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 |  Interwebs

Ah, I had one of those moments yesterday where I visited a website and it just screamed “review me”. About 9 hours later and I finally think I’ve finished. That is, unless I decide to “have a moment” and add to it.

I won’t post the entire review in this post as that would a) defeat the purpose of having a seperate reviews page and would b) spoil it for you, but to give you an idea of what the review is like and perhaps entertain you a little, here’s a few quotes directly from it:

Upon entering the url in my address bar and hitting the handy return key, I am greeted with a lovely poo-brown colour — the kind of colour I find in my niece’s nappy after she’s been eating chocolate buttons again.

I kid you not, it’s poo-brown.

I find it amusing the your visitors get a free plug on the side and yet the people who’ve taken the time to apply to affiliate with you get tucked on a page two-links deep.

Poor affiliate people. :(

In “Background Image” you have a link to a page that will supposedly let me read up on CSS but really is just a page analysing your coloured scrollbars, pointless?

Custom Bullets, amongst your listed instructions that don’t seem to have an opening or closing list tag, gives me a “go (here)” link that’s not actually a link and teaches me how to make a class that I’d then have to apply to every single list item that I want a custom image next to.

Link Transitions — otherwise known as “more proprietary crap”. Rainbow Link Effect — again, proprietary. “Text Coding” — HTML comments in style, more ‘pt’ measurements and a pointless declaration of letter-spacing.

I’ll give you the pleasure of reading the rest of the review on the right page. I would heartily recommend grabbing yourself a cuppa and a few biscuits before settling down to read it though: it’s huge. Have fun!

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

34 comments so far

  1. Jordie said:

    I bet you the webmaster likes to think of it as “safari brown”, heh. Ech. It reminds me of poop the dog ate and then vomited back up again. NOT nice.

  2. Jim said:

    The splash page sucked, as all do, but I was able to get to the tutorials by clicking “tutorials” in the nav bar. I didn’t have as much of a hard time as you did ;). The tutorials, at least with CGI\PHP were crap. Most were found elsewhere, and the “authors” obviously had little or no understanding. The “no right click CGI” was just a link ro a javascript file. I didn’t see how perl had anything to do with it all. Also, the other CGI ish assumes the person as Server-Side Includes, which not everyone does. Also, I think your dislike of JavaScript is a little off the mark. You’ve had to have heard of AJAX which not only decreases load time and bandwidth, but is just plain cool. Other than that, I agree with the site being complete crap. Maybe they’ll take your advice and improve.

  3. Jem said:

    My point was that tutorials was very low down on the menu list for a tutorials site. I like to navigate one page at a time ;) Of course I’ve heard of AJAX :P and I’m not doubting it’s cool-ness. In fact, my annoyance at JS is misplaced. I’ve nothing against it really, just the idiot “web designers” who use a whole range of different (pointless) scripts only to kill my browser in the process.

  4. Gemma said:

    I have a strong dislike for shoddy tutorial sites. Better to offer no information than to offer misleading information. I visited that site once after seeing it recommended, but after noticing the splash page with the ‘best viewed in’ message and the ‘enter’ graphic without alt text, I didn’t bother going in.

  5. Becky said:

    I’ve been saying that about Pixelfx for years. Albeit in a shorter and less wordy way. When I first really started to get into webdesign I was directed towards that site. I was frustrated by it because it didn’t provide any explanation as to what it was supposed to be teaching meant. In fact most tutorial sites do that, I don’t want to see it in action I want to know what it means. Explain it to me fully please. I wonder if that is why sites like that are so popular, they provide a quick and dirty method that allows people to quickly set something up. And people like that kind of thing, most kids online today don’t want learn about anything they just want to do it, sites like Pixelfx give them the means to do it with as little learning as possible. I personally find that to be really sad. I’m currently focusing on creating a tutorial site that has common tutorials that are valid, easier to understand and actually provide explanations. I’ve gone through Pixelfx to see if there are any tutorials that I can rewrite in my own words and so far I have managed to salvage (out of CSS/PHP/HTML): 12 tutorials are worth rewriting. The rest of the tutorials in those sections are either annoying, dated, unsecure, stolen, or useless. It’s pathetic that out of such a large site that only 12 tutorials from the whole site are salvagable. None of the tutorials from the graphical sections are at all worth rewriting or even looking at.

