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Home Forums CSS WEBSITE REVIEW: Online Magazine (version 2!)

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    Hi guys!

    A little while ago I asked for a review on one of my websites – there was a lot of criticism and controversy surrounding it. Some people missed the point of the site totally, some missed the point of the site but had some good feedback and some just had great feedback!

    Anyway. There has been a lot of developments since then and a lot of it with your original feedback in mind. So, I would love it for you guys to take another look and let me know what you think.

    Key Features:

    Navigation bar has changed – now more clear and visible by default. Can be hidden and if so, cookies remember the hide/show from page to page.

    Faster loading with browser caching an image ‘pre-loading’ (Pre-loading means that the images from the next page are loaded when browsing the current page. This allows the user to have a smoother browsing experience with the images on the next page almost instant)

    Issue and Feature flick – allowing the user to browse quickly to any issue, or any feature area of that issue.

    Thumbnail page navigation – the latest addition that shows a thumbnail of each page of the current issue, allowing the user to browse quickly to the part they want to see.

    Those are the main key features i can think of right now – there are many other little bits.



    Well, I have several criticisms. As someone who works for a newspaper who has e-Editions, I can say with confidence, this is NOT the best way to do what you’re doing.

    Lets start with my homepage criticisms

    1. Your featured issues thing is a cool idea, i like how the current issue is in focus, what I don’t like, is a separation from that idea with the “sign up for mailing list” and “facebook” links. They don’t register to me as mailing list and facebook. I expect them to be other editions. Or maybe special editions. Definitely don’t agree with that part of it
    2. Loading time is an issue, I notice you are resizing the magazine covers on the home page using inline or css styles. As far as performance is concerned, that’s a big no no. It does look like your images are optimized for web, but, you could probably push it a little more on the optimization.
    3. Stupid ugly spinny star. Stop it! lol
    4. Why not make that big skateboarding heading actual text instead of an image? it’s just impact for the word skateboarding right? impact you wouldn’t even have to embed, it’s web safe. it would also cut down on loading time.
    5. Not too hot on the drop down. love the color and how it interacts with that grey, but maybe think about making those list items an absolute width, so they’re all the same size.

    Okay, on to the issues themselves. Like I said before, I work for a newspaper, and am actually about to put a new e-edition up in the next couple hours. (im at work right now, don’t tell my boss im trolling css-tricks. lol)

    1. I don’t want to have to reload the page for every new page. Use php and javascript, or ajax, load the whole thing once, and only display the part the user wants.
    2. I like the ads being able to be clicked on, i think that’s a good idea, however, when i was tring to get to the next page, i just clicked on the right page, expecting it to load the next one, and instead, it took me to an advertisers site… maybe have an alert when someone clicks on an ad ,”are you sure you want to visit “” ” also, I would make a full height div on the left and right of your pages that on hover, display a big ol’ arrow. Those tiny arrows aren’t doing it for you. I had a really confusing time navigating, until i saw those itty bitty little arrows on the margin of each page.

    Good Luck Man!

    -All good things-


    If it wasn’t for Steven I wouldn’t have known there was a menu. It needs to go where a menu belongs in my opinion. At the top and where the navigation is. You can put it on the side but it was too far away for me to notice.

    Edit: Other than that, I think it’s a good job.


    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    Erm, where to start – STEVEN! (haha)

    I admit that the homepage does need some work… i have been through a couple of different ideas and have not come up with something that i am 100% happy with. The current Homepage i am about 70% (ish..)

    The images on the homepage are at the right size, not resized by inline CSS.


    The text is just IMPACT, yes. So you are right, i could go ahead and change that to text only. My only concern is that different browsers render fonts differently and there would be slight changes from bowser to browser and i feel that for something that is essentially a Logo, it should remain consistent.

    The drop down is a good point – the reason that they are not a set width is because some of the titles can be long, and i didnt want it going onto two lines. Ill have to think about that some more.

    Loading the entire issue as one is something that i have thought about as an option for our viewers. However, it would take a LONG time as the issues are large and, as the name is the magazine suggests, it’s all about the photos! The ‘next page image loading’ was a feature that i added to try and help combat this, but unless the user is going from page to page (which a lot of our readers do!), it is useless.

    Obviously, to keep going, we have to have the advertisements. I don’t want a reader to click one and be warned that they just clicked one and then have the option to change their mind – imagine putting that in our media pack?! I do see your point though… I guess it’s a case of once you have been to the magazine once, you know how it functions.

    The same applies with the next and previous page links. On advanced browsers you can also browse with the left and right keys. But, it does need to be more obvious. The whole idea for the design is for the ‘web-stuff’ to be as un-intrusive as possible to try and retain a ‘mag-feel’. I have thought about an extra ‘next’ and ‘prev’ button in the top navigation bar, or a separate one up the top somewhere.

    Quick feature to ‘Contents’ – good idea (so simple!? haha)

    OniLinkCR – i am not entirely sure what you mean – could you elaborate?

    Cheers guys!


    I didn’t know a menu, a top menu existed until Stephen pointed it out. It’s too small.

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