New site critique

http://joe-stone.com

Hi everyone,

I’m interested in any comments you may have, good or bad, about the site I just completed, linked above. It was done entirely in Freeway Pro 5, of course. This is the first chance I’ve had to really use the CSS Menus, and I liked what I could do with them (but is there any way for the sub menus to go up instead of down?).

Thanks!


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On 6 Apr 2009, at 20:50, Joe Muscara wrote:

http://joe-stone.com
I’m interested in any comments you may have, good or bad, about the
site I just completed, linked above.

Nice’n’simple - easy to navigate, even without your wished for ‘rising
sub-menus’. I particularly like the moodiness of most of the images
and my only two real suggestions are to darken the image on the Gigs
page so it’s more in keeping with the rest and to see if you can add a
matching header to the Blog page, just to carry everything through.
(The contact page is fine, though, as a bright image in counterpoint
to the rest).

Another thought, if I was designing, I might try and put a poster
image to the QT audio if there’s one representative of the song or a
relevant gig.

Colin


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Thanks Colin! The redesign of the blog was next on the list. You’ve made me go ahead and get that done too. It’s not exactly the same design, but a) most entries are too long for the look of the main site, and 2) I hate lots of light text on a dark background. Hopefully the blog design is a good compromise and matches the main site adequately.


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joe - looks good. i would, however, look at possible duplicate content issues with address non-www version does not redirect. If its on a unix server use htaccess file to reroute to www. this should help with google serps :slight_smile:


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On 7 Apr 2009, at 00:34, Joe Muscara wrote:

The redesign of the blog was next on the list.

The header was all that’s needed and it ‘brands’ the blog fine. Just
one small criticism: the menu, top right, tends to blend into the left
hand at the resolution I am viewing (default Imac 20"). A little
jiggling might sort it, or some slight, soft retouching on the ring
and the shadow between the fingers.

I agree with you about light text on dark backgrounds. Fine in small
doses, for emphasis, but a pain to read in volume!

Overall, I like it. And I yearn to do something like it, but all I get
is B2B sites. The nearest, was a collaboration with a design studio
where I provided all the copywriting (my main line of business) for a
Canadian Cabaret singer’s site, but final design was out of my hands.

Colin


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Thanks Colin. It is nice when you do a site for yourself and you can do whatever pleases you!

I did make a slight adjustment to the blog menu. I added a background hover to add a bit more contrast when you roll over it, and it makes it more closely match the main site menu, though not exactly.

On 7 Apr 2009, 8:43 am, Potsy wrote:

joe - looks good. i would, however, look at possible duplicate content issues with address non-www version does not redirect. If its on a unix server use htaccess file to reroute to www. this should help with google serps :slight_smile:

Thanks. I’m not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying that when you enter http://joe-stone.com it should redirect to http://www.joe-stone.com ? I’ve never done this and I don’t think other sites do, either. Is there something I’m missing?


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On 7 Apr 2009, at 14:37, Joe Muscara wrote:

I added a background hover to add a bit more contrast when you roll
over it, and it makes it more closely match the main site menu,
though not exactly.

That does the job, nicely.

Are you saying that when you enter http://joe-stone.com it should
redirect to http://www.joe-stone.com ?

That’s just what Potsy means - and it already does for me. So you
shouldn’t have to touch anything. With most new domains and hosting,
this is automatic, these days.

Colin


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Thanks AGAIN, Colin. :slight_smile:

I thought what he meant was that if you go to the non-www site, it should jump over to the www version. But I wouldn’t know why to bother with that. I’ve seen some sites do that, but most work equally well with or without the www and I’ve never done that with all the sites I’ve done.


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strange as mine doesn’t redirect?


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On 7 Apr 2009, 2:11 pm, Potsy wrote:

strange as mine doesn’t redirect?

Are you saying when you go to http://joe-stone.com you get nothing?


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hi joe, no i get your site however in the address bar the address is NOT prefixed with www. If you look at most well indexed sites if you type in widgets.com (example) it will redirect to www.widgets.com - hope this makes sense. Otherwise Google can think that there are 2 websites with teh same content and thus penalise in the search engine listings.

Google ‘canonical issues’ it is pretty well documented and you can get some code to paste into a htaccess file and save in root level.

cheers

potsy


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I would swear that most sites didn’t do that, but I just tried apple.com and google.com and both redirected to the www version. Interesting. Thanks for pointing that out.

Joe


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joe - another thought - if you have google webmaster account you can also set the preferred address that you would like people to go to. i.e. best i think still to use www prefix but if brochures etc are printed with non-www address just tell google which you prefer. With the htaccess file you can redirect either way www > non www or vice versa - makes no difference.


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Another good point. Thanks!


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On 7 Apr 2009, at 15:21, Potsy wrote:

If you look at most well indexed sites if you type in widgets.com
(example) it will redirect to www.widgets.com - hope this makes
sense. Otherwise Google can think that there are 2 websites with teh
same content and thus penalise in the search engine listings.

I do remember seeing something on this before, but I am surprised that
Google can’t see when they both (non www. and www.) go to the same
location at the same IP server address. (Although I can understand the
difference if someone sets up two site locations).

Must look at some of my sites.

Colin


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Hi Joe

I like the Website, Not that I am the most advance website builder.

But from a photographers point of view, I understand the feel that you are after. I like the Pictures on the Home Page, Links Page and the Music Page.

But I really think that the picture on the Contact Page lets you down. I would move the Home Page picture to the Contacts page. For the Home/Bio Page I think that you do need your picture in this page, because it is about you.

These are a few images that I found on the net that I think that you could recreate that would suit the feel that you are after on your website.

I like this but use the reflection more.
http://gallery.photo.net/photo/4007256-lg.jpg

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2008/02/21/2004193639.jpg

You could bleed the left side off to black
http://reinsteinmusic.com/images/pianist.jpg

http://www.pinzolas.com/assets/pianist.jpg

Hope that helps, If I was in New York I would shoot you a set of pictures. But I am stuck in the UK.

Jamie


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Ooh - that last pic is one of my idols (and mislabeled by whomever posted it) Johnnie Johnson.

Thanks for your comments, Jamie. I am open to changing the pics over time, like if I get some good pics taken of me at shows.

I know you’re not in New York, but are you ever in Houston? :wink: Thanks for the offer, though.

BTW, I just had a look at your site, and I like it. Very nice.


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Only ever made it to the States once (Arizona) Birmingham UK is not that close. lol

Thanks for the nice comment about my website.


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I’ve never been to England nor Europe either. Seems a shame.


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