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Thread: New website - testing please

  1. #1
      torstan is offline
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    Post New website - testing please

    Hi. So I've finally built myself a website that can be found here:
    http://www.fantasticmaps.com/

    I'd be very grateful for any testing people could do on different web browers (I have firefox and IE but noe of the safari, netscape, chrome etc). Any thoughts, broken links, spelling errors or other screw ups gratefully appreciated.

    Also, I need a logo that goes with the name. So far I am drawing a blank!
    Fantasy Map Blog | My food illustration
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      Gandwarf is offline
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    I am missing your picture in the "About" section
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  3. #3
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Post Works with Sea Monkey

    Because my IE exploded at work, I've been using Sea Monkey, which is a derivative of Netscape - it works fine on that browser. I checked all the links, read the pages for spelling errors and didn't notice any.

    Nice job, simple site layout - black background, white text is pretty standard for artistic sites, though not my favorite. I prefer white background, black text, so things can be read easier, but then that's more generic. I can understand why you wouldn't want that.

    GP

    PS: logo wise, I see using some of your more elegant font label styles for a map with a closeup of your maps as a background - that would work, unless you're looking for something more unique.
    Gamer Printshop - We print RPG Maps for Game Masters!
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  4. #4
      torstan is offline
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    Thanks for the check and the thoughts. I'm going to doodle with a few ideas this afternoon.

    As for the black background I wanted a background that would show off the pictures, and white's a bit harsh for that.
    Fantasy Map Blog | My food illustration
    Everything I post is free for use and redistribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, except where noted otherwise in the thread.

  5. #5
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    From an aesthetics point of view, I think it looks nice. Not too cluttered and easy to navigate. The coloring works well given the nature of the site and there's no javascript/java/flash involved. A definite plus in my book. The roll-overs are subtle and everything seems to resize properly for those of us with vision problems. Nicely done.

    On the technical side of things, there are a few mark-up errors as well as a few parsing errors in your CSS.

    http://validator.w3.org/check?verbos...m%2Findex.html

    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/v...m%2Findex.html

    But nothing that I can tell is going to cause any major problems in most modern browsers, though I, like you, tend to stick with Firefox and IE.

    All in all, is good to see. Once I settle a few issues here at home, I'm gonna start rebuilding my web-sites. I mean, it isn't like I don't have enough on my table as it is, right?

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  6. #6
      Turgenev is offline
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    I like the site, torstan! Nice and simple and to the point. I would give you some rep for that alone but I need to spread it around a bit more before I can.

    A few technical (mostly SEO) hints I would recommend are:

    * include an 'alt' in your image tags. For example,
    Code:
    <img src="Gallery/Recent/DreestonThumb130.jpg" alt="Dreeston Image Link" />
    The alt tag will help people who have images turned off (for one reason or another) or for some reason the image doesn't load properly (the alt text will get shown instead). Course a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) trick is to put one of your keywords in the alt area since Search Engines pick up on this.

    * include a 'title' in the link tags. For example,
    Code:
    <a href="Gallery/Regional/dreeston.html" title="Dreeston Gallery">
    In some browsers, the title text will pop up when you mouse over the link. It is also a good SEO trick since Search Engine pick up on the title tags.

    * another SEO tip is meta-tags. There is some discussion among the SEO community if meta-tags are still relevant but I personally think they don't hurt and may end up helping out in the long run. Meta tags I would recommend are:

    Code:
    <meta name="author" content="Jonathan Roberts" />
    <meta name="robots" content="all" />
    <meta name="revisit-after" content="7 days" />
    <meta name="title" content="Fantastic Maps: The Cartography of Jonathan Roberts" />
    <meta name="description" content="The Cartography of Jonathan Roberts." /> 
    <meta name="keywords" content="fantasy cartography, role playing game maps, rpg maps, D&D maps" />
    The author tag is self evident. The robots tag and the revisit-after tag are instructions that search engine robots are to follow when visiting your site (for cataloging purposes). You should think about having a robots.txt file on your site as well since search engines will be looking for it. There is a lot more info about the robots meta-tags and text files here.

