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Billy the Monkey- BM Homepage, what do you think?





william
Well, that's my main site, Billy the Monkey. Billy the Monkey is basically a site with a lot of random stuff such as images, videos, games, downloads, services, and more. You can see it at http://www.billythemonkey.tk

Right now, I'm working on one of it's services, it's called BM Homepage (short for Billy the Monkey Homepage). It's basically a webpage designed to be your browser's homepage. You can see it at http://www.billythemonkey.frih.net/homepage/index.htm . It can also be accessed at http://www.bmhomepage.tk , but that's been giving me some problems.

What do you think about BM Homepage?
{name here}
Don't use .tk or .co.nr because they are not search engine friendly, and some browsers won't even accept .tk domains.

Billythemonkey.tk looks terrible - bad colour scheme, animated gifs, shoddy logo, and worst of all javascript design that follows the cursor.

Billy the Monkey Homepage also has a terrible logo, bad choice in fonts - they vary way to much, and the site looks like a slap together of a bunch of scripts.
william
Yeah, but I still needed a free domain. I'm not willing to pay a single penny. Dot TK has been giving me some problems, but .co.nr works fine.

For Billy the Monkey's design, don't worry, I'm scheduled to redesign it soon. The first design, I must admit, was terrible.

As for the homepage, what would you suggest I change? You're the first person to give a negative comment, and I thank you for that as it will help me a LOT.

Most people said, "Wow, that looks professional." Laughing
the6thfactor
william wrote:
Yeah, but I still needed a free domain. I'm not willing to pay a single penny. Dot TK has been giving me some problems, but .co.nr works fine.

For Billy the Monkey's design, don't worry, I'm scheduled to redesign it soon. The first design, I must admit, was terrible.

As for the homepage, what would you suggest I change? You're the first person to give a negative comment, and I thank you for that as it will help me a LOT.

Most people said, "Wow, that looks professional." Laughing


I won't be as blunt as name here, but it needs a lot of work.

The color scheme does not work. Try a compatible combo, such as green/gray, green/black, orange/blue etc. Try to pick something that does not blind the viewer and correctly contrasts each other.

As for the homepage, much better layout style then your site, but the colors and graphics are.. yuck. Try to stick with 2-3 colors that match, not just random colors. It is important to keep the layout flowing all the way through. Only highlight an area you want to bring attention to, such as a special offer of sorts.

The header needs a lot of work as well, with both colors and design. Font choice could be cleaner and more professional as well.

If you need some more help, catch me on AIM at: the6thfactor . Hope that gives a little direction at least. Don't give up on it though, keep at it Smile
william
the6thfactor wrote:
william wrote:
Yeah, but I still needed a free domain. I'm not willing to pay a single penny. Dot TK has been giving me some problems, but .co.nr works fine.

For Billy the Monkey's design, don't worry, I'm scheduled to redesign it soon. The first design, I must admit, was terrible.

As for the homepage, what would you suggest I change? You're the first person to give a negative comment, and I thank you for that as it will help me a LOT.

Most people said, "Wow, that looks professional." Laughing


I won't be as blunt as name here, but it needs a lot of work.

The color scheme does not work. Try a compatible combo, such as green/gray, green/black, orange/blue etc. Try to pick something that does not blind the viewer and correctly contrasts each other.

As for the homepage, much better layout style then your site, but the colors and graphics are.. yuck. Try to stick with 2-3 colors that match, not just random colors. It is important to keep the layout flowing all the way through. Only highlight an area you want to bring attention to, such as a special offer of sorts.

The header needs a lot of work as well, with both colors and design. Font choice could be cleaner and more professional as well.

If you need some more help, catch me on AIM at: the6thfactor . Hope that gives a little direction at least. Don't give up on it though, keep at it Smile


Thanks for the advice. Yeah, that always seems to be my problem, I can never make a proper color scheme. I'll go ahead and work on that, but unfortunately, I don't have control over some of the colors (because they're from 3rd parties) so I will have to base some of my colors on those.

As for the header, is it the actual landscape background that needs some work, or is the text? I can easily go ahead and change the text, but if it's the landscape, what should I replace it with?

Thanks again for the advice. (Unfortunately, I can't use any IM service at the moment, so I'm left with either posting here or using PM).
{name here}
william wrote:
Yeah, but I still needed a free domain. I'm not willing to pay a single penny. Dot TK has been giving me some problems, but .co.nr works fine.

