new website for my band

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  • new website for my band
  • I’ve been building a website for t’band, thought I’d ask the STW collective for constructive criticism before I publish it.

    Never mind the quality of the video (out of my control) or the recordings (demo versions only, not proper studio recordings), just the look/feel of the website itself.
    And no, the grass does not need cutting πŸ˜‰

    http://www.chasingglass.co.uk

    much appreciated

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Honestly? Keep the forum and delete the rest.

    You’ve got half a dozen pages where one would suffice. Home, Contact, Links, you don’t need three separate pages for a paragraph of information. And why are all the headings different sizes?

    fair point. they’re not supposed to be different sizes, I’ll see if I can sort that out. (it may take a while, not sure if I can get back onto it and get it updated today).

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Contacts page would suit a contact form more than a simple email address. Also you’ll get spammed to bits actually showing the address too.

    Try foxy form for a simple and free contact form without the hassle making form yourself.

    Links page seems empty at first glance.

    don simon
    Member

    Photos on the home page took an age to load.
    I got bored and closed the page. πŸ˜₯
    First impressions do count.

    Premier Icon onewheelgood
    Subscriber

    Wot DS said. You’ve got huge images and used the image tag to resize them. If you want small images, create image files that are the size you want.

    JulianA
    Member

    Headers do change size – you might want to look at forcing a scrollbar on all pages as this will eliminate some of the apparent jumpiness and might help towards the next level of headers jumping around. Tbis might be a start towards solving the issue – it’s where I’d start… I can email you some CSS to do this if you can’t find it via Google.

    This site is ok on a mobile device but not incredibly readable: have you thought about a mobile site with a browser sniff on the home page to redirect if it smells a mobile browser? Can help with this if you want…

    thanks guys, much appreciated πŸ™‚

    ok, I’ve made some changes, can you guys have another look & let me know if that’s any better?

    I’ve
    (a) reduced it to 2 pages – home, contact
    (b) removed all the odd sized headers
    (c) used the foxy form thing to create an email contact doodah
    (d) removed all but one image and resized that one

    Muke
    Member

    — SoundManager 2 failed to load (security/load error) —
    soundManager.disable(): Shutting down
    soundManager: Failed to initialise.
    soundManager: Verify that ./soundmanager2_debug.swf is a valid path.
    soundManager: No Flash response within expected time.
    Likely causes: Loading soundmanager2_debug.swf may have failed (and/or Flash 8+ not present?), Flash blocked or JS-Flash security error.
    soundManager: Getting impatient, still waiting for Flash…
    soundManager::initMovie(): Waiting for ExternalInterface call from Flash..
    soundManager::createMovie(): Trying to load ./soundmanager2_debug.swf
    — SoundManager 2 V2.97a.20120318 (AS2/Flash 8), no HTML5 audio support, normal polling —
    SoundManager: No HTML5 Audio() support detected.
    πŸ™

    don simon
    Member

    I have to say that I’m somewhat surprised that

    Simon Carter – Keyboards, Guitar

    doesn’t feature more prominently. Anyone with such a cool name should have, nay, demands much more respect…
    I think I’d like to see what you do on different pages.
    Home page for landing, with some photos.
    Music page with music and tour/events.
    Video page with, well, videos.
    Contact details in a short bio on the home page and at the bottom of each page.

    Simon’s only recently joined us & we don’t have any photos of him yet

    Not sure why the sound player didn’t load on your system Muke; it should be just an embedded player from http://www.reverbnation.com

    ds, that’s kind of what I had before, I’ll have another go.
    Something else I discovered is that the pages are not quite centred on my browsers, and if I use IE9 (I know, I know) then the email form is left justified, but on Firefox & Safari it’s central to the rest of the page…

    teething troubles, I may be a programmer but I’m not a website developer yet πŸ˜‰

    phil.w
    Member

    Please, please, please get rid of the catpcha on the form, there a massive usability barrier, scream amateur ‘I built this site myself but don’t know what I’m doing’ and are just a way of admitting that you have a spam issue but rather than do something about it you’re happy to dump the problem onto your audience.

    They are ****ing horrendous things.

    sorry phil, out of my hands.

    and yes, I am an amateur. amateur musician, amateur website builder.

    If we ever make any money out of this, we’ll pay for it to be done properly.

    Unless you have any suggestions as to a clean email form without captcha?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Necessary evil unfortunately.

    Have a look at Akismet if you have that as an option.

    phil.w
    Member

    Sorry about that. I realise your not a web developer so probably don’t know any ways around it. My frustration is born from the hundreds of sites that should know better.

    A simple way round it is to have a extra field on your form, left blank and hidden to a viewer using CSS (just position it off screen). 99% of spam bots won’t realsie that the field is not visible so will fill it in, especially if it is given an attractive title.

    Then chuck in a little line of code that checks if this field is still empty (it will be if completed by a human. If it’s filled in then the form is rejected.

    ok, a little fine tuning now done.

    3 pages:
    a) home – contains pictures & biog, plus inks to Contact and Music pages
    b) contact – contains foxy form email thing, a link to our free forum and another one back to the home page, and
    c) music page – music player (embedded), video player (embedded, one song only as that’s all we have that we’re reasonably happy with), live dates past & future, and links to the contact and home pages.

