Home – New Forums Tell me straight… freelance web designer portfolio update

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  • #972366
    Craig_Longmuir
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    hey all
    have been working on my new website and thought id see what you think!
    still a few things i know i need to do but its mostly there (like the form isnt hooked up yet)

    new site here http://www.26062006.com/development/craiglongmuir/index.php
    current site in footer…

    comments welcome. the good, the bad and the ugly!!

    cheers

    #1055670
    Craig_Longmuir
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    site is now live…still interested to hear any comments tho!!
    http://www.craiglongmuir.com

    #1055671
    Orbit Sites
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    Hi Craig,

    Its nice mate! I don’t have much t ime to look very close at the moment, though 1 thing I would do if it were my site:

    “Contact me

    mobile phone – 0405 096 483

    email – [email protected]

    I would add this, a reverse contact form.

    Just simple.. example:

    LET ME CONTACT YOU
    Your Name:
    Your Email:
    Your Number:
    SUBMIT REQUEST

    Just an idea form my experience I have found these to work well.

    #1055672
    donnafrithdesign
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    Hi Craig,

    I checked out your site and like it a lot, good job :) Clean, sophisticated and professional is the overall impression I got. Also really like the photo on the about page, it’s always nice to see the face behind a business and I think the image you chose presents you as friendly and approachable.

    Because I’m a designer, I’ll make a few suggestions, but I think the site works really well regardless :)

    The lighter tone of grey really sets the scene on the homepage especially as it features prominently in the websites you’re showcasing as well as your own site. I feel an urge to see a bit more of a splash of colour somewhere. Maybe in ‘freelance web designer’ after your name. Maybe Blue, or go crazy and make it red :) And maybe not so small.

    I think your contact page would do well without the picture. Just have all the details in it’s place so users don’t have to scroll down. By the time they click on ‘contact’ they know what they want, and the pic of the phone is just getting in the way :)

    On the portfolio page, I think the second red arrow box on the right is unneccessary in that format. Maybe make it a different shape and colour. It clashes with the consistent use of the red arrow boxes that appear in the bottom left, and it serves a different purpose.

    Just minor comments really, because I’m a designer and can’t help myself :) I really like it. Good luck!

    #1055673
    Craig_Longmuir
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    @DT designs – thanks, i incorporated that contact format into the home/about pages. cheers

    @donna
    – cheers for the comments :) the photo on the contact needs to stay for consistency, but yes, the 2nd red box on portfolio and adding colour to the logo tag-line are already on my to-do! great minds think alike!

    cheers all
    c

    #1055674
    Netorigin
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    craiglongmuir.com, post: 68962 wrote:
    @DT designs – thanks, i incorporated that contact format into the home/about pages. cheers

    @donna
    – cheers for the comments :) the photo on the contact needs to stay for consistency, but yes, the 2nd red box on portfolio and adding colour to the logo tag-line are already on my to-do! great minds think alike!

    cheers all
    c

    I’d like to view your website but I’m seeing Error 404: File Not Found.

    Cheers,
    Shaun

    #1055675
    Craig_Longmuir
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    original link was dev only, its now live at http://www.craiglongmuir.com

    #1055676
    Michael [The Mac Experts]
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    I actually like this site, it’s clean, it’s simple, it follows the main usability guidelines (menu in a standard location), soft background colours, it mostly degrades and works without Javascript turned on and is well written.

    The only tips I have are mostly technical ones:

      If you’re going to specify a specific doctype, ensure it validates as you only have a few errors to sort out:

    http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.craiglongmuir.com%2F&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0

      The slider with JavaScript off prints all 5 graphics to the screen, you can get this to degrade better (i.e. only show a single image) with a few carefully placed css block: none elements.
      Indent your page source code, people will eye ball your code to see what your style is and non-indented will automatically turn heads.
      Think about ditching the use of .php pages as direct links, turn each one into a directory. I.e.

    http://www.craiglongmuir.com/about-web-designer-sydney.php -> http://www.craiglongmuir.com/about/. I was a bit surprised to see all your pages use php when I can’t see anything dynamic going on.

      Have your menu items hover show an underline.

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/604277/should-all-links-on-a-webpage-be-underlined http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20040510.html

    The important point is Javascript. This is an impontant point as potential clients like me who understand the web, but don’t have the time to do our own coding almost always have a freelancer pump specs into pages, and Javascript/PHP or what have you done internally by our programmers so to see a page that at-least doesn’t degrade gracefully (more so the home page) shows slight ignorance as a web-developer.