  6. Carly said:

    Oooh poo! No, I’m not talking about the colour. I’m talking about the entire site! The thing that struck me the most, before I had read your review, was how far down the link to ‘tutorials’ was on a tutorials website. I expected to hit those first…

  7. Amelie said:

    I’ve hated it ever since I first came across it. Its whole “OMG IE IS THE BESTEST EVARRRR!!!11!!!1”-type attitude really bugs me, and people who give out incorrect or non-valid tutorials also irk the hell out of me. I hate tutorials that tell you how to make transparent iframes (“Just use the chroma filter!!! Make the background bright green and then hide it!!! YAY!!!1”), stupid fadey link effects and generally anything else that’s IE-specific and non-valid. Which is why I think your range of tutorials are great because they’re not your typical “here’s how to make an iframe!!!!!”-type thing (yeah, I’m guilty of that, but mine are 3 years old and need to disappear once I find something to replace them with). They actually teach people how to make websites properly rather than sticking in a bunch of javascript, standing back and hoping for the best. Oh yeah, and I just remembered she (the owner of pfx) is distributing old scripts without permission. ¬_¬ No one should use that old ask&answer thing anyway, it’s, well, old, insecure and generally rubbish. People should use my script instead :P No really, people need to go out and find an update. Not many people know that old script became TinyQ&A which is much better and more secure. Anyway, rant over – in short, I think pfx is a waste of time. You should hack it and redirect its visitors (who are all around 12 years old with no idea what “Firefox” means :P ) to XD

  8. Vera said:

    oooh: goes to read it. I was going to suggest you review another site… but they re-thought the disgusting ‘review’ I got (who grades layout on the code is too simple???). Anyway, I like ‘custom bullets’, it’s most definitely NOT what I am thinking about now… but hey, I can twist anything. By the way, do they kill daemons?

  9. Echo said:

    I read it. You’re insane. I think you didn’t properly cover how bad the, ‘About’ page is. The site won’t currently load for me so I’m going by memory but I think they lack any sort of introduction, then when you visit the ‘About’ page they start off by giving you stupid details about their hosting plan. That should be afterthought information. First they should tell the visitor what the hell kind of tutorials the site contains and since they offer hosting (I think?!) how to go about getting hosted etc. I should start offering to fix all the crap pages on the web if they put a big stupid, ‘Echo is King’ banner on their site : ) I think Vera’s hungry… :x

  10. Shannon said:

    Heh. I just turned 13 about a week ago, and I can tell you about them 12 year olds who haven’t heard of firefox. It’s true. Out of about the whole 7th grade, only about 5 people have heard of Mozilla Firefox; the rest pick on me saying I have no idea about anything when it comes to “hTmL (which to some of them, means hotmail xD!) aNd GrApHiCs.” When I tell them to get Mozilla Firefox; an internet browser, they think I’m (a) talking about some kind of food (b) giving them some kind of implication (c) threating them.

  11. Jordie said:

    “…who are all around 12 years old with no idea what ‘Firefox’ means :P” O RLY? Hehe, I started reviewing for Jem’s review site when I was 12. I’m turning 14 in half a month. Currently I am prodding myself to complete the review I started for a few days ago. I think it’s sad that people actually learn from websites that provide the wrong sort of information, like PixelFX. And we wonder why there are so many badly-designed websites.

