Review of seeking-solace.org

Reviewed: Elea
Site URL: seeking-solace.org

“Aww, just look at those cute little doggies!” As first impressions go, I am impressed. You’ve made me smile, and given me high hopes for your website. I was slightly let down by the fact that you’re using a silver-style layout yet have a lavender/purple background. I don’t quite see how it ties in with anything else?

As I’ve mentioned to you previously, your text style doesn’t suit this layout. I find it incredibly hard to settle my eyes on your text and read for longer periods of time. I’m not sure if this could be fixed with a lighter font colour, or whether you need a new font entirely. I saved your index and had a fiddle; Verdana 8pt with a 16px line height seemed to suit.

Although I do like the silver 3D style of layout you’ve used, I think there could have been a better way to display everything. The silver makes me think modern, yet the title “childhood memories” instils images of the past. Maybe pale shades of brown (which would also match the photos) would have suited better?

I dislike the way the right column is laid out. I am a fan of “all justified” or “no justified”. This means you should either justify the text in the small column or left align the text in the main column. If you were to choose to justify the right column I’d recommend decreasing the text size in that column only; this would improve the presentation of the site.

Your links are a different colour to your text, and underlined on hover. This adds to the practicality of the layout, bravo.

I enjoyed reading through your ‘personal’ content. It is always a nice change when designers add more than three sentences about themselves. I did find that your text tends to run into your titles somewhat (MY NAME IS WHAT…?), although I am guessing this is because you’ve altered your line height with CSS. I dislike this; it just looks cramped. I’m slightly confused why some pages have titles in caps, and some don’t.

Your “Rambles” are interesting, although I’d like to see more. Perhaps you could separate them into paragraphs more too. Your “Review Sites” paragraph is particularly long and is quite off-putting to read by the time I’m 3 – 4 sentences in. If you do decide to add more; before your page gets too long you could separate these into various pages. This would decrease loading time, but isn’t something you need to worry about just yet.

You might want to change some of your page descriptions. For example; “fancy blah blah blah” didn’t exactly give me a good insight as to what that page contained.

I was impressed that you thought enough about what your visitors think to add a note as to why your poetry could be considered depressing. Although; this note could be added to the bottom of the poetry page and doesn’t actually need a page of it’s own. It is only one paragraph after all. Your poetry is good, I’m sure. I’m not really in the position to rate it though; I tend to enjoy childish rhyming poetry more.

I appreciate your interactive content. I’ll remind myself to look out for your smiley, and may take one of your smiley sets for my own blog; the blue set matches my colour scheme! Hang on! …I’ve just noticed that your content is not aligned-justify, yet your blog is. Is this a coding error or intentional? Back to the content; I was rather amused by your self-written satire. It’s good to see someone offering “reads” without feeling the need to use generic and over used crap.

I went through some of your pages and picked up on some tiny errors. Overall, your grammar and spelling was impeccable – good work!

Page Paragraph Typo Correction
bgm.php 4 dryspell dry spell
randomfacts.php fact 11 unphotogenic not photogenic
randomfacts.php fact 14 heightwise height-wise
randomfacts.php fact 15 stomachaches stomach-aches
randomfacts.php fact 16 secondhand second-hand
disclaimer.php 1 yourself you

Your index page would validate usually, but you’ve missed the </li> after each “list” entry in one of your blog entries, and WordPress has unsuccessfully tried to correct your code. You have these lists on quite a few of your pages, ensure the tags are all closed properly. As your code is otherwise valid; there is nothing I can criticise about it. I do have one suggestion though: don’t name two objects the same thing; you have a <div> and an image map both called “pic”. I suggest renaming the <div> to picdiv, or another similar name. This will prevent any rendering issues in older browsers.

Overall, your web site is great. You have some original and amusing content which is well written and thoughtful. You even have free graphics; AIM icons and smilies. Your coding is at a good standard, although aiming for valid XHTML in the future would benefit you. Deal with the few issues such as your font style and paragraph size just to get the right look and don’t forget to always aim for perfection.

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