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Review of colorfulsecrets.com

 |  Interwebs, Review

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!

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

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