[thelist] Critique please (http://squalidnet.port5.com)

i isaac at members.evolt.org
Sun Aug 13 09:19:40 CDT 2000

> http://squalidnet.port5.com


Choice of blue is pretty decent (anyone who doesn't use 0000ff (bleargh!) wins
points with me).

Why is the title (as in the image, not the <title>) "squalidnet.com", when the
band's name is "Squalid"? You need to make every visitor know that name...

Top photo is dark and blurred - very, very poor choice for a key image.

Sorry dude, but that mouseover "go home" thing that others have mentioned is
fucking horrible. Not quite eye-raping, but pretty bad.

If a band site needs a "site help" section, then you've screwed it up. You
shouldn't need one. If you need an area to point to downloads of media streaming
plugins or something, then only link that when required.

The image pop-ups in a whole new window are pretty lazy (I know - I do it
sometimes too), but if this is your band, then you have no excuse but to do it
properly and size the window at least, and provide a close/next/previous link or

While you're doing that, throw in some title attributes on your links (text and

Layout wise, the site rates pretty poorly. You have zero alignment. No
structure. The whitespace is great but your text aligns with nothing. Your nav
just floats. The top key image is just sitting there.

While I'm awake, I'll check it in Netscape4 without images, JS, CSS, or Java.
This is how I surf most sites (reading news, etc) to save on bandwidth. You're
missing a few ALT tags - they're easy to throw in, so don't be cheap. Apart from
that, the content is all there and readable. Good to see that you're relying on
CSS to do the showy stuff, and not using javascript for anything essential.

Do you really need a chatroom? Could you not better serve existing fans by
allowing them to find out when next to catch you playing?

>From a content perspective, I'd start by using a more casual writing style.
Introduce yourselves and keep it friendly. Then get some great photos taken by a
photographer friend or something. And record a CD and get some mp3s up there.
Prospective fans are not going to come back to hear the real mp3s - they want
your best efforts now. Spare some cash to get something recorded. It's
frustrating to like and want to support a band, only to have no CD/quality
recordings to listen to...

Make the frontdoor more interesting - something like this is really cool:


Roger the Band are some guys who I help out by hosting their site. They keep
fans up to date on gigs and everyday stuff. Check out the snippets of sound in
their demo MP3 on this page: http://www.rogertheband.com/meet.html. They have
some ultra-cool stuff and play a great live show.

Hopefully something amongst this helps you out - even if it only helps convince
you that the "go home" image is a terrible idea... ;)


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