    The title and description tags are important because this info is what search engines often pick up on when they display your site in search listings. A SEO trick is to put some of your keywords into your title (which you did by adding cartography to your title). Speaking of keywords, they are important as well. These are the phrases people use when searching so you want to have the right terms listed. keywords are losing their strength in search engine results but they aren't obsolete yet so I recommend using them. Getting the right keywords is an art. Specific keywords (ie rpg maps, fantasy maps, d&d maps, etc) are more likely to bring people to your site who are looking for those specific terms over general keywords (ie maps, cartography, rpg, etc). I recommend having a balance of both and no more than 25 such keywords. I could write pages about keywords and their use.

    Finally I also recommend having a HTML based sitemap that collects are your links in one location. This can be handy for the user and search engines love it. Speaking of search engines, I also recommend having a sitemap.xml file on your site as well. Like the robots.txt file, search engines pick up on this file and it helps with your listing in search engines. More info about sitemap.xml files can be found here.

    The reason I mention all of this stuff is because building a site isn't enough these days. The trick now is to drive traffic to it. The above tips will give your site an edge over similar sites that aren't using these tips. Course things like links to your site is where you build your search engine love but that is a whole different tutorial.

    Best of luck on your site and commissions!
    Cheers,
    Tim

    Paratime Design Cartography

    "Do infants have as much fun in infancy as adults do in adultery?" - Groucho Marx

  7. #7
      Turgenev is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greason Wolfe View Post
    On the technical side of things, there are a few mark-up errors as well as a few parsing errors in your CSS.

    http://validator.w3.org/check?verbos...m%2Findex.html

    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/v...m%2Findex.html
    These errors are minor mistakes that can be put to right easy enough. If you need any help, drop me a line torstan. This is one of my specialties.
    Cheers,
    Tim

    Paratime Design Cartography

    "Do infants have as much fun in infancy as adults do in adultery?" - Groucho Marx

  8. #8
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turgenev View Post
    These errors are minor mistakes that can be put to right easy enough. If you need any help, drop me a line torstan. This is one of my specialties.
    Heh. I figured they were probably just typing errors. I'm notorious for doing things like that in the process of writing mark-up and css and then pull my hair out trying to find them. Certainly not my specialty, though, so I'm glad there's someone here that can help our man Torstan out with these things better than I'd be able to.

    GW
    Last edited by Greason Wolfe; 04-05-2009 at 06:03 PM. Reason: See, typing error right there. LOL
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  9. #9
      torstan is offline
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    Thanks a lot guys, that's a full website education right there! I'll work through those points to make this more solid. My challenge right now is to get above the current freelance mapper that comes up in Google when I search for fantastic maps (I shall not link him here as that will only increase the task ahead...)

    That's really useful. Rep to you both, and I'll make sure I spread some around so I can rep you again Turgenev when you put your castle in the finally finished section.
    Fantasy Map Blog | My food illustration
    Everything I post is free for use and redistribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, except where noted otherwise in the thread.

  10. #10
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Post Yeah, I've got all those in my site too!

    Everything, Turgenev mentioned exists on the Gamer-Printshop.com site as well, didn't mention it, as its been so long since I applied them to the site. I did all that at site creation and pretty much haven't touched the site since (notice those broken links...)

    Strange, but once I placed the keyword-optimized pages up, the Robots.txt and the XML file, in 24 hours gamer-printshop.com was at the top of the search engines and have stayed there ever since, with no post-build optimization applied at all.

    So its probably wise to do all the TG says, it worked for my site!

    GP
    Gamer Printshop - We print RPG Maps for Game Masters!
    http://www.gamer-printshop.com

    Kaidan setting of Japanese Horror (PFRPG) Google+ community

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