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Help Needed!

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Offline Jill

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« on: April 21, 2008, 15:43 PM »
Hola

I have finally uploaded my website : www.jilldickinschinas.com

This is a triparte website, designed and built by Caesar. It's a very complicated affair, involving a complex data base system and a Mummy-friendly control panel, which allows even an utter wally such as me to upload images (without even having to resize them!) and to organise things into categories, and so forth.

One part of the site is devoted to my books, which have absolutely nothing to do with either Iberia or Nature, so I won't mention them again. The second part is a gallery for my paintings and other artwork; there are quite a few watercolours of Spain scattered around in there but, again, they are not really nature related, so I won't go into details. These first two parts of the site have been up and running for a couple of months, but as they aren't really relevant I didn't think it appropriate to mention them.

The third part of the site is a photo library, and it's chockful of pictures of Spanish windmills, Spanish flowers, Spanish castles, Spanish praying mantises, Spanish mountains, Spanish fiestas etc etc. Eventually it will also contain some of the thousand or so slide photographs that I took in the pre-digi days, in various other parts of the world - but at half an hour per scan, that aint gonna happen very soon.

Putting this section of the site together has taken me weeks and months, because I was determined that each photo must be accompanied by a paragraph or two of information. This is partly under orders from Mr C, who told me that the more I wrote, the better my search engine ranking would be, but it's also because I can never resist the opportunity to dispense information. (Ask my kids...) The writing itself was a fairly straight forward business - except on those occasions when I got carried away and wrote an entire essay. It was the research which took the time.

Most of the plants and insects were identified by leafing through the relevant threads on the Iberia Nature forum. Muchisimas gracias to everybody who unwittingly helped - and now I'd like to request some more of your assistance!
I'm very concerned that the information given on the site must be accurate, and whilst I'm reasonably confident of my knowledge concerning the Reconquesta and Semana Santa, and similar subjects, I am a bit worried about the plants and creepy crawlies. If any of you could spare the time to thumb through the relevant categories, I'd be tremedously grateful. (You can send me your corrections, criticisms, etc, using the contact form.)

Comments regarding ease of use / site navigation are equally welcome.

Jill

Offline Dave

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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 16:25 PM »
Hi Jill
after a brief glance i am very impressed.
1) None of the Dell quay paintings show at the moment on my Firefox browser, whether this is my browser or not i cannot say
2) On the cartoons page Harness (Illustration) and sailing canoes do not show ditto above


The paintings are beautiful

generally the website is easy on the eye and easy to navigate

The photos are outstanding (as usual)
So on a positive note Well done
I am looking forward to exploring it further
Regards
Dave k



Offline Clive

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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 19:00 PM »
Hi Jill,

Excellent drawings and images with brilliant descriptive text... Descriptive text is what I am always banging on about to everyone at Wildside Holidays and maybe I will forward the worst offenders to your site to see what can be achieved with a few paragraphs....

Like Dave says, there are a few images missing but I guess they are just misplaced and will be easy enough to locate.

My only negative observation is that from my laptop screen the top header and menu bar take up a lot of room (About a third of the window space)...This wouldn't be an issue with someone who has a larger screen size though... I have the same issue with the mollymawk site as the big bird header takes up a lot of the screen as well...

Well done Caesar for getting this site up and running...... You are a genius... :)

Clive

Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Sue

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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2008, 19:49 PM »
Hi Jill,
what a wonderful and varied selection of work you have done,

and well done Caesar as i found my way around the site just fine.

Regards,
Sue
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
www.grazalemaguide.com

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 20:23 PM »
Hi Jill
What an excellent site - I thoroughly enjoyed looking at it.
My one minor criticism is that I found the black text very difficult to read on the blue background.
I hope that you find this constructive criticism, and not negative.
Well done
Tony
 :clapping:

Offline judith

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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008, 20:56 PM »
Hi Jill,
As a technophobe I congratulate you on your site!
It is easy to navigate, very informative and easy to read and good fun! Love your paintings and found the mudlarking photo's curiously reminiscent of the Silurians in Dr Who!

Offline Jill

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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2008, 11:46 AM »
Thank-you, to everybody, for your very encouraging comments.

We had a lot of trouble up-loading the site as it took more than two hours... and as we can never get a reliable connection from the boat we had to do it in an internet cafe. The first time we tried, hardly any of the photos uploaded properly. We thought that we had succeeded at the second try, but it seems, from what you say, that some are still missing. We will have another go. Thanks for pointing it out. It's hard for me to check that everything is up and running when I can so rarely get on-line!

As for the header - I know what you mean, Clive: I have considerable reservations about having such a big header / wasting all that space. But the boss likes it that way..... Perhaps we can arrive at a compromise.

The contrast between the background colour and the colour of the text is another problem. I particularly wanted to use a watercolour wash as a background. In the event, it had to be organised as a repeat pattern - I think it's called a tile - because otherwise it would take forever to load. I wanted a darkish background because most photos and paintings look better on a dark background, but I didn't want the chalk-board effect that you get if you use white text on a dark background.
Because I have used a graded background the writing has to be dark enough to stand out against both the paler area at the bottom and the darker area at the top. Judging the appropriate shade / darkness for the background is very tricky because everybody's computer is different. On my laptop the background is just perfect - for me. On Caesar's big screen it is wishy-washy; he would like me to have a darker background.
Completely altering the background (to a plain colour, for instance) would be very time consuming, but making it paler (or darker) seems to be relatively easy, so I would be interested in receiving more feedback on this particular issue. If anybody else has an opinion on whether it is too dark / too light/ perfect (!) I would be interested in hearing about it.

