Advice for improving my website

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Matt Till, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    clever title, eh?

    Anyways, I've been given an extended range of time before I have to "turn my website in." I figure, I might as well make the most of it and trick my website out a bit more.

    Note: I actually do want to keep a rather minimalist vibe about it. No huge flash intros, moving backgrounds, exploding cats, animated cursors that are cameras, nothing too cheesy.

    Also, you may have noticed the header image "Matt Till Photography" moves around on some of the pages, I can't get that to stay in one place. :meh:

    I did this in frontpage, FYI
  2. Chazzz


    Jan 27, 2006
    Spokane, WA
    Let me say up front that I think the site looks good for starters. None of what I'm about to say is meant to be mean or demeaning criticism, and most certainly not offensive. I hope it's constructive and helpful.

    • Design a cleaner "brand" (and maybe a logo) that is a signature of your website and work. The one you have is ok for starters, but your name is really on top of "Photography", which gives it a cramped or cluttered feel.
    • Use anti-aliasing on fonts to smooth the edges
    • Use larger thumbnails (even 2x)
    • Use slightly larger "full-size" images (maybe 1.5x-2x bigger)
    • Find a way to put a watermark (e.g. "© 2006 Matt Till Photography") on the images (at least the large ones) so that ever image shows your ownership
    • Consider changing the style on your links so that when a mouse hovers over them, the user can see a change in something
    • Don't let anyone convince you to change something on the site to something that you don't feel represents you, your style, and/or your artistic vision

    I threw together a few ideas for your title bar (masthead) and two small ideas for a simple logo that might spawn some more ideas. I'll be emailing them to the contact address listed on your site. If you like one, feel free to use it. If you hate it, feel free to toss it. If you'd like me to tweak one or two, or maybe throw some other ideas your way, let me know and I'll be happy to help when I have a little extra time.

    That's all for now. Hope it wasn't too harsh.

    Best Regards -
  3. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Have you considered exploding cats?

  4. Needs more swashbuckling.
  5. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    More pron...
  6. Where's the cheesy MIDI background music?
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    3D Animated GIF logo!

    thank me later.
  8. Chazzz


    Jan 27, 2006
    Spokane, WA
    The issue with your header moving around a bit looks like it's caused by the height of the table cell (<td>). One says height="40", about the About page says height="70". That will throw some stuff off. valign="top" may solve that problem altogether.
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Thanks everyone... mostly Chazzz though. ;)

    To field one of the issues, the full size images are small so I don't have to watermark. If someone wants to see the picture in full detail, they gotta pay. :cool:

    But then again, I probably won't sell anything.
  10. Cascading Style Sheets.

    If someone views the site where they have the font size larger everything gets buggy.

    I'm a big fan of as many absolute constants as possible. Lock up the font sizes. Just my opinion.

    Also, I noticed a lack of any meta tags. Search engine spiders will never grab the site without any defining tags. I'd try and define all of those also.

    Other than that, and the link rollover and logo issues mentioned, I like it. Very clean.

    Hope that helps.
  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Yep, thanks for the info. I forgot about the meta tags, I think my teacher wanted us to have at least a few key words.
  12. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I think its pretty good. I like the simplicity of it. Love the shot on your landing page.

    My main suggestions have already been mentioned. Definitely set the size of your navs. Or make them into rollover images which will also solve that problem.

    Thumbs could be a little bigger. I always like when people crop in on an interesting part of the whole shot as a thumbnail. Kinda adds another dimension to the piece. Just a thought.

    Maybe center the images in the blank window when they open.
  13. Indeed.