•  
Home    Archive

News: Our Community Comic "Gunbaby" is and always will be open for submissions. Any submissions received will run on the site front page on Sundays.

00:00:30UncleRobotI know CPR...
18:39:34Chadm1nSpammers must die. Now.
16:56:16Chadm1nAs promised a few weeks ago, Webcomics Community has been upgraded!

Author Topic: onSite Reviews - Estrangel  (Read 5121 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CorvusErebus

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Chief Web Designer
onSite Reviews - Estrangel
« on: February 19, 2010, 02:09:29 AM »
Today we'll be reviewing Estrangel.


All right. Today we're looking at Estrangel. I have to say, this is another one without much to be salvaged. But then, there isn't much there to begin with. Lets dig in and I'll explain.

ABOVE THE FOLD - 3/5

Another decent score due purely to lack of content. Not much to comment on here.

USE OF COLOUR - 1/5

Buh. Black and a purplish blue. There isn't much to say here. This isn't really a colour scheme. Once again, I recommend playing with actual themes and finding something that works. There's a great tool for finding colour schemes called Kuler.

I'll just leave this here. . .
http://kuler.adobe.com/

BANNER - 1/5

There isn't one. You're using Header text, and you clearly have your logo much lower down the page. No. Stop that. If you have a logo, it needs to be the first thing on the page. Google will still grab your name and tagline so long as you've configured wordpress correctly. It grabs the Title and Description of the page, as defined in the html file. This is not the same as your header and tagline, as described in wordpress (Though it can be).

In the forum you told me that it's too late to change this because your logo is in your comic, and you don't want double logos, and there are too many comics now to edit it out. This too is wrong. You have 44 comics at the time of this writing. Thats two hours of work at best. And I'm being generous, assuming you aren't well versed in photoshop. If you know your way around it this could be cut down to 20 minutes of work. If you're seriously too unmotivated to edit 44 image files for your comic, then you won't have a very successful future in this game. You get out what you put in.

NAVIGATION & LAYOUT - 3/5

What can I say here? It's another example of mediocrity. It's a generic virtually unaltered comic press set up. So it does nothing to stand out, but it doesn't really look awful. It works for what it is. On the list of things to fix, this should be nearer the bottom.

The only thing I advise fixing ASAP is the size of your navigation links. They are huge and waste a ton of space.

SOCIAL TOOLS - 1/5

The like it share it button. Boy oh boy oh boy. What a bloody mess. Five clicks on a three step process to send a generic bloody E-mail. No. Just No. Dump this thing now. I can send an E mail to my friends MUCH faster, and your readers can too.

And, I repeat, for the love of all that is sacred to you, get the sociable plug in, or some competitor. Social Networks, Good Business, yadda yadda, you know the drill by now. I really shouldn't have two explain why a two step process to let your readers digg/reddit/tweet (etc) your comic is a good thing. The important thing is that it should be no more then two steps. Click the Button, Enter your info (And click submit).

You may not like social networks (I know I don't), but your readers statistically will. The easier you make it for them, the more they'll help you out.

SECONDARY CONTENT - 3/5

Well, You have a good cast page, a nice biography page (even if it's erroneously called a Contact Page), and a decent link page. I can't say much here good or bad really. For a generic comic press page, it passes.

TOTAL - 2 out of 5

Well, in summary your biggest problems are as fallows.

A: No Real colour scheme
B: Poor Banner location
C: Lack of Social Tools

Beyond that it's a passably average generic comic press site. That may sound bad, but at this point, it's not. Focus on getting the above stuff up to par before trying to be above average. Walk before you run. Just fixing the above issues could do wonders for everything else too. Remember a website is a unified entity, not a modular construct. If one part looks bad, it can make good parts look bad as well.

NEXT WEEK: We review The Tempest Legacy!

Offline Alectric

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
    • Estrangel
Re: onSite Reviews - Estrangel
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 12:37:30 PM »
ABOVE THE FOLD - 3/5

Another decent score due purely to lack of content. Not much to comment on here.

Lack of content?  What's missing?  What could I add to remedy this?