For Billy the Monkey's design, don't worry, I'm scheduled to redesign it soon. The first design, I must admit, was terrible.

As for the homepage, what would you suggest I change? You're the first person to give a negative comment, and I thank you for that as it will help me a LOT.

Most people said, "Wow, that looks professional." Laughing

Afraid.org offers virtual domain names(uk.to and us.to are the most realistic) that will perform just like the real thing - without javascript or anything like that. Of course this assumes that you have access to DNS and your site isn't just some geocities homepage but from a full featured free hosting service like FriHost.

Okay, here are some things I reccommend to clear up your site billythemonkey.frih.net.

    + Change the font to a smooth one like Arial or Vernada. For cross-OS compatability use sans-serif as the font when you define it in your CSS.
    + Make a new logo that doesn't look like it came from a logo generator and looks like a real logo. It doesn't need to be fancy. Try a cartoon monkey on a white background that says billy the monkey on the side in small caps with the font being Vernada.
    + Make the top menu blend in with the rest of the site - images that show tabs would work nicely. Remember just to do 2 tab images(one for an active state tab and one that is inactive) and place the text in the center of the tab using HTML. This will make your site more dial up friendly if you do it correctly.
    + Ditch the google search box. Make your own search box that links to google without the logo. Use CSS to style it appropriately to match your site.
    + Make your site less hefty and more friendly to the blind and text browser users - ditch the tables and use divs.
    + Don't use a lame "Make this site your homepage button". Big mistake for many webmasters.
    + Integrate everything better. Your site looks like its been stitched together like frankenstein.
    + Don't use flash for navigation. If you need interactivity in your menus use JavaScript. Web crawlers will not be able to access any part of your site that uses web crawlers. The blind and the leet(who both use text based browsers) will not be able to access your navigation.

As for billythemonkey.tk

    + Do anything on the list above that applies to the site. I can see many already.
    + Choose a better colour scheme. This one makes it just about as good as the average MySpace profile. I wouldn't complain if you made your site have as simple of a design as Maddox's if you just have a good colour scheme.
    + Ditch the javascript mouse follower. All it does is irritate the user, waste your bandwidth, and make your site look like some cheap geocities setup.

Just my 2 cents.
william
{name here} wrote:
william wrote:
Yeah, but I still needed a free domain. I'm not willing to pay a single penny. Dot TK has been giving me some problems, but .co.nr works fine.

For Billy the Monkey's design, don't worry, I'm scheduled to redesign it soon. The first design, I must admit, was terrible.

As for the homepage, what would you suggest I change? You're the first person to give a negative comment, and I thank you for that as it will help me a LOT.

Most people said, "Wow, that looks professional." Laughing


Afraid.org offers virtual domain names(uk.to and us.to are the most realistic) that will perform just like the real thing - without javascript or anything like that. Of course this assumes that you have access to DNS and your site isn't just some geocities homepage but from a full featured free hosting service like FriHost.


Thing is, that site is suppose to be only one webpage, so I really don't need that. I just needed a URL redirect, but I may opt .co.nr.


Quote:
Change the font to a smooth one like Arial or Vernada. For cross-OS compatability use sans-serif as the font when you define it in your CSS.


Sounds good, but I'm not using any CSS. It's pure HTML with scripts. (Though, now I wish that I had used php).

Quote:
+ Make a new logo that doesn't look like it came from a logo generator and looks like a real logo. It doesn't need to be fancy. Try a cartoon monkey on a white background that says billy the monkey on the side in small caps with the font being Vernada.


Well, I see where you're going, but, if you don't mind, could you explain why the landscape doesn't fit? To my eye, and most other people I've talked to, it fits.

Quote:
+ Make the top menu blend in with the rest of the site - images that show tabs would work nicely. Remember just to do 2 tab images(one for an active state tab and one that is inactive) and place the text in the center of the tab using HTML. This will make your site more dial up friendly if you do it correctly.


I had that in mind, but I opted to not do that. I'm not too sure what I'd use the tabs for, but I'll definitely consider it. Also, I didn't mention this before, but that top aqua menu is suppose to change color every month.

Quote:
+ Ditch the google search box. Make your own search box that links to google without the logo. Use CSS to style it appropriately to match your site.


That's what I had at first, but then I added the Google logo. I was unsure about it and I'll proably remove it.

Quote:
+ Make your site less hefty and more friendly to the blind and text browser users - ditch the tables and use divs.


I never did consider the text based browsers. Very Happy I don't use divs very often, but I will consider that. Also, what would you say about using frames?

