Site URL: scrubalicious.net
“Aaah”. Immediately I am relaxed. Strange really, most people wouldn’t consider a website “relaxing” as such, but there is something that appeals to me here. I’m not a dog lover, but it is refreshing to see a great photo implemented into a layout with a corresponding colour scheme, and see it implemented well. Personal opinions aside, had I been ‘just passing’ I think I would have settled down with a coffee to get a better look at things, because you’ve grabbed my attention. Your site is soft and subtle but definately “there”, it’s alive. My first impression is good one.
Your font colours stand out away from the background and you’ve used a sans-serif font at a decent size; I commend you for that. It’s all too easy to slip into tiny text mode, but I don’t think your site would suit anything other than 8pt. I am glad you’ve added padding to your content so it’s not rushing against the “wall” of the boxes containing your content/etc, it makes it so much easier to read! Also, strangely enough I appreciate the letter spacing despite the fact that I usually cannot stand it. Your presentation is consistant – there are no sudden glares of colour or outlandish link rollover effects that tend to make me cringe. It is well organised and your titles and subtitles stand out.
Your navigation is incredibly functional – I am glad I didn’t have to glare at a 700×500 pixel image trying to figure out which tiny star is featuring the link to the next scrap of content. It’s easy to spot there on the left hand side, and stands out because of your intelligent colouring of the links (I am so glad they’re not the same colour as your text). You’ve titled all of your links too, which means when I don’t know what you’re trying to suggest – I can just hover right over and get a clearer description which suggests to me you’ve really thought about your visitors. I had no problem finding the link to CSR and no problem browsing your site, excellent!
It’s nice to see that every image on your site is set out the same way. All set the same size as other images on the same page with a white and black border – it is consistancy like this that make your site a pleasure to look at, and a pleasure to return to.
I think the first and most important thing I can say regarding your content is “wow”. I get the impression that you want to include the visitor in their “journey” around your site, yet at the same time you are keeping things mostly personal. For example; the Pit Bull information – it was a pleasent surprise to go to your site and learn something from your “learn” section, instead of just getting misinformed on how to add sloppy grids to a badly photoshopped Britney Spears. Bravo! You take your knowledge and information on your chosen topic and you put it across suitably. You suggest pros and cons to owning a Pit Bull, and you actually care to get your facts right! I am impressed (this is not an easy task). It was nice to be warned about the content under “Pit Bull” abuse, it shows consideration for younger visitors and sensitive eyes.
I liked reading through your “About Me” page. It wasn’t the usual jumble of long words that site owners tend to stick together to try and sound impressive, it was down to earth – an insight into you, which I am assuming is what you were aiming for. I get the same impression on your “Eli and Me” page – while it’s there for the visitors to read, it’s very much you. I enjoyed reading about you; I even enjoyed reading your filler pages (pages like ‘My ABCs’ and ‘Random Facts’ which everyone seems to have). Your button collection and thrift find pages are unique (as far as I know; I’ve never seen any other site with them) – I especially liked the red button with the woman kicking the man, this appealed to my sense of humour, heh.
The “Story Time” page made me giggle, I cannot wait to see this story in a few weeks – hopefully when more people have added their input. I simply don’t have the time to comment on all of your content, as there is far too much – but I AM going to say that is certainly will be a pleasure returning in my spare time to check out more of your stuff. I am constantly surprised, impressed and amused by little bits of writing, content, etc – it is nice to see a site where the owner (you) tries to keep it unique, but at the same time doesn’t brag about it or add comments which would suggest that popularity/visitors are all that is important. It is nice to get a real feel for you even on pages where that would not necessarily be applicable. I can’t say enough how nice a feeling that is!
Your coding is near perfect, but unfortunately despite the fact you claim to have valid XHTML it isn’t validating. This is only because you’ve forgotten (I assume) to close the img tags on your Model Horses and Mustang Fanlisting images. When I converted to XHTML, I used to forget the same thing. Just a reminder, it should be:
<img src="fls/models.gif" border="0" height="20" width="150" alt="The Model Horse Fanlisting" title="The Model Horse Fanlisting" />
You’re also linking to the incorrect stylesheet under “Welcome” – it is trying to validate “http://scrubalicious.net/v13c/index.css” which obviously doesn’t exist anymore, instead of http://scrubalicious.net/index.css – your actual stylesheet.
Other than these ’silly’ errors, I can see no fault with your coding, or your site in fact.
In summary, your site is pleasent to browse, easy on the eyes, interesting and unique. I get the feeling of connecting with you, enhanced by the constant interaction and the ability to submit opinions, comments, suggestions, entries to your activities – it gives me the feeling of being within your reach constantly. My only problem is that you didn’t make enough mistakes for me to give you a proper critique, it seems to be mostly ego-inflating compliments. Damn you! On a more serious note.. keep up the great work, because I will be back.