  12. Elea said:

    You weren’t kidding about sitting down with a cup of coffee, were you? I clicked on the link just now to see how long the review was, and let me just commend you on the tremendous amount of patience you had to have in order to through the site and critique. While I’m definitely not fond of the place myself, I don’t think I would’ve had it in me to stay past a few minutes. *goes off to actually read the review now*

  13. Jim said:

    Just reread the post, sorry aboutt he typos, but we were having rough seas. Oh, an my fat fingers didn’t help either. *cough* preview feature!

  14. Amelie said:

    Jordie: Of course, I didn’t mean that ALL 12 year olds think like that – but a lot of those I’ve come across do. Just look at :P It’s actually refreshing to see some people starting out on the right course rather than the OMG IE TOTALLY r0x0rZzZz! one. I started out like that, I remember my dad teaching me to use Netscape back the day and me saying “why can’t I use IE? IE is the best!!!” It was the only thing I’d ever heard of and therefore thought it was the best ever. It was only a couple of years ago that I actually stopped thinking that and switched to Firefox. Oh the shame… :P

  15. Gemma said:

    Amelie: It’s not so shameful – for a few years, until Netscape completely rebuilt its browser with the release of version 6, IE *was* better. IE 5/5.5 was more standards compliant than Netscape 4.

  16. Jenny said:

    Shannon, some students in my class (I’m 13) don’t even know how to send email. I can particulary remember when we had to ‘make a website’ at school. Two people got A+ for making a ‘successful website’ in .. wait for it.. Microsoft Publisher, whereas I got a D for ‘messing about in Notepad’. I’m quite happy being somewhat intellectual about this shit compared to some of my classmates. :P On topic.. I’ve always wondered why people direct/link pixelfx as one of the ‘best tutorial sites’ and well, your review has probably answered a few of my questions about it. :P

  17. Carly said:

    ^ I started off on geocities, then front page, then notepad. I still used to use front page to create tables. Then I got wise, and fell in love with CSS. ^Jenny it’s a shame you got a ‘D’ for messing around. I’d have made a formal complaint…

  18. Gemma said:

    I think my first site was made in Microsoft Word… I didn’t even have the excuse of being young, either… Sites made with Publisher appalled me when I first came across them (in the course of my ex-job, which was with a human-edited Web directory). Possibly Publisher can do other things, but the pages I saw had been made by turning a pre-formatted document into one huge graphic. Completely inaccessible to visually impaired users, not to mention search engines, and they didn’t even *look* good enough to be worth using a hack like that.

  19. Amelie said:

    That was the problem with Publisher – it made EVERYTHING into images. I was on dial-up when using it and I found it so frustrating that it kept doing that. >.

  20. Jose said:

    Not to be rude or anything, but why review on a site who didn’t even ask you to review them, and didn’t ask for anyones opinion? I’m sure if the owner would want someones opinion, she would ask. Just a thought.

  21. Jordie said:

    Jose… if you don’t want people to give feedback for something you’ve put online, then don’t put it online. This is the Internet we’re talking about. Besides, Jem maintains a professional review website, and she does her job as a reviewer spectacularly well. She writes “unrequested” reviews for kicks, and I read them because they’re entertaining.

  22. Demoness said:

    Gaahhh! I HATE that website. Every time I bloody enter that website. They don’t even have the decent skills to write tutorials on Adobe Photoshop. $^@#%#$%&@#%$@

  23. Mariah said:

    Jose… Especially by publishing a site giving people “advice” don’t you open yourself for critique? (sp?) My biggest problem with that site is the tutorials link. Personally, in a sidebar, I think there should be links such as… “PHP” “Photoshop” and “CSS”… RIGHT TO THE TUTORIALS. Who cares about the extra crap if they went there for tutorials. Perhaps having them semi hidden ish the people can’t get to them and get frustrated and leave? Or maybe shes trying to hide something? :O

  24. Jordie said:

    Agreed with Mariah. If you think yourself knowledgeable enough to give other people advice, then expect criticism, whether or not you asked for it.

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