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Can you guys check out our site. I have been getting a few complaints that it is "just not professional" I know that it is not the best, but I would like your opinions as well.
Let me know what you think!
I saw your site, it was wider than 1024x768. YOu have to design a site for the average user and most times that's 800x600. Definitely no larger than 1024x768.
Take a look at this site:
First Presbyterian of Colorado Springs
Their site isn't a professional one, it's all done in house. BUT, you can easily and quickly find things. For instance, on your site I couldn't find directions to the church, it was buried with services.
What we have found to be the easiest way to design a website, and ours is still under construction, is to approach it from a non-member outlook. Make things easy to find, keep "church terms" simple (we use the word 'service' instead of 'celebration ministry') and nothing should be more than 2 or 3 clicks away from the main page.
Just my thoughts, yours may vary.
I'm a professional web designer (as in that's my job), and I actually think your site looks pretty good. I didn't see any issues with page width, but maybe you changed that before I looked. If I were to tweek this site to make it more professional, here's what I would do...
Loose the neon colors. Try a simpler color pallete; no more than three (for everything including links). Use a color wheel to help you choose colors that work together.
NEVER have coming soon, under construction or broken links. Never. If you don't have content for a page, just don't post a link to it until it's ready. Even the main navigation is easy to update with Dreamweaver templates, includes or find and replace in whatever software you use.
Anti-alias fonts that are graphics. This is easy to do in the Photoshop character pallette, but most other graphics programs have anti-alias options for text too.
Don't use rollovers that make things jump around - like the service times box.
Make sure it works in most major browsers. The layout falls apart in FireFox, but looks perfect in IE.
I like the photos across the top a lot. I think more churches need to show people instead of buildings. The family photo is the only one that doesn't look pro. It's washed out and you can see the jpg compression. Consider replacing it with a better image or at least adjusting the color and reducing the noise in Photoshop. iStockPhoto.com is a great place to get images for about a dollar.
Consider using something less obnoxious (not spinning) for the in the zone graphic. Or, since this appears like it will change frequently, maybe frame it in some way and move it farther from the navigation graphics. It just competes with everything else on the page - especially in terms of color.
On the ministries page, just make a list. The fancy table of links is confusing and really doesn't work visually.
I hope this helps. Let me know if I can explain anything better.
I agree that in today's world a website has to look good in IE, FireFox and Netscape, as a minumum.
Regarding its falling apoart in Firefox, which I too partake in, http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ww...ringfamily.com is a list of XHTML errors that are in the page.
Overall though the content looks alright, nothing too bad about it... Good Job
Ask the folks who complain to offer up URLs of sites they find "professional" to get an idea about what they're looking for. I agree completely with Joseph that there will always be someone who prefers a different "look." By asking folks for URLs of sites they like, you'll get a feel for what they're looking for since they probably can't provide concrete HTML suggestions.
One thing I would suggest is sticking with white backgrounds and black text. I would stick with just the three colors in your header (gray orange lime) as accent colors and incorporate those colors into accent elements rather than background or text colors. By "stick with" I also mean to eliminate other accent colors such as cyan and the "darker orange" that I see on some pages. This, to me, would give a more "professional look" providing consistency and readability while allowing you to incorporate colors into the website.
I would also encourage you to download Firefox and take a look at the site through Firefox. Installing Firefox does not uninstall Internet Explorer, and both can work on the same computer with no side-effects. For Safari, you'll have to find a friend with a Mac.
Last edited by camera; Monday, November 7th, 2005 at 11:43 AM. Reason: fixed grammar error.