•  
Home    Archive

News: Want to get your Webcomic Site reviewed by a professional? Volunteer your site for review in this thread!

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 - But Not Really  (Read 6306 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CorvusErebus

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Chief Web Designer
onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« on: March 12, 2010, 06:05:14 AM »
Okay. Today we'll be reviewing But Not Really. Hold on tight and lets dig in!


I apologize for the missed update last week. I've been too ill to do much. Please forgive me if this review is fairly blunt or short. So without delay, “But Not Really”.

ABOVE THE FOLD - 3/5

Another Average grade due to spartan content.

USE OF COLOUR - 1/5

Again, we have no real scheme present. Just a solid blue backdrop. The yellow text hints at a theme in concept, but in execution it's to sparse to be present. Please have a look at Kuler (http://kuler.adobe.com/) and see what you can come up with to build a proper theme.

BANNER - 2/5

The banner gets across the title and when it updates well enough. Still it does nothing to really stand out or blend in. It's just a photo with what looks like comic sans text. There's no logo to be seen, no graphical bug, no colour scheme, etc. It hardly qualifies as a banner really. I cant offer much advice here except start developing a real logo.

NAVIGATION & LAYOUT - 1/5

Oh boy. This is the part that brings the whole thing screeching down. I have three major complaints. The first is the hand updating HTML. Since I've already talked about this, I suggest you read the previous review. I won't waste everyones time repeating myself.

The second is the link buttons. Nothing is more infuriating when you're in a hurry, ill, or distracted then playing “Guess The Link”. The photos either need to go, or the text needs to be put on top, but as it stands, the navigation is just impractical, annoying, and slows readers down.

The third complaint (and one that should be resolved with the use of a CMS), is the over all design of the site itself. It's just very spartan and 90s. The hardest part abut writing this review is that the site, much like Sacred Grounds, is little more then a handful of image links and text, organized with tables. (Tables. Really? Tables?) Really, There's hardly a site. It's not fair for me to review your website alongside those that use modern design standards.

SOCIAL TOOLS - 0/5

No need to repeat myself here. No tools present, no points.

SECONDARY CONTENT - 3/5

The secondary content is well done. Theres a good selection, with not much to comment on right now.

TOTAL – 1.5 out of 5

In summary, this sites largest problem is that it's barely there. I feel bad reviewing it, since I couldn't really say anything except to see my previous reviews. I think we've learned as much as we really can from reviewing these simplistic HTML sites, and it's really not fair to grade them alongside sites that use modern design standards.

So my advice, as has become a recent trend, is to get a CMS, build a colour scheme, and design a logo for starters. Then, see where you are from there.

NEXT WEEK: We review Mysteries of the Arcanna!

Offline Dr. BlkKnight

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 129
  • Community Relations Coordinator
    • Crossing Death
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 09:51:45 AM »
In Amanda's defense, she does want to switch to a CMS but doesn't have the hosting resources to do so. Otherwise, BNR most likely would have been beta-testing Comic Reef.

TakaComics

  • Guest
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 10:13:07 AM »
If that's the case, BlkKnight, then it's time for her to get a new host. Cheap hosts usually have all you need to set up Wordpress, some will even have a handy installer. StartLogic, the company I go through, has very cheap hosting at $4.95/month, and has installers for Wordpress, Drupal, and a whole lot of other cool stuff.

Offline Gibson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
    • Pictures of You
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 10:18:27 AM »
Is it possible to say fair and unfair at the same time? I guess it's not unfair, since none of it is untrue, but I would add that the nature of the comic makes it work, gives these things a weird charm. It's almost like I prefer it to be a little bit Geocities. Yeh, I don't disagree with anything said here (except that I liked playing Guess The Link), but I think the qualifier that it works that way is in order. That's just me, though.

Offline amanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 188
  • Braaawk!
    • Salt the Holly
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 11:38:09 AM »
Ha, after reading your previous review, my thought was, "Well, he's going to hate BNR!" ^.^  So I can't say anything here was unexpected, really.  Though I do have a color scheme - it's just not splashed all over my background.

