by "Webmaster" <webmaster(at)>

 Date:  Mon, 3 Aug 1998 17:02:26 -0400
 To:  "Craig T. Harding" <guide(at)>
 Cc:  "Critique List" <hwg-critique(at)>
 In-Reply-To:  ao
  todo: View Thread, Original
Now THIS is what I was looking for!!

Thank you Craig.. a VERY Professional critique! All items will be taken
under consideration, and I should have the site back and ready for a new
critique in good time.

BTW, all the templated designs are purchased and royalty free to be used for
web site creation. I try to avoid the standard "FP" ones, as they've been
done a thousand times (just take a ride through the Williamsburgh site)..
Which is run entirely out of pocket (at the moment), and therefore not a lot
of money has been spent on new templates here. Some of what's there, I've
created myself, or modified from a number of multiple layouts.

By the way, the constraints regarding 800x600 versus 640x480 have nothing to
do with FP (I don't use FP98 exclusively, and just haven't had the time to
clean up code and validate fully, on that site). The desire to design for
800x600 is purely a technical one, and not grounded in the software I use.

Thanks for the honest (and thorough) critique.

Gil Tennant
Webmaster at WebWham

Designing fine sites like the Williamsburgh Community Web Site -

-----Original Message-----
From: Craig T. Harding [mailto:guide(at)]
Sent: Monday, August 03, 1998 2:54 PM
To: Webmaster
Cc: Critique List
Subject: RE:

Hello GIL,

I looked over your site and find a number of things that need taking
care of.

1. For starters, as others have mentioned, your site gets the horrid
horizontal scroll at 640x480. This is not something that a professional
accepts as a design criterion. A professional steps out of the
constraints of "MS Frontpage" using their knowledge of HTML, designs for
all resolutions. I noticed that from page to page at different
resolutions, your site either blows out at high res or side scrolls at
low res. Consider fixing this and not just warning the viewer with a
disclaimer. Nobody adjusts to fit the site. The site designer is
supposed to be the professional and is expected to adjust to fit the
viewer (all possible viewers).

2. Your first page (index) was a whopping 123.7k of images and text.
Most professional designers try to keep all pages under 50k with the
first less. I actually attempt to keep it below 35k these days. Try
using a quality image compression program.

3. Your site has no doctype. Proper HTML requires a doctype as well as
proper validation.

4. I attempted validation of the code but your WYSIWYG editor generates
a lot on extraneous code. I do actually believe in WYSIWYG editors, but
the designer ought to be able to go in afterward and correct the coding
mistakes, especially on their commercial site up for critique.

5. I noticed in your Services page that you used MS Front Page themes
style images to describe choices for your customers to view. I'm not
sure about the copyright issues here, but would certainly either note
the use of Front Page/Publisher or change it somewhat. I realize that
the themes might actually be yours, it's just the possible implications
and misunderstanding that might arise when you too closely copy other's
work without notification.

6. IMO, you use to many animations. After a while it gets to be like
blink tags. XARA's animator might be fun, but sometimes they need to be
spread out more.

7. How about some "ABOUT" information about the company and the
people/person that lies behind it? Also, IMO, you seem to have a
start-up company, which we all had at the beginning, but it strikes me
as a little ostentatious to use all the "we" and "our" statements when
all the virtual emails point at one and there are only a very few
clients to support a large company. With everybody and anybody that can
afford a Web Page editor getting into the business, I think that it
would be a bit tough for a large company without a reputation to start
big. Just my opinion.

8. Looking at the about.html page, I would suggest table constraints or
the use of columns to break things up a bit. At high res. there is just
too much text in wide rows.

9. I notice on the FAQ page references to exactness of code and image
compression (speed of loading). Consider implementing these things.

10. The extensive use of Front Page web extensions cause some problems
in Netscape. Consider using non-browser specific editing of Front Page
generated code.

11. I notice that you offer Web Hosting. I also noticed that your site
is hosted at NETNATION.COM. IMO, it should be a little clearer, if you
plan to sell hosting on a server in which you really don't own and are
just re-selling. Or if you actually have a server, then why are you not
hosted there?

All in all, your site really isn't too bad. I enjoyed the background
graphic and some of the others. It just needs some tweaking and
adjusting to fit other browsers, resolutions and color depths. I would
also ask you to consider losing the FP/MSIE specific code and consider
proper validation. This is a design company site, after all.

All this is just my opinion, and needs to be taken as such.

> They've been up for a while, and I've had great comments from
> visitors to
> the sites, just wanted another professional's opinion...
Craig T. Harding - Association of Computer Machinery ACM Fellow
University of Central Florida - College of Computer Science
NetSolutions - another Guide Service, Inc.
Webring - Poorly designed web sites linked by a common thread.
Web Awards - See Webring

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