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Old 10-16-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
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Question Website review

Hi All,

I recently completed my third website, and since I'm fairly new to web design, I'm hoping some of you can provide some input and feedback on how and where I can make improvements. You can view the site here:

http://www.nthdegreeconsulting.com/

This website was built with tables, and will be the last one built as such. I do have some specific questions regarding this site:

1. I'm in the process of learning CSS, and plan to build my next site with XHTML/CSS instead of tables. From a layout perspective, is there anything about the design of this site that could not be rendered using a CSS layout?

2. I'm still waiting for content on two of the inner pages ('Success Stories' and 'Partners'). I set it up so that these two buttons do not light up on mouseover, but I don't like the way it looks. I included 'coming soon' in the alt text for both, but on my websites, the alt text doesn't pop up in Firefox - only in IE. This issue has two related questions:
2a) I've seen the alt text on other sites pop up in my Firefox browser, but it doesn't on my sites. Any ideas as to what may be causing this, and what I can do to correct it?
2b) I'm considering changing these buttons so that they light up, but the button text changes to 'Coming Soon'. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any goodies you can send my way, and I'm open to any and all input that will help me to improve this site in particular and/or my skills in general.

Sam
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Old 10-16-2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar Icon View Post
1. I'm in the process of learning CSS, and plan to build my next site with XHTML/CSS instead of tables. From a layout perspective, is there anything about the design of this site that could not be rendered using a CSS layout?
Not really. You'll be using the right tool for the job so it's less restricting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar Icon View Post
2. I'm still waiting for content on two of the inner pages ('Success Stories' and 'Partners'). I set it up so that these two buttons do not light up on mouseover, but I don't like the way it looks. I included 'coming soon' in the alt text for both, but on my websites, the alt text doesn't pop up in Firefox - only in IE.
2a) I've seen the alt text on other sites pop up in my Firefox browser, but it doesn't on my sites. Any ideas as to what may be causing this, and what I can do to correct it?
I think you are confusing the ALT attribute with the TITLE attribute. The ALT attribute is not supposed to pop up anywhere. It's simply an alternative text if people can not see the image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar Icon View Post
2b) I'm considering changing these buttons so that they light up, but the button text changes to 'Coming Soon'. Thoughts?
If there is no page, do not include a button or link or coming soon.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:57 PM   #3
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I like that site...

As Domedia says CSS is less restrictive but I think the design is easy enough to render either way. Once you realise what can be done with CSS you'll start designing sites differently... probably.

I like it - nothing much to add about your 'issues' that Domedia hasn't already touched on... but...

'Dead Buttons' are a no-no in my eyes... Coming soon sections are a bit grim too - Whenever I see a 'Coming Soon' page I always think that the designer has no intention of adding anything in there or will probably never get round to it..

I like it though...
RC
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:25 AM   #4
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Thanks guys! A couple more questions/comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by domedia View Post
I think you are confusing the ALT attribute with the TITLE attribute. The ALT attribute is not supposed to pop up anywhere. It's simply an alternative text if people can not see the image.
I think you're right! Good to know moving forward. However, my alt text does pop up when I hover over an image in IE - is IE somehow interpreting it as a TITLE attribute, and if not, why is this happening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_Che View Post
'Dead Buttons' are a no-no in my eyes... Coming soon sections are a bit grim too - Whenever I see a 'Coming Soon' page I always think that the designer has no intention of adding anything in there or will probably never get round to it..RC
I have a feeling that this project is not as important to my client as it was when they hired me, so it may be awhile before they provide the content for these pages. It's important to me, however, that the site look as good as it can, and I understand that the best solution is to remove the dead buttons. Any suggestions as to how I can do this simply, without a major redesign of the nav bar?

One other quick question: Do you usually have a "target size" (in KB/MB) for your pages that you try not to exceed?

Thanks again for your input - I appreciate it.

Sam
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar Icon View Post
I think you're right! Good to know moving forward. However, my alt text does pop up when I hover over an image in IE - is IE somehow interpreting it as a TITLE attribute, and if not, why is this happening?
Hi Sam. You are correct, IE does flash up alt tag text when you hover over it. Not sure why Dom has told you it doesn't. This is perfectly natural for IE. Alt tags do not tend to show up in compliant browsers like Firefox. If you hover long enough though you may get a title tag pop up, as Dom says.

Quote:
One other quick question: Do you usually have a "target size" (in KB/MB) for your pages that you try not to exceed?
As small or 'optimised' as you can. Try not to go much over say 150kb.
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Old 10-19-2008, 03:51 AM   #6
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I agree with the others, nice site. Job well done. CSS and div's is the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar Icon View Post
I have a feeling that this project is not as important to my client as it was when they hired me, so it may be awhile before they provide the content for these pages.
Consider taking this time and converting the site from tables to div's? A fairly straight forward and simple design like this should be fairly easy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar Icon View Post
It's important to me, however, that the site look as good as it can, and I understand that the best solution is to remove the dead buttons. Any suggestions as to how I can do this simply, without a major redesign of the nav bar?
Can you simply remove the buttons, move the active buttons over or replace them with blank images?
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrosive View Post
Hi Sam. You are correct, IE does flash up alt tag text when you hover over it. Not sure why Dom has told you it doesn't.
I didn't say it doesn't, I said it's not supposed to This is the job for the title attribute. If you are relying on the alt attribute to make a tooltip, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:15 AM   #8
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Hey All,

First off, thanks so much for all your input and feedback. And thanks, too, to those who said they like the look of the site. I'm here primarily to learn how and where I can improve my work, but it's always nice to hear that those "in the know" see merit in it.

A couple of additional questions and comments, to keep the ball rolling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrosive View Post
Alt tags do not tend to show up in compliant browsers like Firefox. If you hover long enough though you may get a title tag pop up, as Dom says.
Is there a field or CSS property in Dreamweaver to include the title attribute, or does it need to be hand-coded? I found what looks like a downloadable extension here, but the link send me to a 404 page in what looks like Japanese. It's from 2003, so I thought Adobe may have added the functionality since.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coloeagle View Post
Consider taking this time and converting the site from tables to div's? A fairly straight forward and simple design like this should be fairly easy.

Can you simply remove the buttons, move the active buttons over or replace them with blank images?
I'm definitely going to convert my existing sites to CSS/XHTML once I'm up-and-running, and it's GREAT to hear that it should be "fairly easy". Regarding the nav bar for this site, I like the idea of moving the active buttons to one side, with perhaps a blank area to the far-left or far-right. I was really hoping not to have to redesign it, but I don't think there are probably any other options.

Thanks again to everyone. I'm beginning the design of my fourth site, and I plan to build it properly "from the ground up". And I'm sure I'll have lots of questions...

Sam
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar Icon View Post
Is there a field or CSS property in Dreamweaver to include the title attribute, or does it need to be hand-coded?
It's not CSS, it's an attribute for a HTML tag.
It should be present in your window panel for the link.
If you want to handcode it, it goes like this:
HTML Code:
<a href="file.html" title="this is my awesome link">link</a>
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domedia View Post
It should be present in your window panel for the link.
Is it somewhere in the Properties window, or a different window? I've hunted around and been unable to find it.

Thanks,
Sam
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