It's just a personal preference to have a spartan site - when sites are filled with flash goodies and dynamic scripts, my eyes get crossed.  I can see what you're saying with my nav buttons - I have it set up a slightly different way with my DrunkDuck mirror site because my rollover script won't cooperate there - I'll have to really think about which way I like better.

I definitely need a logo, for sure ^.^

Anyway, thanks for the time and the feedback - it's appreciated!  And I'm glad you're feeling better.
/

Offline Alectric

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
    • Estrangel
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 11:20:14 PM »
Could someone explain to me exactly why tables are so bad?  I'm trying to become better at website design and html, and this is something I've come to understand, but a solid explanation would be nice.  I mean, what you can do with divs in an hour you can probably do with tables in 15 minutes.  And certain things are a LOT trickier with divs than tables, like getting divs on the same row to all extend to the same point regardless of which one has the most content.

TakaComics

  • Guest
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 11:51:38 PM »
Amanda: What flash goodies are on a ComicPress site? I've gone to a ton of ComicPress based sites and flash is never an aspect of the programming. What you may be talking about is things like Lightbox or ShareThis. These are not standard or necessary in ComicPress. They are additional tools that people use to enhance their sites. You don't need them, and anyone who loads up their site with them is designing badly. Your design should be center stage, not fancy-shmancy tools.

Alectric: Tables were, at one time, a great tool for designers. They handled well in all browsers and were easy to read in code. I used them for my sites for a long time. But that time has passed, and CSS3 offers a much more robust set of tools that tables could never do. And with CSS4 in development, we can expect even more cool goodies for design. If your still using tables, then your site feels constricted. It's also harder to design for multiple pages, something that is a necessity if you want to be seen as a professional. We want sites to look good, and work well. Anything else will tell your viewer that you're an amateur, and that they shouldn't read your comic (or blog, or buy your product, etc.)

Offline JGray

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 188
    • Mysteries of the Arcana
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 08:15:58 AM »
Tables aren't bad. They're a tool. Just like everything else. Use them well and correctly and they do their job. Sites being a mix of tables and CS aren't unwelcome or unexpected.

As for "But Not Really", it looks like the silly college project of a bunch of friends goofing off.

Which is pretty much what it is supposed to feel like, I think. :)  Still, Amanda, if you're looking for free hosting and decent engine, I can hook you up with JD. All you have to do is carry a banner at the top for him.

TakaComics

  • Guest
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2010, 09:48:48 AM »
Tables are outdated, J. There's nothing you can do with tables that you can't do with div tags and CSS. With tables you are much more limited than with div tags, and you have much bulkier code. Copying and pasting each page is the one way to get styles and layouts to look the same over content pages, and the other way is to use one stylesheet and divs. One limits your design to the same on every page, the other allows for much more flexibility. Tables are also much harder to adapt to make it not look like a boring HTML table, and when you start getting into background images within tables, your design can break on a computer that isn't yours.

Offline Alectric

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
    • Estrangel
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2010, 06:27:31 PM »
Quote
Copying and pasting each page is the one way to get styles and layouts to look the same over content pages, and the other way is to use one stylesheet and divs

Um...I'm sorry, but can't you use a stylesheet with tables also?  You know, just...

table {
table specifications
}

or

td {
table cell specifications
}

Offline Dr. BlkKnight

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 129
  • Community Relations Coordinator
    • Crossing Death
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2010, 09:27:18 PM »
You can. Tables are still needed to display tabular information...just not your layout.

TakaComics

  • Guest
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2010, 10:10:04 PM »
Alectric: You can define anything in your style sheet, however, tables are still constrictive, and almost non-standard code. It severely limits the possibilities of your layout, and with more complex tables, you have more points for your web page to break.

Offline Miluette

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
  • "I have darkness inside of me!" ~SpongeBob
    • Hub
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 05:32:21 AM »
I mean, what you can do with divs in an hour you can probably do with tables in 15 minutes.

Once you get the hang of divs, you can emulate tables with them in like 10 minutes. :D At first it's hella frustrating though, because you're used to thinking "but TABLES can do THIS like THIS!"

