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bmeek
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brianmeek.com

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

I do have a page layout in all css (no tables) brianmeek.com/index1.html

I am still learning css and eventually all my pages will be converted to css instead of using tables.

gleddy
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Please take a look

I am just looking at the css one...

I think it's a great little project for you to learn the css on, fairly simple and once you get the main layout done you could play with it and keep improving on it (fonts, etc.)

first thing I notice is this:

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

and variations of the multiple &nbsp; variations... this is totally unnecessary. All spacing should be done with margins, paddings or positional all through css.

second is that you have a <center> tag around the wrapper <div>. I do believe that this is a deprecated tag in xhtml so you may as well future proof your site and find another way to achieve this affect.

third, why not use an xhtml DTD? A fairly simple site, no external influences being pulled in and it will teach you a bit of a stricter coding practice that you will benifit from. Have a go. Laughing out loud

good luck

larmyia
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Please take a look

Hi Brian,

well your css validates, which is good Smile but your html doesn't...because character encoding couldn't be found. I agree with gleddy, if you have the time it's worth making it strict xhtml.

with regards to your site itself.....there is a real lack of consistence and this makes it less usable and friendly. if people know what to expect then they will find the site easier to use and are more likely to stay. there are some general common ways of doing thing. for example, keep the header and the menu in the same place on each and every page. your menu changes from the left to being at the bottom (which is inconvenient to say the least. nothing wrong with having it down there if you still have it in the original place as well.

look at sites you like and think about why and how they work. why do you keep on going back? how do they make your time there more pleasurable.

think of it like this...if you went to a shop and had to figure out how to get in and once you were in where everything was located (and there was no one to ask for help), would you go back or go to a store where you know how to get in and where stuff is???

anyway, sorry for waffling on. being succinct I guess is not my speciality.

larmyia

bmeek
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Please take a look

Would it be ok to put the navigation below my header on my other pages? How can I do this and keep it within the 760px page width without making the text too small to read?

larmyia
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Please take a look

brian, at the end of the day you can do whatever the h3ll you want to do. it's your web page. but if you are looking for consitency, then I would strongly recommend having the main menu in the same place on every page. is there a reason you don't want to put it there on your index page?

are you worried about the size of the text because your menu is too long? there are ways around this. for some inspiration go to

http://css.maxdesign.com.au/listamatic/index.htm

invaluable if you are stuck I find.

also, you may need to rethink your menu/site structure, or even the menu names you've given to something more suitable.

all things to consider.

larmyia

bmeek
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Please take a look

My index is fine just wandering how or where to put the main link bar on this page brianmeek.com/music/midi.html. If I put the main link bar the same place on this page then where would I put my midi links?

larmyia
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Please take a look

looking at the site there are still several pages without the main menu on the left (as you've chosen the left). is this because you haven't had time? or you're leaving it with just links at the bottom?

with regards to the midi section there isn't anything inherently wrong with putting your sub menu on the right, but they links look exactly the same as your main menu. you need to differientiate them. let your users know they are a sub menu.

take a look at amazon.co.uk. see how they always have their main menu on the top? then sub menu on the left. I always know where to go to get to their main pages and I know where to look for their sub menus. they are always in the same place.

sorry I know I waffle. am I being clear?

larmyia

bmeek
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Please take a look

Just doing little by little when I get the time. I would like to put my main menu at the top of each page but havent found the right code to do it yet.

bmeek
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Please take a look

larmyia, I did some changes to the midi section and my main page. Let me know what you think. If all is ok then I will apply that layout to the rest of my pages.

I do have a little problem with the horizontal link bar. When I try to center it firefox and netscape don't view it right. It sorta gets scrunched up. Its ok as long as I keep it to the left.

larmyia
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Please take a look

wait wait wait. are you using frontpage???

Quote:
<META NAME="author" CONTENT="Brian Meek">
<META NAME="GENERATOR" CONTENT="Microsoft FrontPage 5.0">

<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">

I haven't got the time right now to look at your pages closer but I'd say the menu at the top is much better than before. if no one else posts I'll come back to it later.

when you're redoing your pages I think you should consider making your header the same on all pages (In this case "the meeks home page") and then <h1> for things like "the meek's midi mini mall". also the NASCAR page takes ages to load. I'm assuming your pix are massive. are they optimised?

will come back later...but good work so far brian.

larmyia

bmeek
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Please take a look

I've done more changes.

Yes I use frontpage 2002. I use it for the publish feature and I like how it does "includes". It works well for that. Plus I think it makes editing pages so much easier. I like the html editor it has (its similar to using notepad). My server handles frontpage extensions good, never had a problem with that. Frontpage also handles tables excellent. I'm going to stick with tables for now because different browsers (mostly IE) doesn't handle layouts the same.

The one thing about frontpage I don't like is how it does themes and navigation (that part sucks). Using CSS is by far much better. Another think I don't like it puts extra junk in pages that is not needed.

Not really sure the problem with my NASCAR. Its load fast on my end. It could be the sports ticker I have slowed the page load for you.

Thanks for your input and help.

larmyia
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Please take a look

Brian, at the end of the day what you choose to develop with is entirely your choice and I'm not going to slag you off for it. furthermore, as far as I'm aware (correct me if I'm wrong) you're only really interested in developing personal sites.

baring that in mind Frontpage is - oh there are so many expressions that I could use - pants! even microsoft don't use it for their pages! there are lots of cheap or free editors out there that will do a much better job for you and help you produce a cleaner site.

as for the tables thing. again I'm not going to flame you, but frankly it's not something I, or most of the members on this forum would recommend. with an open mind I suggest you visit the often cited

http://www.hotdesign.com/seybold/

tables are semantically incorrect and difficult to do. oh so difficult. I'm sorry but I don't use frontpage...are you handcoding? if you are, handcoding for css-p is so much easier.

and I know IE doesn't handle css the way it *should* but once you've worked something in FF, there are many well known work arounds and fixes for problems in IE. of course you can also code baring IE's inadequacies in mind and avoid many issues. tbh with you I rarely have many problems in IE because I either avoid doing things that will cause problems, work in a solution in the begining of coding, or I find a hack for it (rarely, as I'm not a big fan of hacks).

