View Full Version : Suggestions for Airbrush artist's site

04-05-2007, 10:40 AM
This site doesn't sell anything on-line, it exists to attract business for the artist. He wanted the black background, and wants a certain 'edginess.' I'm not much of a flash-type developer, but would appreciate any suggestions.


04-05-2007, 11:38 AM

Here are a few comments on the site. Looks like you've done alot of work to showcase his art.

Images and Flash Replacement
My personal preference is to set border="0" on img tags that are within links and use the alt text to alert the user that the image is clickable e.g., alt="click this image to see more details" or something like that. I think that looks more professional. I have some other ideas for the images, too.

If you want some of the Flash-like effects, without the learning curve and overhead of Flash, try using Dynamic Drive's Fade In Slideshow. This is a free tool available at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex14/fadeinslideshow.htm The tool allows you to fade one image into the next and make each image stay on the screen for a set amount of time. The images fade in and out and you can optionally make them clickable to an independent URL for each separate image. Cool stuff and pretty easy to implement. It is javascript based.

Ok, back to my comments on the current site, when creating a plain img tag always use width="" and height="" because when the screen redraws with the images there will not be the jerkiness of it redrawing the image boxes to a different size because it now knows the size of the image.

One caveat with width and height attributes, don't use width and height to change the size of the displayed image, always scale the actual image up or down in some drawing program so that it matches the size you want to display it on the screen. That prevents long waits for a download, unnecessary use of bandwidth, or distortion if you scale up.

Consider using a san serif (for example, Arial) font for text, which is easier to read online, and limit the amount that you put on any one page (I always fall victim to this too, too wordy! :D ). The 'Recent Upcoming Events' page has way too much text, let people click to a new page for more details and break that up into more pages.

Tools to manage pages
Consider using Joomla! (or some other content management tool) It is a great Content Management System available through Westhost and it allows WYSIWYG updates to information by your client once the page is completed. There is a bit of a learning curve for the web developer to go from square one, but its worth the effort. Not to mention, when your client comes to his senses and wants to change the black on all the pages, it is CSS based and you can just install a new template with a different background color, font, etc! without affecting the content. ;)

Of course if you use Joomla, you'll have to put the slideshow stuff I suggested above into a module or component to access it within Joomla, so keep that in mind. That's doable, I've done it, but just adds to the learning curve.

Also, will save you effort later if you are doing this for a client because once the site is set up the client can make updates without having specific knowledge of HTML etc.

Good luck with the site, hope my comments are helpful. There is probably more but just took a cursory look. By the way, its spelled convertible not convertable! :)

Take care,

04-05-2007, 02:16 PM
tdill's comments are good ones although normally you would use the title tag instead of the alt tag for something like "click this image to see more details". It is better to set the alt tag to simply the file name. Why may you ask...? If image are turned off and you have long content in the alt tag it can throw off the format of the page. Right now the alt tag on your larger images is set to the full server path of the image. I would cut that down to just the file name.

Instead of just black as a background on the main pages I would use the background you have for your gallery on all pages. It is a much slicker/artsy look. You should be able to use the same CSS file in the main pages as you have on the Gallery. That way you can put your content in a table and mark the <td> with a class of transparent. Have a look at the source code of the library for an example of how that works.

04-09-2007, 10:07 AM
Thanks, folks. I will look into Joomla as suggested. Don't know if my airbrush client will be able to use it, he's way more artistic than he is technical, but it's something I need to look into anyway for other clients.

I like the idea of the gallery background throughout, but the black is the one stipulation of the client. I may be able to change his mind by showing him what it would look like on our development server. The font changes won't be a problem.

The 'alt' tags in the gallery are set by a gallery creator (pythoneka) - I'll see what it takes to modify this to something more reasonable. Oh, and thanks for catching the spelling error - it will be corrected very soon.

As for the rest of the suggestions - I'll work them into the next release. Thanks again..