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Thread: Photography Site Review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Photography Site Review

    I made this website for myself and made it flashy as sort of a fun project. It's heavily based on Javascript and I know a lot of people will hate that because it makes it really slow, but I'm not really concerned with that. I just want it to look nice and to function, even if it lags a bit. So I guess what I want is for people to tell me what they think about the design and the visual aspect.
    Check it out here:
    I am aware that the 'Photography' PNG is messed up in explorer 6.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Wonderful! I've never seen such an original design. I really appreciate it. I think your visitors will also like it In the Internet I can hardly find a site which is really pleasant to look at.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I'm old fashioned, I like to have a pointer show up when I mouse over a link and it doesn't when I move my mouse over Enter on your home page - as well as a few other areas on your site (like the arrows when I am viewing an image, or the View Comments when I am viewing an image). In some places (like Enter on the homepage) I guess it's no big deal because it's reasonably obvious, but in other places, you just don't know what is a link and what isn't.

    Also, if I open a picture from, I can't close it (by either clicking on the X up in the top right or the X down in the information area), however, if I changed the picture by using the arrows, and then click on the X in the top right (but no the X in the information area) I can close it. Chrome v3.0

    Also, if I view the first image in a series and click on the left arrow to see the previous image, it displays loading forever. Again, all this is in Chrome, but you should check it in other browsers and if it's the same, then the site, despite it's unique design, really isn't ready to be live.
    I've switched careers...
    I'm NO LONGER a scientist,
    but now a web developer...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Great, thanks a lot for the comments.

    I do have a couple of things left to do, like fix the buttons in the information area of the photos, but I wasn't aware of the errors in Chrome. I actually haven't even tested in Chrome, which is something I should probably do. The error you get when you try to close the image is also true in Explorer and Safari. Thanks for letting me know. An alternate way to close the overlay is to just click on the image.

    As for the enter button on the intro page, the text should come into focus as you hover your mouse over it. I'll have to check if it works in Chrome.

    Keep those comments coming!
    Last edited by interpolerater; 09-25-2009 at 10:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    New York City
    The site is really spectacular. I would change the cursor to a pointer on areas that you click.

    Also, do you load in all the thumbnails at the very beginning? It does take a while to load. If you are,I would revisit that process and try to load them in a page at a time using Ajax or some other method.

    Other than those things, great job. Nice pictures, too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    New York City
    One more little thing. You have an alert in there that fires periodically when you exit an image by clicking on the X in the top right corner. It says "1." You might want to get rid of that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm trying to get all the clickables to have a pointers, just haven't gotten to them yet. As for the AJAX request, I am already sort of doing that, I get all the URL's for the catagory when the page loads and it only loads the thumbnails you see. The only problem is that I've got about 1300 URL's that are sent when you load all the catagories (the default) so it takes a while. There is probably a better way to do that, so I'll see if I can figure out another way, or maybe somebody has a suggestion.

    Weird, I never noticed that alert box, but it was certainly in my code. I wonder why I wasn't getting it but you were. Doesn't matter anyhow, I got rid of it.

    Thanks again for the comments. I've been working on this for a while and it's nice to hear a good response from people.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    New York City
    The reason I was getting the alert and you weren't is simple. It's the law of "if you have an error in your code it will only show itself at the most embarrassing moment." I know that I've been victimized by that law over and over again.

    No big deal, though.

    Do you keep your URL's in an array? If you do, you can load them through AJAX, too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Haha, that is so true. You spend hours testing your code and nothing happens until somebody happens to visit your site. Fact of life, I guess.

    I store the URL's in an XML file that is really huge. It contains the url, title, date, tags and location. When the page loads it gets the info for all of the photos with AJAX and that takes a little while. If you load the page with a catagory selected then it takes much less time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    New York City
    Can you bust that XML file into a bunch - maybe one for each page, and load them in as the page loads?

    Did you code the file by hand or is it generated from a database?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Well, it probably wouldn't make any difference if I have one or many XML files because it doesn't take any longer to load if I just take the info for only a couple photos out of the whole file instead of having a separate file of those photos. I could do what you said and just get the URL's for the photos I'm currently viewing and that I would have to load more each time I go to new page, but then again it's nice to have all the URL's on hand at once. I think that I just have something that tells people it's loading every time I request some more photo info, people wouldn't get bored. I think it takes less than three seconds to load the whole XML file, so it's not too bad. What do you think?

    I made a PHP script to edit the XML file. I haven't gotten into data bases yet, but I probably should.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    New York City
    I do galleries a little differently because I do use a database. On this one:

    I just load in the thumbnails with the key to the database and use and AJAX call to a PHP module to get the info. It's pretty fast.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    New York City
    I do galleries a little differently because I do use a database. On this one:

    I just load in the thumbnails with the key to the database and use and AJAX call to a PHP module to get the info. It's pretty fast. It's not nearly as elaborate as your gallery, but it's a small part of the site as a whole. Actually, the entire site comes off a database except for the design elements.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Hampshire, UK
    Very nice site, it did take a long time to load but probably because of the amount of people currently on it. How long did it take you do write out all the javascript?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Hmm.. I might just look into databases a bit.

    I think one big reason why it's so slow is because of my host. Sometimes it's really fast and other times it almost stops loading. I have been too cheap to get a paid account so far, but maybe it's time I take the plunge.

    Thanks. I started on this site 1 1/2 years ago and have worked on it mostly only during the winter. It's changed a lot since I started. As for the javascript file, I couldn't say exactly how long it took me, but it definitely took a lot of time. I imagine if one of you took a look at it you'd be terribly confused; that's just because I'm really bad at organizing my code so it's all over the place. I don't have any comments or anything, just my memory (which isn't the greatest.) If you're interested in how I did some of the things on the site, I can give you some sample codes because you're not going to be able to find it in my Javascript mess.

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