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    I have watched Chris’ videos for some time now and he finally talked me into making an attempt to do my own site. Before i was with and had no room to expand. Now we are a wordpress powered site (still learning all the php). Just wanted to know what people think of the very first layout of the site. Still lots to do, but the web design community here has really impressed me with how helpful everyone is.

    Thanks for any comments in advance.

    Adam at


    So 30 some odd views and still no love?

    This can be taken one of two ways…
    1. The site looks good and works good no complaints there, but wheres the content buddy?
    2. Boring, but everyone is really nice

    I hope its the first one :) if so no problems keep up the viewing :)

    Also the most finished page is the screencasts one so maybe i can get some feedback there

    Andy Staple

    Well I can’t really review it because I’m quite sure it doesn’t display correctly in Chrome.

    All i see for the logo is peoples feet. Hopefully that isn’t your logo :lol:

    The parts of the design I can see just seem to lack detail in most areas. That main image for Live Webinars is very grainy and not well put together. The Glow on the text is too intense and makes it quite hard to read as well.


    yeah the logo is def not just peoples feet :) I got a few comments on the grainy images so i will def be correcting those. Its one of those things that get overlooked when I started coding everything.

    Thanks for the feedback,

    Adam at ArchDesignLabs


    It’s not a bad first effort, but it does lack a certain polish which lets it down. As Andy suggested, you could really make a big difference to the overall feel if you put more work into the smaller details.

    The first thing that stood out to me was the header, mainly the white outlines around the silhouettes in your logo – in the "Advertise with us" graphic on the right, they are much better. You might want to look at the type treatment on the logo also, it looks very default.

    The problems with the header shifting up in various browsers (looked fine in chrome for me, broke in all IE versions and opera) is largely due to the problems in your markup. Specifically this bit:


    You need to close up the starting tags for div#identity-line and the logo’s img tag and end the the a href that wraps it. Validating your markup would have shown these problems.

    The second thing is that it’s not immediately clear what the site is about. I obviously went there from this site, linking that with your name made me think it was about web/graphic design and I didn’t realize my mistake until I got into the body of your content. Making a short, snappy statement describing who you are/what you do the first thing a visitor sees has become popular for a very good reason.

    The only other major problem I saw was some of your images are being scaled via markup. This is what’s making them so blurry, scaling up is always going to cause loss in bitmap graphics, but it’s even more noticeable when it’s done via the browser. Make your images the right size to begin with, and really it’s never going to be bad practice to always make your img tag set the dimensions to the same as they are in the actual file (maybe add probably in there, who knows with retina displays :P ).

    This post came out a bit negative (not to mention long) but, honestly, I’ve seen much worse from people who do this full-time. I think you’ve got yourself a good start, you won’t go wrong learning from Chris and the like.



    This actually exactly what I need and I really appreciate the time you spent on my site carefully picking through things.

    Alot of what you said is going on my list for today :) Including the images being blurry that was a newb mistake and I should have immediately fixed them.

    As for the code bit for the header I am actually not sure why its doing what its doing because when I view my header.php file that is drawing from there are no issue like shown below (I will dig into this a bit farther, but if you think you might know whats wrong please let me know).

    I also agree that it can be a little confusing as to what the site is for and I never thought about that until you mentioned it actually.

    We are working on making the site pop today too, we could easily do this with a white site but some of the same tricks and ideas don’t apply to a dark site. So, we will try to think of some ideas today.

    Again thanks for the very good feedback… All in all I have spent 3 weeks doing the code and graphics for the site, with no former experience in WordPress, Css, or HTML, while working a regular job. I def. didn’t take anything negative only positive.

    Thanks again,


    i also notice that your footer text is part of the image, this could easily be done as HTML text, much better for SEO and for when you want to update this information.

    "EhhWhat" wrote:
    i also notice that your footer text is part of the image, this could easily be done as HTML text, much better for SEO and for when you want to update this information.

    Good catch, the footer was supposed to be temporary thats why I did that but we havent changed it in so long so i guess I do need to go ahead and place it in with HTML.



    A 1200px width is veeerrrryyyy wide. Even though it fits fine on my monitor, it is very wide to read things on. You’ll find most websites follow a pretty strict (and standard) 960px-ish max width. This allows for about 99% of screen resolutions to read it properly (as well as the iPad!) – but more importantly, it’s simply easier to read. When you read articles in the newspaper or magazines, the text is split up into smaller columns – never the full width of the page. Why? It’s a lot easier for our eyes for follow shorter lines than super long ones.

    Overall, I feel like the design is rather dated. The footer especially reminds me of the 80’s for whatever reason.

    As a first website, it’s an excellent start. You have all of the proper fundamentals present in terms of structure. All you really need to work on is design!


    Thanks for the comments… 80’s good point :) still working on how to make the header and footer be unique.

    as for the 1200px wide there is an actual reason for that. In the field our website is dedicated to if you are using smaller that about a 15 inch monitor you are screwed that being said it lots great on all the newer monitors and its more or less prepping for the future. Also, because be are going to be driven by our Screencasts and Free content we found it nearly impossible to work with our old 960 format without everything becoming really hard to find and really overbearing. That means the articles are really the only thing that looks out of place.

    Did you get a chance to look at the screencast and freebies page to tell me what you think there?

    I just think a lot of work needs to be done on layout and design because the 1100 to 1200 range is where we would like to be.

    Thanks again

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