I have to make some alterations to the text about the animal driven mills. I've found that they are also called norias de rosario! Quite an apt name. I've now seen one in action, so I'm planning to upload more photos, when I can... If you think the subject is sufficiently relevant, Clive, I could write something for the forum on that subject. Not sure which column it would fit under... Otherwise, I will post something on our own site (yachtmollymawk) and put a link here for anyone who is interested.

Do let me know if I've got the flowers wrong, won't you? The garden flowers were mostly named by my mum ( a very keen gardener) but the Spanish wildflowers were named by posting images here, on the forum. And there are a few which still bear titles like Pink Daisy and Yellow Flower...

Offline Clive

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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2008, 12:43 PM »
Customers can be really tricky sometimes Caesar..... :)

Thing is you have a web designer trying to be accurate to the half pixel and a customer who has a precise knowledge of colour and layout..... (Light the blue touch paper and stand back!).... Communication is the key to this jejejejejejeje.....

My laptop screen res is 1024 by 768...

In honesty I am not too keen on the fixed header. I find the one at yachtmollymawk to be harder to use as the text keeps disappearing under the big birds wings and body :)

I just looked and by rolling my mouse three clicks I lose text and have to roll back again by one click....

Of course this is only my opinion and I bow to your web design knowledge that far exceeds mine..... :)

Clive

PS glad to see you survived the storm!
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Clive

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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2008, 18:41 PM »
Hi Caesar :)

Ok, now you have made the header scroll the content is certainly easier to read... But.... I had a mate here last week who thought that your fixed header was as cool as ice so I guess you can't please everyone...

For me the issue of hard to read text happens when it scrolled up through the darker blue... ie the text appeared to change its contrast making reading a bit more difficult...

Either way, I foresee some very interesting websites coming from the design studio of Caesars Grunt.... Keep up the good work....

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Clive

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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2008, 19:23 PM »
Look out... Tp is going to jump on that new word........
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Sue

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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2008, 20:16 PM »
Hi Caesar,
I find your new layout much easier...i don't have to scroll down so frequently as with the fixed header...and this will save anxious looks and claws in my knees as I remove my hand from cat to mouse!
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
www.grazalemaguide.com

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2008, 09:25 AM »
Definitely much better, but yes, I would prefer a slightly lighter screen to allow easier reading of the text.
Well done
Tony

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2008, 08:49 AM »
Hi Caesar
The background is definitely better than it was, but personally I could do with it still a little lighter, but perhaps others will be happy with it.  Could be something to do with my eyesight, being diabetic.
With regards to the brower I always have it on maximum.
Tony

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2008, 18:36 PM »
Greetings Sue and C,
Sorry for being so late in passing on my "oprinions" :technodevil:, first came across this a month back and didn't give feedback 'cos I wanted to check it out first on a widescreen at work ('cos kids wouldn't let me use theirs at that moment), and promptly forgot all 'bout it :angel:
So first of all, congrats to you both - Sue for great content and C for great layout and tweaking!

Right, down to semi-technical stuff:
At home, right now am using old, small and really low-res. screen PC (W98) with Ff. Fixed header is a drag, 'cos I get less than a third of the text readable at any one time.

Kids' super-duper PC (XP) with LARGE screen gives great image (fixed header no problem at all and looks great). Equally good on Ff and IE.

PCs at work - as with kids'. (XP and Vista)

Maximised browser (with toolbar) in all cases.

Regs.,
Technopat
PS.
Hope I'm not to blame for those mindless stats. on time spent by visits using Ff or IE. Depending on where I am, I use either.
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Sue

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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2008, 20:46 PM »
Hi Caesar,
on a 1024x768 screen using Firefox i find the scrolling header much easier and can read the text fine. Thank you

Technopat, might you mean 'Jill and C' in that last post  ::)
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2008, 21:14 PM »
Greetings Sue and Jill,
Sorry 'bout that - pity, 'cos that Sue and C had a great ring to it...
Have-that-nagging-feeling-that-I've-done-that-before regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 01:19 AM »
Greetings C,
Sorry I confused you. I had checked both sites but on different dates, but yeah, just checked YMm on my really low-res. (how low can you go? 640x480px low enough?  :dancing: ) and it's great - header isn't fixed anymore.  :clapping: And JDS is also OK.

Regs.,
Technopat

PS.
A little dicky bird told me earlier this week that Sony is bringing out two new versions of their smaller VAIO laptops at €300 and €400 euros - with XP installed by popular demand, which is ironic as the V in VAIO stands for Vista :angel:
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Clive

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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2008, 08:45 AM »
hahahaa, That's just cos people with Firefox are quicker readers Caesar.... :)
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2008, 09:21 AM »
Greetings C,
Re. the V in VAIO - that's what I get for not checking my sources.

Re. your
Quote
a good operating system
referring to Vista, that's precisely why people are crying out for a return to Windows - so many years of suffering and they can't kick the habit  :dancing:

Sidebar fine on really-low-res. I think if you were to stick it at the top/bottom, the effect would be bit like the fixed header.

Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2008, 16:23 PM »
Sorry - again, C!  :banghead:
My previous
Quote
And JDS is also OK.
is not correct. Just went back there 'cos I had this nagging feeling, and either you've reverted or I was looking at it  on another PC. But as of 1600hrs local time, the fixed header was very much in place and taking up more than 1/3 of my really-low-res.
Re. sidebar - it's fine where it is - reminds me to check out other things which I'd forget if I'd already seen it at the top.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266