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New Site on my home webserver

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

New Site on my home webserver

After learning a little about Linux and setting up my own webserver at home some time ago I have finally got round to starting a site on it.
After a change in regulations I was also able to register the Irish (.ie) domain I have wanted for years.
My site is only started and lacks content but I would appreciate opinions on the general look and feel.
The address is http://www.seanbranagh.ie
I also created custom error pages on the server which I am very happy with as everyone hates to see the default Apache or IIS generated ones. They are one sure way to loose visitors.
You can see an example by going to this deliberate dead link http://www.seanbranagh.ie/no_page_here
Thanks, Sean.
35 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

it's neat, clean and uncluttered.  if i took issue with anything it's the minor typo in this paragraph:
Quote
Weather we like it or not the internet is a 100% accurate, unedited reflection of us as a race, which is why I personally think it is the greatest invention of our time. This leads me onto another reason for building this site.

i think you meant 'whether.'
i haven't read all of it yet, but congratulations on getting to grips with all the elements necessary to get that far.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

Woo - that's a busy front page with a lot of text, quite intimitading to be honest. It'd be alright if you were going there knowing what to expect and what the site was about, but as it was for me (and I suspect most others) that's a bit too much. I'd suggest having the front page as a brief summary and explaining the links to the different pages, and keep the text to a separate about page.
Just a quick first impression, hope it helps.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

also a small typo in the last sentance
Quote
Please fee free to contact me with any corrections, comments or suggestions for the site.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

The overall look is nice and clear, although personally I think narrow fixed width sites look a bit odd. If you are aiming the site at people who are likely to have old computers with low res monitors maybe its fair enough.
I would tend to agree with Orbrey that there is too much text on the front page. Better to keep the front page simple and inviting.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

Thankyou. I have taken your advice. I have taken the text of the front page and made it more inviting (I hope). I have moved the text to an "about" page and increased the width of the site by 200 pixels. Although my native resolution in 1440x900 I think most people now would be at 1024x768 so have adjusted to suit. I have also fixed the typos. I would appreciate any new opinions. Thanks, Sean.
http://www.seanbranagh.ie
Just added the picture menu from the main page onto the bottom of every page including the server error pages. Let me know what you think.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

That looks quite nice. I think the width is a good compromise as well. Of course, it is the old argument over fluid-width that resizes to fill the window against fixed-width that preserves the layout of the site.
If you don't mind a couple more small suggestions:
Add a title which summarises what your site is about, "Views on Computers and the Internet", or whatever.
The links on the PC is a nice idea, but they could do with highlighting somehow to make it clear they are clickable links.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,312
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

Although this is in it's very early stages you may want to consider giving yourself more flexibility by making each of the main pages a separate folder which means that you can build up the page off line then import it complete http://webstyleguide.com/site/basic_structures.html
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

Quote from: Oldjim
Although this is in it's very early stages you may want to consider giving yourself more flexibility by making each of the main pages a separate folder which means that you can build up the page off line then import it complete http://webstyleguide.com/site/basic_structures.html

I was thinking about this last night and probably will do it. Shouldn't be difficult. Just need to create a few folders and adjust links.
There would be an index.html for every folder so you could go direct to www.seanbranagh.ie/computing for example. I can use subdomains also.
Only problem would be having several files of the same name would be confusing in Dreamveaver if I am working on more that one at a time as I usually would be.
Then again I don't need to call all the files index.html. I could make them specific like computing_index.html or media_index.html.
I could then add the names in to Apache's config file so it will serve them when the folder is requested. It is my server afterall so I can do what I want. Smiley Sean.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

Be careful about customising the Apache config. If you decide at a later date to move the site to your PN webspace or some other hosting, they will not have the customised apache capability and the site will not work. The same goes for sub-domains.
You are best to keep things as simple as possible and have a standard index.html in each folder (if you decide to go down the folder route).
Couple of other points:
1) Use lower case in all file names, especially graphics files. This will make your site much more portable.
2) Don't use spaces in file names. To separate words use _ (underscore)
Also watch out for links in templates. They can sometimes go funny and have your local path to files inserted (C:/something/images/fred.gif) instead of relative paths.

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,312
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

Note that if a sub folder doesn't have an index.html  file then the search engines won't see it. That was the mistake I made and I wondered why Google only saw the first page.
In the end I used a text based browser to see how it worked
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

I always use lower case in filenames and relitave paths for exactly the reasons mentioned above. I would be unlikely to move the site as the main reason for it is because I am facinated by hosting on my own server. If I was moving the site it would be to my reseller account with Eukhost where I do have almost as much customizing capability. I definitely would not host with Plus Net after loosing forum enteries on one site and guestbook enteries on another site one time when the ccgi server went down. I also think that urls in the address bar like blablabla.plus.com looks realy unprofessional. The fact that you had to use two different servers for php and normal pages really annoyed me when I did use plus net. Please don't think I am complaning about Plus Net. I think they are a fantastic ISP and could not live without my static IP. Just don't like the hosting.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

After trying a few serches in a couple of different engines I found loads of now dead links on seanbranagh.net .com and .co.uk
I am glad I customized my error pages on seanbranagh.ie as they all point there now.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

I have now created the individual folders for each section of the site so for example you can now go direct to http://www.seanbranagh.ie/computing
As this domain is part of my reseller account with Eukhost I was also able to create subdomains like http://www.computing.seanbranagh.ie and have them redirect to the revelent folder.
I have also noticed that despite editing the DNS zone to make http://www.seanbranagh.ie go to my IP address I am still able to use subdomains with folders on my Eukhost server. This will be very useful for media as I can host it on my Eukhost server at http://www.media.seanbranagh.ie an it will still look as if it is part of the same server. That way people will not be waiting ages for stuff to stream through my adsl connection and Plus Net will not get mad at me for using too much bandwidth. LoL.
Bob_Milton
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: New Site on my home webserver

I had a look at your website and found in the fourth paragraph, on clicking on 'ABOUT', that you had spelt 'whether' incorrectly. You have missed out the first H. Later on you spelt terrestrial incorrectly as teristrial.
On clicking on 'CONTACT' and other links, the following message appeared,   'comming soon' which has an M too many.