Quote:
+ Don't use a lame "Make this site your homepage button". Big mistake for many webmasters.


Why would you say it's a mistake? The page is designed specifically to be one's homepage.

Quote:
+ Integrate everything better. Your site looks like its been stitched together like frankenstein.


Interesting simile. Very Happy Yeah, that's one thing I'll be sure to work on. It's a bit difficult since I only have some control over how the third party content looks. But, I will work on that for sure.

Quote:
+ Don't use flash for navigation. If you need interactivity in your menus use JavaScript. Web crawlers will not be able to access any part of your site that uses web crawlers. The blind and the leet(who both use text based browsers) will not be able to access your navigation.


Well, all of the other pages are a part of my main site. But yeah, I'll consider javascript.

As for Billy the Monkey, I won't be changing anything, yet, but I will soon.

Thanks a lot for your advice. Very Happy
{name here}
Quote:
Thing is, that site is suppose to be only one webpage, so I really don't need that. I just needed a URL redirect, but I may opt .co.nr.

Well, it's the best free one that will allow for Search engine and blind friendliness.
Quote:

Quote:
Change the font to a smooth one like Arial or Vernada. For cross-OS compatability use sans-serif as the font when you define it in your CSS.


Sounds good, but I'm not using any CSS. It's pure HTML with scripts. (Though, now I wish that I had used php).

Laughing Few web designers are daft enough to create a design without CSS in this day and age! It's not the 90s anymore. There are easier, faster, and lighter ways to make great designs.

Quote:
Quote:
+ Make a new logo that doesn't look like it came from a logo generator and looks like a real logo. It doesn't need to be fancy. Try a cartoon monkey on a white background that says billy the monkey on the side in small caps with the font being Vernada.


Well, I see where you're going, but, if you don't mind, could you explain why the landscape doesn't fit? To my eye, and most other people I've talked to, it fits.

It looks really cheesy and really unprofessional. Landscapes and text used in the way you chose to use it looks like you're going to pull a mallard(for those of you who don't know who mallard is he was the Administrator of qbasic.com who left the site after high school for abandon until a guy named Mark picked it up).

Quote:

Quote:
+ Make the top menu blend in with the rest of the site - images that show tabs would work nicely. Remember just to do 2 tab images(one for an active state tab and one that is inactive) and place the text in the center of the tab using HTML. This will make your site more dial up friendly if you do it correctly.


I had that in mind, but I opted to not do that. I'm not too sure what I'd use the tabs for, but I'll definitely consider it. Also, I didn't mention this before, but that top aqua menu is suppose to change color every month.

It's for good looks and easy navigation! Drupal's website uses tabs on top for navigation, as well as other sites which have a nice clean navigation system with tabs like DemonLime and Spread Firefox. You can still change text color if you have images. You just use CSS to lay the tab onto the background of a div and insert text onto the tab which will change color dynamically with PHP(which will save the user a little time from downloading javascript to switch it).
http://www.borland.com/
^Example of how to make nice navigation and a nice site.
http://www.maddox.xmission.com/
^Maddox doesn't like fancy designs but he focuses on simplicity that makes his site a good example of a web page.
Quote:

Quote:
+ Make your site less hefty and more friendly to the blind and text browser users - ditch the tables and use divs.


I never did consider the text based browsers. Very Happy I don't use divs very often, but I will consider that. Also, what would you say about using frames?

Frames would throw your design even farther into the 90s than it already is, and it would make it even more search engine unfriendly. Heck, when you venture outside the forums it feels like I'm still using dial up!

Quote:

Quote:
+ Don't use a lame "Make this site your homepage button". Big mistake for many webmasters.


Why would you say it's a mistake? The page is designed specifically to be one's homepage.

1) It's in a god awful font
2) Nobody uses them anymore. All it does is waste bandwidth.

Here are a few tips for your website:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/html-hell.html
http://www.hotdesign.com/seybold/
william
{name here} wrote:

Laughing Few web designers are daft enough to create a design without CSS in this day and age! It's not the 90s anymore. There are easier, faster, and lighter ways to make great designs.


I agree with that, and I usually do use CSS with HTML. I just tried to pull this off without CSS. (And I can tell that it wasn't a good idea). I might just start over and use php instead; what do you think about that?

{name here} wrote:
It looks really cheesy and really unprofessional. Landscapes and text used in the way you chose to use it looks like you're going to pull a mallard(for those of you who don't know who mallard is he was the Administrator of qbasic.com who left the site after high school for abandon until a guy named Mark picked it up).


