critique please - Gladstone Websites

He has: 49 posts

Joined: Jul 2007

Hi,
Can i have some constructive comments on my website please, but first can i say that i know i need to stop using tables Smiling and that i also need to convert it to xhtml strict.

Any criticism either positive or negative is welcome.

http://www.gladstone-websites.co.uk

Gary

navyfalcon's picture

They have: 11 posts

Joined: Jun 2007

Presently - your site looks like a standard 3 column template. You may want to change the look some by adding graphics or pictures (same with the portfollio) also you may want to use a bulleted list for the important points.
May want to add some more to the portfollio also some more examples
hope this helps
falcon

These 5 things observe with care, with whom you speak, to whom you speak, how, when and where.

He has: 698 posts

Joined: Jul 2005

I know you mentioned it already, but as a website design company, it is a bad example to set to continue using tabled layouts. Tables are to be used for sets of data with common column labels, much like a database. In the same fashion, I think light is the new dark. Dark color schemes used to be in, (or seemed to be fairly prominent), but now light, streamlined designs are the fad (not that I encourage fads, but customers seem to like them). Using a lighter design with your own unique implements of the latest web technologies (AJAX, interesting designs using DIV alignments and similar things) with an outstanding logo is the place to start; then go from there.

As far as the actual content of your website goes, I have a few problems (or pet peeves, hehe Sticking out tongue):

Quote:
Get Your business ...

'Y' shouldn't be capitalized...

Quote:
... are competitive & offer great value ...

To look more professional, throw out the ampersand and actually use words...

Quote:
The low cost quality website designs are built to the World Wide Consortium (W3C) Standards using HTML and CSS so you know your going to get quality for your money.

'your' should be 'you're' or 'you are'

Also, if they are coming to a web design company, they may not know a whole lot about the W3 or even what HTML and CSS are, so would they know they were getting quality for their money? Something to consider explaining more in-depth, as you did greatly in this sentence:

Quote:
During the whole process we will keep you up to date by emailing you screen shots (pictures of the website as it progresses).

(This is only the first page, but hopefully this is a good springboard for starting a great web design website.)

Besides this, a few grammatical / spelling errors are scattered across the website need to be fixed to create a more professional feeling.

Good luck with your business! Wink

Kurtis

They have: 24 posts

Joined: Jul 2007

Firefox can't find the server at gladstone-websites.co.uk.

I have tried to access your website so that I can evaluate and report my expertise to your but as you can see this is not possible because something seems to be wrong at your server side, bringing the website to an offline halt.

He has: 49 posts

Joined: Jul 2007

Hi Elena29,

Server seems to be ok now.

Gary

Megan's picture

She has: 11,419 posts

Joined: Jun 1999

I agree with mscreashuns about the colour scheme and the tables for layout. You're saying that you're developing standards compliant websites, which is somewhat true, but you're developing to the lowest possible standard. This site validates under HTML 4.0 transitional. The xhtml vs. html thing is debatable but at least develop to a strict doctype! HTML 4 transitional would be fine if this was a hobby site or something but professionals should be held to a higher standard.

It's funny, because, as mentioned you're using a dark colour scheme which is a bit out of style, but going full out with the trends with the reflection on the logo and the sidebar buttons. Those sidebar buttons look rather out of place to me - they don't seem to fit with the rest of the design. I wonder if they were taken from another design or something (different shade of blue, much higher quality in design, particularly with the icons)

Most of the site is very text-heavy and doesn't do much to entice the user to take the next step. Include some samples of your work on the home page, and add some calls to action. For example, at the end of the services page, you should have an invitation to requst a quote and a link to the contact page.

I like that you have detailed contact info on your contact page. That's great - so many contact pages are skimpy on the details. What this site doesn't include, however, is any information about who is behind this. Having contact information is a great way to add credibility, but so is including a name of the person in charge of the business. be more than a nameless, faceless, business. As a small company, personalization can help a lot.

He has: 49 posts

Joined: Jul 2007

Thanks all for your valued critique.

I've thought about what you've all said, some of which i knew needed changing.

As for the colour scheme, i am changing it to a lighter colour. The tables i'm changing to divisions.
In fact, i've decided to rebuild the site.

Here's a mock-up of a design i've only just started working on, please let me know what you all think of it. The quality is not to good since being uploaded to here. By the way it's a short version.

I've also uploaded one of the buttons off the original site, just to show how it was put together in photoshop.

Thanks again everyone,

Gary

Gary

ejcross's picture

He has: 27 posts

Joined: Jul 2007

I just visited your existing site, and it isn't too bad. I agree that it could use more graphics on the main page, and it would be nice to include a site or two of the most recent ones you have done.

One issue I have is viewing it with 1280 X 800 monitor. The sides, or body background being white is really tough on my eyes. Maybe its just me, but they really seem to glare at me while reading your site. Not sure, but maybe a really light gray color would work better to tone it down?

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