Hello again Damian, some notes:
1) As I said before, remove the width/height on your images on your portfolio page. There’s no point in showing a completely ruined image.
2) Home Page – why is your name in dark blue? Almost impossible to read off of the background ("Hello and welcome to Damian Herrington’s online portfolio. I am a Hull based freelance Web Designer creating innovative, clean compliant web experiences.")
I’m going to be honest with you, Damian, only because I don’t think you’re an idiot and you might take this as help rather than an attack.
I don’t think, based on the items in your portfolio, that you are ready to be "offering your services". As far as I can tell, you just don’t have what it takes (yet!) to make a beautiful website. Now, this does not mean I think you should go to school for four years or anything like that (I myself never attended school for anything related to the web), I just think you need to practice.
I’m sure you know what a beautiful site looks like, it’s hard not to know what that is. The hard part is being able to create one yourself. Every designer is self-conscious about his/her own work (and if they aren’t then their work probably sucks), so it’s hard to know exactly when you’ve hit something that you deem beautiful. That, of course, is why forums like this exist, to help guide each other to a better final product.
My suggestion? Buy some templates (Themeforest will give you good looking templates for a cheap price), figure out what about their structure and style make them work. Check out amazing designs, find the small things (1px type of things) that make the website pop. Tutorials! My lord the internet is full of amazing ones. Do as many as you can, they definitely help. As always, keep asking for help.
I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, I just felt like I needed to say that. My apologies if I’ve offended, I’m honestly trying to help.
No your right, to be honest the websites I have made for people are either just not ready to go on my site as portfolio work yet as their not live or they don’t want their website on my site and to fill that page I have left some older designs I did.
To add to the suggestion, I recommend finding a good website design gallery and instead of just looking at a site and saying "that looks nice"; break the website design apart (in your mind) and figure out how the website was made. (Reverse engineering) It’s a great way to learn some of the subtle things that make websites look good.
To critique ur site:
There a lot of good things about the website. The worst part of it in my eyes is the dark text on a black background. I get a headache just trying to read the dark text; please make it brighter.
Everyone starts somewhere, and this site definitely isn’t horrible. Keep it up.
You said "The worst part of it in my eyes is the dark text on a black background. I get a headache just trying to read the dark text; please make it brighter." When did you view my site and what part of the site were you looking at? The main body of the text is white and the headers are either green, gold or blue. I don’t recall a time when I had anything darker either for the headers or text.
Actually, your main text is: #C6C5BF which is more of a grey.
Your about page has a series of green checks with #48494A text. That’s a dark grey on a dark blue background.
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I will second Doc’s opinion on the portfolio… You’re forcing an image inside a fixed size… never, ever good.
Also, something that I think is "never, ever good" is when web designers put their own websitebusiness cards etc, into their portfolio. You see, a better way to look at a portfolio is "a list of my clients and the work I have done for them." Are you your own client? No, not really. It is a given that you have designed the website, therefore it is sort of like… "well I have nothing else to list so I’ll show this as part of my ‘work’" And honestly, I think it gives a bad impression.
Next, I would suggest taking away the "Inspiration" links in your footer. Half those links are galleries… The last thing you want to offer a potential client is "Hey, look at this link to all these killer websites that other people have done." If it is your inspiration, that’s nice, but again, your client really shouldn’t care. Again, same goes for the Twitter… This isn’t your personal social page, it’s something you’re using to market your craft. Therefore, how is it beneficial to a potential client that you wrote "I concur with the f1 but its Arsenal thats where its at :-)". It isn’t. Anything that isn’t business related shouldn’t be on the website. To me, it’s like putting a personal photo gallery on your website and saying, "hey, look at me with my dog. want a website?"
Lastly, I’d take the picture of you with some sort of Guinness beer hatcup off. I can’t actually believe I just saw that… :
I must say I was surprised not to see some text or explanation next to the squiggliness in the header; I thought something got left out. Also, the strikethroughs in your nav font drive me absolutely nuts, but maybe that’s just me. The twitter bird seems like an afterthought…
Not to end on a bad note – everybody has to start somewhere. Ya gotta show something. Certainly there are a lot of slick sites out there, but it takes practice. I don’t pretend my own portfolio site is anything to write home about, but darnit, I like it ‘cuz I did it myself. I don’t pretend to be Dan Cedarholm…yet. :lol:
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