USE OF COLOUR - 1/5

Buh. Black and a purplish blue. There isn't much to say here. This isn't really a colour scheme. Once again, I recommend playing with actual themes and finding something that works. There's a great tool for finding colour schemes called Kuler.

I'll just leave this here. . .
http://kuler.adobe.com/

Explain to me how black, white, and blue is not a color scheme?  I've seen that site, but I don't see why every color scheme needs exactly five colors.

BANNER - 1/5

There isn't one. You're using Header text, and you clearly have your logo much lower down the page. No. Stop that. If you have a logo, it needs to be the first thing on the page. Google will still grab your name and tagline so long as you've configured wordpress correctly. It grabs the Title and Description of the page, as defined in the html file. This is not the same as your header and tagline, as described in wordpress (Though it can be).

In the forum you told me that it's too late to change this because your logo is in your comic, and you don't want double logos, and there are too many comics now to edit it out. This too is wrong. You have 44 comics at the time of this writing. Thats two hours of work at best. And I'm being generous, assuming you aren't well versed in photoshop. If you know your way around it this could be cut down to 20 minutes of work. If you're seriously too unmotivated to edit 44 image files for your comic, then you won't have a very successful future in this game. You get out what you put in.

Alright, I'll see if I can get this done.

NAVIGATION & LAYOUT - 3/5

What can I say here? It's another example of mediocrity. It's a generic virtually unaltered comic press set up. So it does nothing to stand out, but it doesn't really look awful. It works for what it is. On the list of things to fix, this should be nearer the bottom.

The only thing I advise fixing ASAP is the size of your navigation links. They are huge and waste a ton of space.

You mean the menu bar at the top?  It seems like an appropriate size to me, considering how important those links are.  How could they be wasting a ton of space?  They're not that big.

SOCIAL TOOLS - 1/5

The like it share it button. Boy oh boy oh boy. What a bloody mess. Five clicks on a three step process to send a generic bloody E-mail. No. Just No. Dump this thing now. I can send an E mail to my friends MUCH faster, and your readers can too.

And, I repeat, for the love of all that is sacred to you, get the sociable plug in, or some competitor. Social Networks, Good Business, yadda yadda, you know the drill by now. I really shouldn't have two explain why a two step process to let your readers digg/reddit/tweet (etc) your comic is a good thing. The important thing is that it should be no more then two steps. Click the Button, Enter your info (And click submit).

You may not like social networks (I know I don't), but your readers statistically will. The easier you make it for them, the more they'll help you out.

If you say so.  I'll go ahead and change it.

SECONDARY CONTENT - 3/5

Well, You have a good cast page, a nice biography page (even if it's erroneously called a Contact Page), and a decent link page. I can't say much here good or bad really. For a generic comic press page, it passes.

Biography page?  To me a Contact page seems much more appropriate.  I know it's something I search for when I look at other webcomics.  I'm rather proud of these pages, actually.  The only aspect of a page that is any bit Comicpress is the title at the top, so I'm not sure what you mean by "generic."

TOTAL - 2 out of 5

Well, in summary your biggest problems are as fallows.

A: No Real colour scheme
B: Poor Banner location
C: Lack of Social Tools

Beyond that it's a passably average generic comic press site. That may sound bad, but at this point, it's not. Focus on getting the above stuff up to par before trying to be above average. Walk before you run. Just fixing the above issues could do wonders for everything else too. Remember a website is a unified entity, not a modular construct. If one part looks bad, it can make good parts look bad as well.

I've edited the site from the generic setup as much as I'm really capable of.  Anything else is beyond me at this point, or something that I don't feel needs changing.  If anyone's got advice on how to customize my site more, that'd be appreciated.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 01:01:04 AM by Alectric »

Offline Rob

  • Resident Dick!
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1324
  • Easily Confused, Feeble Minded Founder
    • Remedial Comics
Re: onSite Reviews - Estrangel
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 05:03:43 PM »
Alec I hope you aren't taking this personally. I know that when someone gives out criticisms the instinct is to defend oneself but please keep in mind a few things things.

First, you asked for it.

Second, it's business not personal.