    Images are resized, the Chasing Glass image is the same size at the top of each page & I think I’ve got them all nicely centred.

    Sorry phil but the captcha’s staying πŸ‘Ώ

    Looks very 90s IMO.

    I’d start again with a WordPress site > pro themes (e.g. from Theme Forest) are dead cheap and you’ll have loads of scope to funk it up in a more contemporary way.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Looks *much* better now, FWIW.

    thanks for all your help guys, I think this will do for now. thanks for the WordPress heads up sm but we (I) don’t want to spend any more money on it than we have to.

    To be brutally honest, most people look on Facebook, Reverbnation, SoundCloud, BandCamp and, much less these days, MySpace, for band details; these can all do what we want for free or not a lot, but they (mostly) don’t look very nice.
    and the URLs are a right bloody mouthful.
    so it would be nice to simply have a “www.myband.co.uk” url

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Formed as a three piece in the summer of 2011, Chasing Glass are a four piece rock band.

    I know you said that’s enough for now, but eh????. Reads jibberish to me, just confusing or a very bad sentence IMO.

    As a basic alt, wouldn’t it make more sense to say something like “Originally formed as a three piece in the summer of 2011, Chasing Glass are now a four piece rock band”. You could maybe insert with ‘developed into’, ‘progressed into’ etc.
    That’s just the first sentence on the first page, haven’t delved further.

    JulianA
    Member

    Now missing a menu…

    The logo at the top should be a link to the home page..

    Navigation has suffered rather.

    My first impression was that I couldn’t actually work out the band name – I had to look at the bottom of the page to clarify whether the last word was class or glass. Photo on front page looks good but the others don’t carry over the same look/feel/atmosphere so you lose consistency/message.

    Ok, I’ll have a look later

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    thanks for the WordPress heads up sm but we (I) don’t want to spend any more money on it than we have to.

    You know WordPress is free, right?

    don simon
    Member

    Or even try some FREE template stuff that’ll have the pros spitting feathers.
    http://www.serif.com/webplus/, it’s FREE.

    no, I didn’t know it was free. I’ll have a look at the free templates

    ok, now we have a menu (again, very similar to the original version), and clicking on the “Chasing Glass” logo at the top will also take you back to the home page.

    The menu buttons are now all the same size as they are text rather than images.

    There is also a “back to home page” link at the foot of the music & contact pages in case you can’t work out how the menu works.

    I wish I hadn’t asked πŸ˜‰ management by committee indeed

    Or even try some FREE template stuff that’ll have the pros spitting feathers.
    http://www.serif.com/webplus/, it’s FREE.

    I must be missing something, it says Β£81+

    ta πŸ™‚

    Might sound a stupid question but what is the site there for? What will users want from it?

    For me the one thing someone would want to do on a local band site is to find out where they are playing locally and you need to tell people where to find that information. Have a ‘gig dates’ menu item and put them in there.

    This site is ok on a mobile device but not incredibly readable: have you thought about a mobile site with a browser sniff on the home page to redirect if it smells a mobile browser? Can help with this if you want…

    That’s a bit 2010 isn’t it? If considering mobile devices it should be built fully responsively.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    the one thing someone would want to do on a local band site is to find out where they are playing locally and you need to tell people where to find that information. Have a ‘gig dates’ menu item and put them in there.

    It looks like they’ve got that in the forum. Could do to add a line in the blurb on the front page telling people that though.

    The live dates info is on the “music” page but I think you’re right m_f, it should have its own page. Which it did before I started messing πŸ˜‰

    design by committee eh?

    Live Dates now has its own page, and we’re almost back to where I started.
    I did notice that the menu only worked in its intended font if the end user’s computer had that font installed, so I’ve switched it to a near-universal font that just about all devices now contain. Mobiles excepted, I haven’t a clue how to build a mobile version…

    thanks folks for all your constructive comments, much appreciated.

    JulianA
    Member

    mastiles_fanylion – Member

    This site is ok on a mobile device but not incredibly readable: have you thought about a mobile site with a browser sniff on the home page to redirect if it smells a mobile browser? Can help with this if you want…

    That’s a bit 2010 isn’t it? If considering mobile devices it should be built fully responsively.

    Nah. Well maybe. But isn’t it a lot simpler to build two sites and do a browser sniff? The extra space on a website will be a few kb at most and the extra time creating the pages will be well spent… Specific pics and links for the different sites all well worth doing unless you’re a CSS guru – which I’m not!

    JulianA
    Member

    The whole thing still jumps down a few pixels on the ‘Contact’ page and the header on the ‘Forum’ page still doesn’t link back to the ‘Home’ page. And the ‘Contact’ form is left-aligned for me, whereas the rest of the site is centered…

    IE9 here, by the way. It’s a bitch, I know. I have similar problems.

    But isn’t it a lot simpler to build two sites and do a browser sniff?

    that’s easy for you to say πŸ˜‰

    The whole thing still jumps down a few pixels on the ‘Contact’ page and the header on the ‘Forum’ page still doesn’t link back to the ‘Home’ page. And the ‘Contact’ form is left-aligned for me, whereas the rest of the site is centered…

    yes, you’re right about the contact page. I’ll see what I can do about that.

    The “header” on the forum page, on the other hand, is just an image on an external forum site, not a lot I can do about that, I don’t think.

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