Fix My Site

Does your site suck? Do you need professional advice? Do you not want to pay for this advice? Send me an email, and I'll take a look at your site and provide you with some real suggestions. By real, I mean real.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Mean, I Guess It's Fine

Karen Shanley, possible author of www.karenshanley.com (I'm guessing here), declares,

Karen Shanley
I'm an author, not a site designer, as you'll see. What's there is what I could figure out how to do on my own....I'm open to any other suggestions you'd like to offer. Feel free to post to your site.

I would say it is safe to, well, say that you are indeed an author and not a site designer. That being said, I think your site serves your purpose well. You are a writer like me (eh, well, in the respect that we both write. You have, like, a book, media appearances, and money and stuff. I have, like, a blog and a degree that says I should know how to write), and while artistic with words, the whole drawin paintin buildin thing isn't our bag (we'll pretend I don't design sites, either). If your site was super flashy with all sorts of crazy rollovers and amazing web 2.0 graphic themes, I think it would take away from the book, which from the excerpt I read, is more earthy and real-lifey (and of course, well-written), kind of like what keeps people like me who spend their whole lives looking at glowing boxes out. Clearly, I'm not your audience, and neither are most people who would be looking for something flashier, so in that respect, this site is well done.

The design is appropriately simple and very clean. No crazy CSS tricks to be found in this site, kids. However, this doesn't mean you can't code it correctly in case you wish to do a reskin later. If you take a look at your code, you will find oodles of inline styling (inline styling meaning instead of using CSS, you're using attributes in your HTML tags and font tags, like <font size="3" face="Times New Roman, Times, serif">) and zero line breaks, making code editing harder than nailing jello to a tree (but easier than, say, eating jello that's been nailed to a tree, because let's face it, that ain't jello). My guess is that you have no idea what I'm talking about and wish I would stop, since I'm pretty sure you didn't hand-code your site. But regardless, as it is my duty, I must inform you that your code sucks more than the Wolverines (Go Bucks!). The reason I'd give you for making your code more editable is in case you decide to do another book, you could have a site ready for you without much coding. But again, moronically, I proceed knowing full well that you did not have a hand in coding your site. Ugh. Moving on...

Your writing and content, of course, is mediocre. If you really want to learn how to write, I suggest you read my site a few more times, since I'm clearly the only one on the interwebs who knows how to string a cogent sentence together. For reals, though, I like your writing. I, too, would like to maybe write something someday (as a few people have occasionally suggested I should (a few people being, like, one anonymous commenter)), but once more I get sidetracked, as this review is not about my hopes and dreams, but rather squashing yours, of which I have not been doing a good job.

If you haven't left the review by this point, it's probably just because you're curious to see how long I can BS my way through the review of a site that doesn't have a whole lot to it. Let's talk about your blog!

Earlier you came to me asking me for help with some coding issue you were having with your blog and I helped you. You wrote about me, and I blushed. My mother doesn't even say stuff that nice about me. Since then I've been a celeblogity (blogebrity? celebritogger?) and I have hordes of eager girls knocking on my door with markers trying to get me to sign various body parts and baby's foreheads. Honestly, the paperazzi, not that bad. A lot of facial hair, but let's be real, these guys live in bushes for most of their adult lives, waiting to pop out to catch that split second when their target is in some uncompromising position picking up their morning paper. So rather than fight it, I'll feel sorry for them and pose for a picture with my fingers, which is from where the power of my blogging ability stems. You should be able to catch my interview in such fantastic publications such as The New York Times, Highlights for Children, and Sports Illustrated. I picked those because that's how I roll.

Karen, I don't know what you'll get out of this post much more than, "I mean, I guess it's fine," and, "Really, Jason, don't you have anything better to do with your time?" Your site serves your purpose, and all the help I would give to an aspiring webmaster would be lost on you, anyways. So to add a smidge of value to this post, I present to you, a fish:

<'))))><

If you don't ever come back to read my reviews, I totally understand.

4 Comments:

At October 12, 2006 12:29 AM, Anonymous Karen said...

Hey Jason, I accept my <')))>< with great honor! Much prefered to a dead fish, or to, say, something tacky, like a doggerel award. (Dog book, doggerel. Get it. Can you tell I'm writing way past my bedtime. :)

First award I ever got for my site. But then you didn't actually call it an award, did you... We authors are always trying to put a positive spin on our critic's reviews.

My site was done in Dreamweaver.When I get some more HTML under my belt (I actually broke down and bought myself a book on it),I'll take a look at the code. Because, in fact, I do have another book coming out and I will need to add more content.

So when I know the difference between closed tags vs. I don't know what (not that far in the book yet), in the words of the infamous Arnold, "I'll be bok." With more questions, that is.

Glad I could be of help sending hordes of eager girls your way! And if you ever get that book written and need some suggestions, I would be happy to take a look at it. Turn about is fair play. :)

Thanks for the giggles, Jason. And for the review. You still get two thumbs up from me.

Karen Shanley
author, Dogs of Dreamtime: A Story About Second Chances and the Power of Love
--definitely not a geeky book.

 
At October 13, 2006 2:54 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

If I can add my 2 cents about your site karen is that it does the job, and thats whats important. The main thing about authors/writers sites is it needs to have good typography. As for jasons review is spot on, Ill give something that was not mentioned yet. On the main page, I suggest You use the same font style as your blog on the texts. I think its a serif font and that would help much for your readability. The header looks superb although I feel the book graphics is a little jagged. This is just some of the points I noticed while I browsed on your site... I commend you for taking to heart one of my favorite quote "KISS" (keep it simple stupid). Good Luck with your book!

 
At October 13, 2006 8:15 AM, Blogger Edelman said...

As they say in Little League, good eye, Chris, regarding the serif/sans-serif fonts. Using more than one font as your main font is a no-no. You can use, say, one font for your main content and another for your navigation or something, so long as you're consistent. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Chris.

 
At November 11, 2009 2:56 AM, Anonymous jimmi said...

Because the website will be your company's main representation online, you have to choose the best boulder flash web design to done this job for you. I got a good site to solve all your problems my personal experience with them is great.

 

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