Review of


Reviewed: Vixx
Site URL:

I’m reviewing your default layout.

It’s hard to sum up a first impression when I see a site at least three-four times daily to check to see if there’s any new weblog updates. You must be doing something right to keep me coming back so regularly though. There’s something so endearing about that little plant-pot angel in your default theme, even more so when you realise that you were the one who gave it the angry face to tie in with your website. I love the little dangly legs and the colours remind me of melted chocolate *mm*.

You’ve opted for a typical two-column layout with obviously beneficial results. It’s given you space for your generally lengthy blog entries and a nicely packed sidebar too. I like the title touch — how you’ve put it down the middle instead of giving it the generic over-the-top position inside another image. You know all this stuff already though — nobody needs to tell you you’re unique, heh.

Functionality-wise, I don’t like the font (Lucida Sans Unicode, because I don’t have Lucida Grande). I don’t know why because originally I thought it was well suited, but after a while I just find it hard to focus on. I’m pretty sure this is just me though, so I wouldn’t worry too much. I do think you could make the text darker in the sidebar though; on my laptop screen there’s not enough contrast between the text and background colours. I found #6F615A to be much better, and ties in better with your colour scheme too.

I noticed that “angel?” in your navigation is emphasised. The problem with this is that it’s currently trendy to place some sort of detail on the link of the page that the user is currently visiting, so at first glance it gives the impression that I’m on “angel?”. I almost missed that entire section of your website, and I’ve visited before; does this mean that those that haven’t are not seeing content?

I can’t see anything else immediately obvious to point out. You’ve got links that are clearly different from your text, blog entries are well separated and an interesting layout. If I was being picky and forcing accessibility on to you I might suggest that you use % or em font sizes to allow all users to resize their text and switch your title/date header tags (because I think the title would be more appropriate as the top level header).

On to the “content”… The “angel?” section amuses me before I’ve even clicked one of your subpages. “I do not do pink. I do not do fluffy.” — no, me neither. I like how you’ve included the various names that you ‘go’ by, helpful for those that know you from different parts of your online life. You seem to have the perfect combination of a basics page and autobiography. Where I tend to ramble on a page that’s supposed to be brief, you have to-the-point bulletpoints and on a page that’s supposed to be personal — you have made it personal. Your Online History page is incredibly in-depth — I’m too generally to write something like that and keep it updated. I could do with following your example I guess!

The geek in me wants to point out that where you say “Bobby and Cynthia Web Accessibility guidelines” on your Domain page, you really are talking about the W3C’s web content accessibility guidelines and could perhaps mention this. Maybe I’m just being completely anal though?

Still on the domain page, I think the links that are currently unavailable would be more appropriate completely unlinked because lazy people like me don’t read descriptions and then wonder why we’re not going anywhere when we’re clicking the links. Oh, and I couldn’t help but laugh at your review from Uptown Reviews. Sorry! ;) As well as clapping my hands for providing full credits for all your plugins (something that some people seem to forget, which makes finding things I might need difficult) I am also grateful on behalf of your visitors for your tutorials — always good to share your knowledge!

Although I found your spelling and grammar mostly impeccable, littered amongst the occasional “:p” were a few spelling mistakes:

offguard = off guard
inbetween = in between
specificially = specifically
cliched = clichéd (é for the acute accent)

pasttime = pastime
cliches = clichés
fetus = foetus

internet = Internet (now that’s anal for you!)
accquaintances = acquaintances
secondhand = second-hand

installment = instalment

sophisicated = sophisticated
implusively = impulsively

defense = defence (I *think*)

There were also a few coding issues I noticed. Mostly minor, and some just to do with invalid characters (’proper’ characters not ‘escaped’ properly).

On furious.php?bio you’re missing a <p> before “I think it’s time to conclude this now.” which is causing the text to align in the center. On furious.php?contact your form input fields are not closed (in XHTML, they’re ’self closing’ like <img />). The same on your faq (!/ask/index.php) page — which also features deprecated <b> tags and <br>s instead of <br />s. Still on your faq page, your next and back links have invalid characters (which I assume are supposed to be « (&laquo;) and » (&raquo;)) next to them which aren’t showing in my browser and preventing the page from validating properly. I’m assuming this is because of the script you’re using and you know about this already?

On furious.php?about (domain) you’ve forgotten the equals sign in the link to (<a href"">) and strictly speaking align="top" in the table <caption> tag on both furious.php?about and skins/skins.php is presentational and therefore irrelevant in a valid XHTML document. Your contact me link on skins/skins.php has an extra ‘a href’ in it for no apparent reason. Other than that your code was perfectly valid. You set a shining example to those who look up to you. All in all I had no problems browsing your website and no real problems with your coding.

I hate reviewing the websites of friends because one slip of the tongue and a well-meant criticism can be taken as an attack and bang goes that friendship. I had the opposite problem here — I was so unsure of what compliments to leave for you because I don’t want to ruin my reputation! Safe to say, you have a great website with interesting designs and generally witty entries. I would be proud of it, if I were you. Well designed, well coded, well written.

Posted in Interwebs

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