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#1 RageNRave  Icon User is offline

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Website Critique

Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:17 PM

Hello,

I'm looking for some opinions / critiquing / suggestions on a website I've been working on for a while. It's an idea that has been done over and over many times but really I'm just testing out how far I can take it with my skill set and hopefully learn a few things along the way. I come from a developer background, so by no means does this site have any sort of 'classy' or 'sleek' looks. I've put very little effort on the design portion, and I know you guys will still hammer me on that anyways, haha. The only saving grace I have with the design is in the controls I use. I've put nearly all my focus on the functionality of the website. With that said....

The website address is: http://www.ragenrave.com

Signing up isn't required to view the content, but it's how the content is created. I know people will be hesitant to sign up so I've created a handful of logins:

User Name: User1
Password: password

User Name: User2
Password: password

User Name: User3
Password: password

User Name: User4
Password: password

User Name: User5
Password: password

Most of the functionality on this website is pretty straight forward and is contained within 2 pages, the 'Home' page and the 'Profile' page. Anyways, let me know what you think!

All feedback is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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Replies To: Website Critique

#2 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Website Critique

Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:44 PM

You're sites load time is abysmal. It takes 14 seconds to load it on a 20mB Bandwidth internet plan going full force. Unless I'm just missing something on that, someone else feel free to test the load times.

You're using large amounts of scripts, most of which are not optimized, nor really all that necessary.

Your HTML is atrocious, using table based design and techniques that have been highly frowned upon for years by professional designers. Whatever is generating the site needs to be rewritten because it's adding substantial size to the site. With clean and efficient code you can easily cut out several kB of the pages size. Currently it's at 99kB.

Google Dev Tools is showing that you have 40+ javascript files that take a total of 25 seconds to even load. You have 2 seconds in the web world, and that's incredibly generous. Most will close out of your site in .5 seconds if it's not loaded. Cut the fat and clean up the code, the site is utterly unusable with how it is now.
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#3 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Website Critique

Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:56 PM

The look itself is fine, I think. I like it's simplicity. The tabs can use some work though, mainly with spacing and the fact that they look really out of place with that glossy look.

For me it only took ~5 seconds to load the page, but that is still way too long.

Using tables for design is frowned upon, don't do it. If you really need help positioning stuff with CSS, try using something like Twitter's bootstrap or the 960 grid system.

Your CSS files can be put into one, no need to have 10 different files. And what's with the scripts? You're loading a whole bunch of them. Figure out how to trim the fat.
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#4 RageNRave  Icon User is offline

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Re: Website Critique

Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:37 AM

Thanks guys for the critiques!

I think one of the main problems I'm having (besides the horrid markup with table structures) is the controls I'm using. They are adding a lot of overhead to what is actually needed for the site to run and display properly.

Like I said my skills with design behind the page is close to none so I need to brush up on the new technologies! I'll take a look at those tools CreativeCoding, thanks!

Lemur - I knew the load times were horrible but wasn't sure if it was partly due to the host I'm using or the way I'm loading data or the scripts/html markup. Do you know how to package up those script files, is there a tool for that?

I will have to start focusing my energy on the design quite a bit more, thanks guys!
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#5 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Website Critique

Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:46 PM

A majority of the problem is that you need to get rid of 90% of the scripts at least. You have too much loading on the client side which is creating some huge lag time. Chrome reports that 18.4 seconds of your load time are scripts and external css files.
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#6 RageNRave  Icon User is offline

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Re: Website Critique

Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:13 PM

Hello,

Just a quick update:

Flipped a few options in the web.config and the script manager component I'm using. I think it's still loading just as much data but the initial page load time seems to be much improved. I didn't have much time tonight to re-work the old school table structure I'm using to place/align data. I'll take a look at that later this week.

It's amazing how just a little bit of research and typing is involved in making a significant improvement in the load time!

I know this still doesn't fix the fact that I'm loading some unnecessary scripts and css files but I will start to remove those one by one as I find out which ones aren't used. I will also be looking at the abundance of image files I'm loading, most likely quite a few unused images there as well.

Thanks for the help all, and I welcome more reviews of the site if anyone else wants to put in their 2 cents!

P.S - I removed the accounts I set up since no one logged in with them.
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#7 RageNRave  Icon User is offline

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Re: Website Critique

Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:20 PM

Not sure if anyone is paying attention to this thread anymore, but for those of you that are... There have been a bunch of updates done to the site. Check it out if you want!
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#8 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Website Critique

Posted 02 September 2012 - 11:31 PM

You really need to pick a style. The header is using a plain blocky look while the main content (tabs+popover) is using that glossy and rounded borders look. I would suggest using that plain blocky look, I think it looks good. Your load times are actually worse now. I'm getting ~7 seconds. This website seriously does not need this many scripts/a script manager. Just redo the whole tabs and content, without using other's scripts.
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#9 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Website Critique

Posted 03 September 2012 - 10:50 PM

I would seriously consider a complete redo. The current version is a patchwork of overly complicated code and things you probably don't even know what they do.

Remember, KISS, keep it simple stupid. DRY, Don't repeat yourself.

...and one of my personal mottos: If you don't understand it, don't use it in a production environment.
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