Marine Modelling International

 

Model Boats

 

Web Pages Made Easy


 

Title: QuickFix. Site -Model Boat Mayhem

www.modelboatmayhem.greater-peterborough.com

Intro

Hobby Web sites are popular and are ideal for featuring any leisure or pastime. While normally non-commercial they still provide an excellent portal to tell the world about your particular hobby, and Martin Davis’ Model Boat Mayhem frame-based site is a good example.

An ‘Admiral’ site

Featuring a very long Web address (URL), Martin admits that he knows nothing about HTML or Flash but has still succeeded in putting together a solid site. All the content has been sensibly divided into the various sub-sections and a clear menu directs visitors to the relevant page.

A problem does occur though, when the content for any page starts increasing to the extent where the time to display the page (download time) becomes excessive. This can be identified on some of the pages and while virtually everything has been done to reduce the file sizes, some of the cartoons – already correctly optimised to only 10 colours, and properly saved as GIF files – could save up to 64KB (Kilobytes) by simply reducing the size by 50%. This still allows the cartoons to be easily understood. Incidentally, 64KB is about the maximum size for any Web page when including the images; so if the page is still over 100KB, consider breaking the content into two parts.

Normally long pages are also awkward to navigate, so if sub-dividing the page is unavoidable include a sub-menu for the page that link to “anchors” – so what are these? See the tutorial below!

Font Mayhem

Model Boat Mayhem also features a mixture of font styles that tends to look rather odd. This is a common mistake, but generally speaking having one style for titles and another for the body text is sufficient. On the subject of the fonts, it was also noticed that Martin had defined the size, in places, with a <font> surrounding a <span>. What happens here is the “nested” style (the <span> element in this instance) gets overridden by the <font> element, and the situation gets complicated when other browser programs can interpret the results differently.

Now, call me unimaginative, but my last comment is about Java Applets: sure, they have a place but not, in my opinion, as menu buttons. They often take time to load and initialise, causing the visitor to wonder whether the Internet has stalled. So while the navigation is fine the method used is suspect, so you could try one of many online solutions; go to www.sitenavigation.net for the ultimate site for navigation links. One such site featured is the superb GUIstuff.com at www.guistuff.com.

Taking into account Martin’s admitted novice status for Web design he has created a very workable site, only let down by some understandable errors. Clean these up and the site then becomes ship-shape and Bristol-fashion.

SYNOPSIS

TICKS
* Very detailed information provided with good navigation.
* Good photographs, most correctly optimised as thumbnails for speedy viewing.
* Good range of services and links to similar sites provided.

CROSSES
* <meta> elements located on wrong page – should be on the ‘index’.

* A decent URL would help – see
www.123-reg.co.uk for ‘.co.uk’ at under £3.

* A few pages have excessively long downloads due to too many images.
 

Thanks.
=======

Thanks to all the contributors to Model Boat Mayhem, without you this site would be nothing.

And thanks to those that email me all the required corrections and omissions, a never ending task!

Regards,
Martin Davis