One thing of note is, websites load INFINITELY faster without being built on tables. I converted all my layouts to tablelessness last year and they got so much faster to navigate. I was happy. :B *geek*

I do know that, for example, making site layouts with image corners/edges is just as convoluted with tables as it is with divs, too -- but with divs it's also in some ways simpler, since to do it the best way everything is still controlled with css. And it still loads way, WAY faster. Tables tend to load in their content in a left-to-right, top-to-bottom, one-at-a-time way, so you can tell if a website was built using tables just watching it load.

On another note, sorry if I missed it somewhere, but how does one get critiqued in the OnSite Reviews? :o

Offline Dragon Powered

  • Senior Web Correspondent
  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 120
  • Fractured
    • Dragon Powered
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 02:01:09 PM »
...Still, Amanda, if you're looking for free hosting and decent engine, I can hook you up with JD. All you have to do is carry a banner at the top for him.

I can be hooked up?  Nice!  Really Amanda, you can have free hosting along with full comic management, queuing, blog posts, rss feed, forums, galleries, and enough other stuff to fill a three ring binder.  Just require one banner, doesn't even need to be at the top, you can position it anywhere you want as long as it's noticable (preferred within 800 pixels from the top).

On the tables vs stylesheets debate, tables are still a useful tool.  CSS and tables do get along nicely, and tables can be modified using CSS.  Pure CSS sites do tend to scale better for use on displays like smartphones and the like.  There are plenty of purists out there who will insist sites should only be built using CSS, and it's certainly possible.  It's difficult to do, however, and not for the casual builder.  You'll spend a lot of time trying to make your site look right in various browsers unless you really know what you're doing.  Granted, HTML5 and new CSS rules are making things cooler and will be adding more as time goes on, but if you look across the web you'll find most sites still use at least some combination with tables involved.  Take as an example that THIS SITE RIGHT HERE, the one we're arguing about this on, uses tables in it's design.  Glance at the code.  Tables, lots of them.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled argument.

Offline CorvusErebus

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Chief Web Designer
Re: onSite Reviews - But Not Really
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 11:11:39 PM »
...Still, Amanda, if you're looking for free hosting and decent engine, I can hook you up with JD. All you have to do is carry a banner at the top for him.

I can be hooked up?  Nice!  Really Amanda, you can have free hosting along with full comic management, queuing, blog posts, rss feed, forums, galleries, and enough other stuff to fill a three ring binder.  Just require one banner, doesn't even need to be at the top, you can position it anywhere you want as long as it's noticable (preferred within 800 pixels from the top).

On the tables vs stylesheets debate, tables are still a useful tool.  CSS and tables do get along nicely, and tables can be modified using CSS.  Pure CSS sites do tend to scale better for use on displays like smartphones and the like.  There are plenty of purists out there who will insist sites should only be built using CSS, and it's certainly possible.  It's difficult to do, however, and not for the casual builder.  You'll spend a lot of time trying to make your site look right in various browsers unless you really know what you're doing.  Granted, HTML5 and new CSS rules are making things cooler and will be adding more as time goes on, but if you look across the web you'll find most sites still use at least some combination with tables involved.  Take as an example that THIS SITE RIGHT HERE, the one we're arguing about this on, uses tables in it's design.  Glance at the code.  Tables, lots of them.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled argument.

Without getting involved in this argument too much, I would like to point out (As a Designer) that mentioning that the forums use tables is really a cheap shot if you're a designer. Or an uneducated one if you aren't. The forums use tables, yes. But that's the themes fault. Cursory research will tell you phpBB3, nor SMF2.0 use tables as standard. The use of tables  is purely the fault of the designer of this theme. My guess is the designer is just a theme designer (They notoriously use outdated code until whatever they theme for no longer supports it). Why Chad and Rob chose it is not knowledge I'm privy to, or shall comment on. But the themes use of outdated code hardly justifies it.

And finally, Designing in 100% CSS is ridiculously easy. Thinking within the confines of tables is what's hard (Once you get used to divs you may see what I mean). I always use XHTML 1.0 Strict, and once you get used to it, it's very easy and clean. And for the record, no, most reputable sites DON'T use tables for their layout. If they do they need to update.