It’s tidier and easy to edit/keep control of, don’t you agree? One last comment on your CSS, don’t forget to offer alternatives when declaring fonts in your CSS. At the moment, you’ve simply got “font-family: lucida sans unicode;” – this should be “font-family: lucida sans unicode, sans-serif;” just in case the user doesn’t have Lucida Sans Unicode on their computer. Alternatively, if you were to decide to use Times New Roman or Georgia/etc – you’d specify the alternative of “serif” instead of “sans-serif”.

Sort of coding related – your font tutorial is inaccurate. The <font> </font> tag has been deprecated and therefore you’re suggesting people use invalid coding – what’s the point in that?

In summary, your site was nice to browse – but that was it, “nice”. There doesn’t seem any real dedication to the site or it’s written content, and you’re too busy taking ‘inspiration’ from other people instead of setting your own style. Get more of yourself into the site, and work on your coding skills before going for more complexity. You need to KNOW the basics and put them into practice before assuming you can advance. Really put in some effort, and it will pay off eventually.

Review of unchained-melody.net

Reviewed: Chelsea
Site URL: unchained-melody.net

The first thing that I saw was your top image, above your content. I enjoyed looking at the details on the leaves – quite a fetching photograph. The only problem is, you’ve covered the main flower with your title text, and I think it defeats the purpose of the image. In my opinion you should have left-aligned the text nearer to the left hand side, and used anti-aliasing to prevent it from looking so rough-edged.

On the topic of your text – I am confused as to why your left hand menu uses a serif font, yet your blog uses a sans-serif font, then the rest of your content is serif again! I don’t mind which style you use (serif or sans-serif – although sans-serif is often easier to read, especially for those with poor eyesight) but keep it static, otherwise you don’t keep your own “house style” and it lets down the consistency of what could otherwise be a very elegant site.

The site itself is well presented. Other than the rough fonts (do you not ever use anti-aliasing, or was it created ‘rough’ on purpose?) the layout is a nice style and two column / top image layouts are often the easiest to use/browse. You’ve got a nice big font which is easy to read, with dark colours on a lighter background so it stands out – this is great.

In your blog (log, whatever) you have used a lighter colour for your header (subject) than you have for your main text. This to me looks wrong – as it’s always the header of a document that is supposed to stand out more than anything, to attract a readers attention. My suggestion is to make the subject/header darker, bigger or more pronounced – do this by underlining or styling it in a slightly different way to the rest of your text.

Your links are hard to spot/use. In your left hand menu they’re the same colour as your text, and don’t have any hover effect which means any potential visitors you receive could miss out on chunks of your website! Also, in your main content you have merely applied bold to the links; I think this just makes them look like darkened/exaggerated text – give them an underline while hovering or something similar to make them stand out from the rest.

Scrolling marquees are bad enough, but a scrolling marquee of images is bound to crash a few browsers for those with bad connections. You have some pretty photography there, so giving them a portfolio/page of their own (as mentioned in your b/log) should be a top priority. While I’m talking about your photos – the thumbnails are linked, but the links don’t actually lead anywhere. If you’re planning on linking to the larger image or a portfolio as mention, I suggest getting the larger images up and running before adding the links to the thumbnails – I was disappointed that I couldn’t see the full range of your photography in full.

You’ve got some great written content under “Her Ladyship” – but you squish it into little pop-ups. It would be really nice if you gave them pages of their own. You could still list them under your sections as you have done, but let them “spread their wings” so to speak. You are an interesting person, don’t squash your potential in a little scroll box.

As I said – some great written content. You are quite brave to voice your opinions and to openly talk about your deafness. I should imagine the internet is great for you – as interaction is visual and not sound? My only problem is your opinion of Lesbians/Bisexuals/Gays. After reading, I was rather tempted to delete the review and your application, but I reminded myself I’m reviewing your site and not you. Are you sure you wish to be reviewed by the daughter of a lesbian though?

Your “Writings” section was another good read – although I’d like to see more there. Again, you should give your writings a page of their own instead of squishing the individual bits into pop-ups. Especially when you consider how many people use pop-up blockers. If someone using a blocker visits your site and clicks a link, only to get an error or warning – they may think you have no content!

I liked the menu system on “The Domain” – maybe you could use the same thing on your Writings/Her Ladyship section instead of pop-ups?

I’ve spotted a few typing errors which I thought I’d list for you. I am not going to list grammatical errors, and please excuse (ignore) English corrections of American words.