    The fact you mention “….standard-compliment HTML & CSS.” in your about page – you must make sure you get everything perfect, standard-compliant (Btw, I think you mean compliant instead of compliment?)!

    If you fix those technical details, I will bookmark your site!

    #1055677
    bluepenguin
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    Nice work Craig.

    This is a very nice looking site – very clean, visually appealing and easy to navigate.

    The biggest thing that stands out to me as that some people will find the text hard to read. I’m thinking more of the more senior members of society. If you’re marketing specifically at a younger market (say 20-35), it would be ok, but if you want to include an older demographic, I’d recommend increasing the contrast between the text and the background and/or making the font slighty larger.

    The next thing that I noticed was the banner on the testimonials page doesn’t look anywhere near as nice as the banners on the other pages.

    All of the content is well written and I like that you’ve kept it brief and made really good use of keywords.

    I’m not sure whether it’s a good idea to emphasise the fact that you work from home as it may scare some people off. They’ll find out eventually, but in my experience it’s better if they find it out after they’ve warmed to you.

    #1055678
    Craig_Longmuir
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    thanks for the comments…

    validates now – must remember to re-validate wen i make last minute changes!

    “Think about ditching the use of .php pages as direct links” not sure i see the benefits of this except keeping order on larger sites? only php are includes obviously not something you will see browser side.

    slider and JS – yes, its on the to do list

    underline nav links – i didnt like the look having this on the nav and whilst i agree body links should be underlined, the navigation is pretty clear that it is a navigation. The fact users are used to nav being in the header and the use of common titles…

    code- yes could be a little neater. to-do list…

    font – darkened it a little now
    testimonials header – actually wanted to use the like button to get a bit of social going, but you cant mod that so ended up with the share… still deciding if its worth having tho..still thinking….!
    work from home – not sure on this one either. anyone else got views on this part??

    cheers again for the comments

    craig

    #1055679
    Michael [The Mac Experts]
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    What looks better?

    or

    The second is clean, fits cleanly in this forum post (and thus, without clicking it I know what’s going on) and will look a lot cleaner in an e-mail. It also tells me exactly what is going on: I am at Craiglongmuir.com and within the portfolio section of the website.

    Also think about it from a longevity standpoint. What happens when your business expands, you hire a ASP/PHP developer and find yourself wanting to showcase your web-development and applications? You don’t need to change any links, but simply introduce a new subdirectory:

    http://www.craiglongmuir.com/portfolio/web-development/

    Using subdirectories is cleaner, more logically and conceptually sound and offer better usability for your users.

    #1055680
    Craig_Longmuir
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    and have an index in each folder?! can imagine editing the site might become a pain with so many index files?

    was also under the assumption that keyword rich file names are more beneficial that the equivalent keyword rich folders?

    but yes, i agree it looks much cleaner

    #1055681
    Michael [The Mac Experts]
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    That’s a damn good question. From my Googling, I’ve found that:

      Dashes are treated as seperate words, and are preferred over underscores in URIs. See:

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/whitehat-seo-tips-for-bloggers/

      Appears there is no SEO difference between utilising sub-directories (and index./html/php files) VS specific html/php files. See:

    http://jamesmartell.com/matt-cutts/google-seo-tip-83-does-the-number-of-subdirectories-in-a-url-affect-its-ranking/

    Which leaves you with usability, which as you agree the sub-directory route is easily.

    craiglongmuir.com, post: 69712 wrote:
    and have an index in each folder?

    Well, this is getting outside the scope of the original purpose of the thread but if you’re worried about editing so many files and your whole site is php based – are you using a framework such as codeigniter.com?

    That way you have a single header file, footer and your controllers/views are purely just the specific content for each page. CakePHP, CI, Zend (I believe) default routing routes utilise sub-directory structures as well which is another benefit of utilising sub-directories if/when you ever do move to a framework you won’t have to waste too much time (if at all) ensuring Google updates it’s indexes correctly – because you won’t need to change a thing if done right.

    Or failing that, just simply have each index.php file include a centralised header/footer if you don’t require the weight of a framework.

    #1055682
    Craig_Longmuir
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    yes, dashes are definitely the way to go rather than my_keyword, or mykeyword.

    and yes, no real difference with where the actual file resides, but the difference would be that you would need to have the page named index.html within the sub folder, rather than a keyword-rich-page.html in the root.

    Of course you can have the keyword-rich-page.html in the sub folder but then your initial reasoning falls apart and we have;
    What looks better?

    craiglongmuir.com/website…-portfolio.php

    or

    craiglongmuir.com/portfolio/website…-portfolio.php

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