Archived Review

Reviewed with:
Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 | 1440 x 900 Resolution| Windows Vista
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Heya Jules! I don't know if you remember but you requested a review from me AGES ago. Unfortunately I lost the request file thanks to being dumb and only now found it. So now I shall get off my butt and review you!

First Impression:[/b]

Two things popped into my mind in the following order:

1) It's not blue.. It's bright orange and REALLLY bright.
2) There is text EVERYWHERE! Massive amounts of text, not enough imagery or color variations.

Don't be disheartened, this is just an at-a-glance thing. Once I get deeper into it I will have more constructive comments. ;)

Coding:[/b]

I see that your coding is valid and your CSS is valid but there are a lot of things that could be improved upon with the CSS.

The very first thing I noticed in your CSS was that you are using CSS Shorthand about half of the time. I urge you to finish up and convert it ALL to shorthand. Also there were some things in there that were not necessary. For instance, in this:

body {
font-family : arial;
font-size : 10pt;
background : #e0e4cc;
background-image : url("");
background-repeat : repeat-x;
background-attachment : fixed;
text-align : center;
}

You aren't using a background.. so you can remove three of those lines. Also if you implement CSS shorthand here the above section would transform into this:

body {
font : 10pt arial;
background : #e0e4cc;
text-align : center;
}

If you do that you can probably halve your CSS file. After you do that, run it through the CSS Cleaner. Oh yeah, if you need a guide to shorthand, I recommend this CSS Shorthand Guide.

I also recommend switching your font sizes from Pt to Em or %. I like this neato Conversion Chart personally. I am super glad that you are not using Px but Pt (thanks to Jem telling me, by the way.. hehe!) is a printer sizing measurement, not a web site measurement. Technically you aren't doing anything too terribly wrong but if you are striving for perfection, Em or % is the way to go!

The rest of your coding is not bloated and it looks really nice! I can tell that you have worked really hard on it. Thus concludes the coding section! You are doing marvelous so far!

Design:

In this section it has become sort of a habit of mine to write things in lists. So, I hope lists don't bother you too much! :D

- I wanted to address the massive amounts of text first. I think your affiliate list is much, much too big. I understand the need to get hits but I think that presenting them this way is a bit much. If you must keep them all (although I'm sure it's a big headache.. I remember those days all too well!) why not just use a random link script that displays 10-12 links at a time, but that rotates them so that everyone will eventually be displayed on the main page. I know most people require a front page link in order to give one so this should solve that problem. I cannot get over how many links are there..! :o

- I think it would look better if you changed the link colors or at least bold them because it is virtually impossible to tell what is a link or what is just regular text. In addition to this, I think it would help the "Don't click here, I bite!" link in your mini intro stand out more. Right now it's just blending right in and if I hadn't accidentally hovered over it (I was just skimming) I wouldn't have known it was a link.

- It would be nice if you could put another line break in between your Twitters because right now they all look like the same paragraph.

- I don't really think the blue that you use in your site name in the logo matches with the orange at all. Perhaps change it to a more matchy color? I also think it would be adorable if you made the "Blue" blue (of course) and then made the "Cow" part white with black spots on the text, like a real cow! I think that would be adorable. :)

- I think the navigation would look better if the text was bolded because it doesn't really stand out enough now. I think that's the problem i have with the layout, everything seems to mold together. I also think it would look nice if the background color changed when hovered over, but it's not really a big deal. Plus it's pretty commonplace now but I still rather enjoy it.

- I think the smilies also sort of blend in with that orange background color, they are very hard to see. Perhaps color them? Or make them a bit darker and more contrasted? That would be easier than recoloring them.

Overall it's not too bad chica! I think your font size is good and readable but maybe increase the line height a tad bit? Let's move on!

Content:

First off. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for not having crappy CSS tutorials that are all wrong! *bows* I always cringe when I see a Tutorials section because I fear bad tutorials on the other side. :D Let's just take a look at your goodies now!

The Animation Shop tutorial is interesting but unfortunately not useful for me since I use Photoshop to do animations. Might I suggest a link to Animation Shop's website here? So people know where to download?

I really like the "Pen Tool Swirls" tutorial, that's a pretty neat effect! The bubble one is pretty basic and the eye color one is as well but to beginners with Photoshop these could be quite useful!

I do believe that ripping videos from You Tube is illegal so explaining how to do an illegal activity on your site might not be the best idea.. Just a heads up.

I don't and have never used FanUpdate so I have no use for that tutorial..

The Task Manager tutorial should probably be elaborated on. If you shut down the wrong process you can really mess up your computer. Newer versions prevent this (well, Vista at least. Not sure about the others). I really do not see any point to having this tutorial at all as it's random, unnecessary and does not explain in enough detail. Best leave this to the experts so someone doesn't accidentally do something wrong.

The preview images for your actions section are really bad quality and grainy, so it makes it hard for me to see any difference at all on some of them. I would go back and make them JPGs to increase the image quality a bit. Since there aren't many image elements in your layout a little extra file size won't hurt your loading times too much.

I don't agree at all with your affiliates article but I suppose different strokes for different folks, eh? Maybe once you get older your opinions change. :D

Ok fractals are getting downloaded onto my computer, I must tell you. Those are really nice, I dig them muchly! ;D

The rest of the resource section is just pretty typical so I don't really feel the need to address any more of it.

Your about page is actually really good, that's something I love to see. Not just a facts list or irrelevant paragraphs. Yours is written well, I must say.

The site section is just a site section, no need to really go over that.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I think you have a nice site. There are a few design elements that need to be addressed but other than that it's great. I hope to see you add more content in the future, you know more good tutorials and such! Keep playing around with Photoshop, I want to see some more cool effects! ;)

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