Well, how about the same landscape, but with different text? (Such as Vernada or Arial). Or is it that the entire landscape should be trashed?

Quote:
It's for good looks and easy navigation! Drupal's website uses tabs on top for navigation, as well as other sites which have a nice clean navigation system with tabs like DemonLime and Spread Firefox. You can still change text color if you have images. You just use CSS to lay the tab onto the background of a div and insert text onto the tab which will change color dynamically with PHP(which will save the user a little time from downloading javascript to switch it).
http://www.borland.com/
^Example of how to make nice navigation and a nice site.
http://www.maddox.xmission.com/
^Maddox doesn't like fancy designs but he focuses on simplicity that makes his site a good example of a web page.


Ah, I see what you mean. Yeah, most likely I will go ahead an insert tabs. However, I'm currently unsure about how I'll use them. When I come up with some more content, I'll add the tabs.

Quote:
Frames would throw your design even farther into the 90s than it already is, and it would make it even more search engine unfriendly. Heck, when you venture outside the forums it feels like I'm still using dial up!


Yeah, that's why I decided not to use them in the first place. (Though, after I finished I was a but unsure about my decision).

Quote:
1) It's in a god awful font
2) Nobody uses them anymore. All it does is waste bandwidth.


I suppose my data was outdated. I recently read that having that button was a must, so I went with it. What I'll do is at the bottom (next to the copyright information), I'll add a small text link to do so and remove the button on the top. (That will also make room for the tabs).

Once again, thanks for all the help and advice. Very Happy
{name here}
william wrote:
{name here} wrote:

Laughing Few web designers are daft enough to create a design without CSS in this day and age! It's not the 90s anymore. There are easier, faster, and lighter ways to make great designs.


I agree with that, and I usually do use CSS with HTML. I just tried to pull this off without CSS. (And I can tell that it wasn't a good idea). I might just start over and use php instead; what do you think about that?

For the main billythemonkey.tk I highly reccomend you get a CMS because it will be much easier on you than programming something. Just make a unique template. Coranto, and Siteframe will ease your pain because they have very easy to modify templating systems.
Quote:

{name here} wrote:
It looks really cheesy and really unprofessional. Landscapes and text used in the way you chose to use it looks like you're going to pull a mallard(for those of you who don't know who mallard is he was the Administrator of qbasic.com who left the site after high school for abandon until a guy named Mark picked it up).


Well, how about the same landscape, but with different text? (Such as Vernada or Arial). Or is it that the entire landscape should be trashed?

Its the landscape idea and the text gradient working together. Yeah, it looks good on microsoft.com, but they make it look more vibrant, and professional. They also don't use gradients.
pashmina
try using the joomla cms. the cms has this amazing extension to bridge between your site and forum. visit joomla.org for more information
and also check out the extension to bridge your forum of SMF with joomla. with joomla cms i think it would be really great.
william
{name here} wrote:
For the main billythemonkey.tk I highly reccomend you get a CMS because it will be much easier on you than programming something. Just make a unique template. Coranto, and Siteframe will ease your pain because they have very easy to modify templating systems.


Alright, I'll try that.

{name here} wrote:
Its the landscape idea and the text gradient working together. Yeah, it looks good on microsoft.com, but they make it look more vibrant, and professional. They also don't use gradients.


So, if I were to keep the landscape and replace the text with a "professional" text and a solid color, it would be fine?

pashmina wrote:
try using the joomla cms. the cms has this amazing extension to bridge between your site and forum. visit joomla.org for more information
and also check out the extension to bridge your forum of SMF with joomla. with joomla cms i think it would be really great.


Well, at the moment, I'm planning on replacing the SMF forum with a phpBB, so I will take that into consideration after I replace the forum.
{name here}
Quote:
So, if I were to keep the landscape and replace the text with a "professional" text and a solid color, it would be fine?

If you were to use a solid text color, and a vibrant landscape(not a desolate and dull landscape like you chose) with real sky, you could pull off a decent logo.

pashmina wrote:
try using the joomla cms. the cms has this amazing extension to bridge between your site and forum. visit joomla.org for more information
and also check out the extension to bridge your forum of SMF with joomla. with joomla cms i think it would be really great.

I would not reccomend Joomla. It is bloated. SMF is also bloated. Also, trying to template with Joomla is like trying to decipher badly formed perl. Basically you can summarize it as 5 MB of dead weight with a poor templating system.
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