And third and much more importantly, there are rules to making a website. These rules are based on hundreds of studies of uses of websites and statistical data collected over the years regarding use of websites. These rules are taught in college to people like Corvis when they go to school to learn how to make websites.

So guys like Corvis tend to reject anything that is "non-standard" because it has been proven time and time again that it just doesn't work. Corvis talked about "clicks." There is actually a mathematical equation which shows that the more clicks that are required of a user to do something, the less inclined the user is to do that thing.

So while I can see the use of the "Like it share it" button since it has such a wealth of social websites far fewer people will be inclined to use it because it takes such a time investment in clicks to actually send the message. If it were me, I'd use both. Put up the Sociable plug in to cover the really big names in social networking and leave the like it share it button up for the little fish...like "Oyax" or "Plugim".... I've never even heard of either of those.

The Revolver map on the side looks really cool. I have no idea why it's there though. I assume because it shows the locations of your readers? It might be good to say why its there. Something like "Estrangel Readers Around The World." underneath it or something.

The Title thing at the top. Where you have the comic name, is usually a place where people put their banner ad. Having a secondary title up there to the much flashier and much larger one you seem to be building into the comic isn't bad as Corvis said, it's just kind of a waste of space. I would lose it and build the "Updated Mon, Wed and Fri" into the larger one you are putting into the comic itself and do something else with that space. I would recommend an ad but if you can't do that then I would try and figure something else out.

The background is solid purple. Solid colors are kind of an indication of the sort of ubiquitous, low maintenance, moduled, prefab sort of website that Comicpress allows you to create. I don't know much about it so I can't advise you on how to fix things like color scheme. But I can tell you that if you would switch to a purple gradient or perhaps some sort of pattern you would do yourself a world of good.

A black background with white text/borders and then a secondary purple background isn't a color scheme. Black and white are base colors usually you have to have 2 secondary colors before you can call something a color scheme. But again, being unaware of the limitations of Comicpress this may be the best you can do.  But you can't really blame Corvis for pointing out how bland it is.  

I will disagree with Corvis on your contact page. I didn't see a Bio there (assuming you haven't changed what you wrote) I saw contact information and parameters for guest art submission. It's a good contact page. Definitely better than the average for Comicpress. And I like your Cast page (and having it under About is ok but it would be better if you could rename it cast because it is a good cast page). Your links page is excellent. I might be inclined to give you a higher than three mark though... like a 3.5, simply because you're reached a high water mark with the secondary content for Comicpress. But alas it is not my place to change reviews.

You just have to realize that if Corvis is going to revuew all sites equally and not make special consideration for the limitations of a CMS like Comicpress that your site and others made with Comicpress are usually going to score rather low simply because of the limitations on how original the look and layout can be.

I think your most noble goal with a Comicpress site is to achieve a score of 3 in every category. I think once you have done that you will have reached the limitations on what you can do with a CMS.

 ;)


« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 05:05:36 PM by Rob »

Offline Alectric

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
    • Estrangel
Re: onSite Reviews - Estrangel
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 01:00:02 AM »
I did good? :)

Offline Rob

  • Resident Dick!
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1324
  • Easily Confused, Feeble Minded Founder
    • Remedial Comics
Re: onSite Reviews - Estrangel
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 01:49:54 AM »
I did good? :)

Oh wow. That's a lot of effort there. A lot of good changes I think. Well done.

Offline Nuke

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 89
    • Underling Comic
Re: onSite Reviews - Estrangel
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 02:44:07 AM »
Jeez! Nice changes to you site. Definitely more attractive!

Please don't feed the ancient deities.

Offline LegendWoodsman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Re: onSite Reviews - Estrangel
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 05:40:25 PM »
I like the changes as well. Good work.

Offline Alectric

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
    • Estrangel
Re: onSite Reviews - Estrangel
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 07:31:07 PM »
Quote
Google will still grab your name and tagline so long as you've configured wordpress correctly. It grabs the Title and Description of the page, as defined in the html file. This is not the same as your header and tagline, as described in wordpress (Though it can be).

I'm having trouble with this.  I can't seem to figure out where in the Comicpress files I'm supposed to put the description for search engines.  Does anyone know...?