I guess at the end of the day you have to ask yourself what you're trying to produce and how much you care about it? you're into cars right? if someone came up to you with a car that looked pretty good, but under the hood the engin wasn't the right horse power, they'd fitted seats too small for the frame and it'd sounded as tho it was about to croak (sorry I don't really know anything about cars!), what would you think???

I will look into the nascar page and the menu probs this evening.

at the end of the day you can take or leave what I'm saying here, but I'll try to help you where I can.

larmyia

larmyia
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Please take a look

right Brian, had another look at your site. so, are you going to ditch the tables? I know it seems like a pain but you really do have to imho.

even if you don't :?

here's a couple of things you need to/should know:

*only one <h1> is allowed on one page. I have spotted it twice on at least one page (Photo Album - much better with menu at top).
*don't go from <h1> to <h4>. you need to use <h2> <h3> in between. on "about me" I lost count of the <h1>. use <h1> for your header and then <h2> mostly where you use <h2>
*ditch the tables. it makes you site impossible to read and there is loads of extraneous code. you are wasting bandwidth. furthermore, you are styling things in your html. html is for formatting not presentation. this is a simple site and that can be reflected in your code.
*forget frontpage. please. I beg you. I could show you loads of code but look at this (I'm assuming this is frontpage and not you mind!)
*not sure why you are using an external stylesheet and then doing so much inline. from what I can see all of it can be made external in this case.

<blockquote>
        <blockquote>
          <p>Welcome to my photo albums page. The links on the left will take 
          you to my photo albums. Please be patient while these pages load.</p>
        </blockquote>
      </blockquote>

why 2 blockquote??? why blockquote at all??? <p> should be enough and then you can style it however you want in your css using either an id or a class.
*develop IN Firefox and make adjustments for IE. I'm wonder if you're doing this but I'd take a guess at no.

here's my suggestion. take it or leave it. work on one page (index or whatever you choose). get that working right. exactly how you want x-browser and x-platform, then sort out the other pages. or you are just going back-n-forth fixing things that may not be fixed and then you have to sort them out again. make sence??

any probs with the above lmk. hope it's all clear!

keep up the good work

larmyia

bmeek
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Please take a look

I converted 2 of my pages from tables to css.

http://www.brianmeek.com/

http://www.brianmeek.com/music/midi.html

Both of them passes validation. It may take me some time to convert all my pages to css. Let me know what you think.

larmyia
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Please take a look

Brian, well done in terms of you validation. an achievement that shouldn't be underrated! and big improvement on your code. before you convert all your pages (I'm assuming you'll cut&paste the changed code, or just paste in your content?) there's a couple of other things that you might want to think about.

1. contact me button. this infact isn't a button but a direct link to my email programme. as said before you need to do what people expect and people will expect this link to take them to a contact page. after all that's what you've told them to expect with your other links, and frankly that's the industry standard. so, creat a contact page and put an email link on there.

2.index page sub menu - you have a gap above and below "weather" which looks odd

3. sub menu - you need to have a consistant sub-menu design. so is this the look you're going for? it just seems a bit random and out of place. in fact I wonder if you need it on your index page at all? the guestbook links could go in the contact page, the nascar stuff on that page, the mini stuff on the mini midi mall page (no?) and you could do some other type of link to the weather. nevertheless, you still need a sub menu for the other pages...and it just seems to float. do you know what I mean?

4. main content - this again just seems to float in the middle of the page. doesn't feel placed.

5. footer info - you could use some padding here. it looks a little too flush with the edge. imho!

6. your main nav - the hover colour HAS to go. I like the colour of your menu and hover blue doesn't work at all. and how about centering it? some would say no, and I guess you'll have to try it and judge, but I think it may look better.

7. your <h2> tags - there seems to be different styling depending on the page. ie mini mall has a diff one from the rest.

8. nascar page still takes AGES to load.

but I do like your background in the content/menu area.

I just want to say again that this is only my opinion and you may feel differently (as may others).

nevertheless I think your hard work is paying off! it's really improving.

larmyia

bmeek
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Please take a look

Larmyia, thanks again for you help.

1. I'm working on a contact page that is why I put it in the nav bar. Maybe I should have waited until I got it done.

2 and 3. Index page sub menu is now fixed. My submenus are all going to be the same.

4 and 7. I don't understand what you mean for the main content and the <h2> tags.

5. Footer info can fix, no problem.

6. I changed the hover color in main nav. I know what you mean by the blue. I think the change looks good now.

8. Nascar page has a sports ticker which for some reason lately has been taking for ever to load. I'm going to save that page for last. Don't really know what or how I want to do with that page yet.

As far as centering the main nav, I cannot get it to center. I would like to center it. This is the code I'm using:

#navcontainer ul {
	padding-left: 0;
	margin-left: 0;
	background-color: #8E2323;
	color: White;
	float: left;
	width: 100%;
	font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;
	}

#navcontainer ul li { 
	display: inline;
	}

#navcontainer ul li a {
	padding: 0.2em 1em;
	background-color: #8E2323;
	color: White;
	text-decoration: none;
	float: left;
	border-right: 2px solid #fff;
	}

#navcontainer ul li a:hover {
	background-color: black;
	color: red;
	}