Home Content Request Pick-Up Extras Sitely

Welcome

Welcome to Indulge! My name is Tiffany, and I will be your hostess for today. What is Indulge, you may ask? To get straight to the point, Indulge is a site-improvement and help site that opened its doors on February 15,2018. The purpose of this site is to be used as a resource whenever you feel the need to improve your site. Here, my goal is to help you make your site the best it can be. This site will also provide a variety of resources, guides, tips, as well as reviews from time to time. You, as the visitor, will also have the chance to submit any questions and request site reviews. This site should not only serve as a guide, but also a place that helps you improve on becoming a site owner. If you have any questions/concerns, please neomail me.

As you walk through the stone paved streets of the kingdom, you come across a small corner cafe with a sign above the entrance reading, Indulge. A group of friends walk out of the cafe carrying boxes of baked goods and treats. Suddenly hungry, you decide to have a look inside. You are immediately greeted with the smell of baked goods and melted butter the moment you enter the building. At the counter ahead of you stands a young girl talking animatedly with a group of customers all laughing and smiling. Upon spotting you, she excuses herself from the group and makes her way towards where you are standing. She introduces herself as Tiffany and shows you to your table with a menu already placed. Continue?

Updates

04/16/18- There hasn't been much to update these past few days. I've been busy with my job and real life in general, so I have decided to go on a small break. Expect the break to be between a few weeks to a month. However, during this time I am still open to neomails if you have any questions. Even though requests are closed, Q&A reviews are always open. Requests are closed.

04/5/18- A new post is up! Read it here. Please neomail me if there is anything that you would like me to discuss. Requests are still open.

03/26/18- So sorry for the lack of updates! I have been busy these last couple of days, and will be for the next few weeks. However, when spring break rolls around, I will be sure to have a new post up. Requests are still open.

Content

Here are all the blogs. Each briefly covers a site-making topic. Read the description below each header to get an idea of what the post is about.

How it works

  • This site is written in blog style. Meaning, instead of it being a complete guide, it is just giving you tips and written informally. There are no lengthy articles here. Everything is short and sweet.
  • Navigation- Click on the arrow after each description to go to the post.
  • All blogs are for every kind of site unless specified at the very top of each post.
  • Every single post is something that is site related.
  • Credentials: Have owned a review site for over five years, Has reviewed over 100 sites, Been in the site community long enough and a seasoned reviewer
  • 1. Service Makes Perfect- 02/15/18

    Learn about the importance of site-service.

    2. Prewritten Messages - 02/15/18

    A quick trick on answering neomails in less time.

    3. Common Mistakes - 02/16/18

    A list of common mistakes seen throughout sites.

    4. Story Driven/Not? - 02/18/18

    Ever wondered why some sites have stories and others don't? Want to know if you should do the same for your site?

    5. Credit - 02/23/18

    The importance of credit is explained here.

    6. Fixer-uppers - 03/8/18

    Much like the common mistakes, but these are usually minor ones. They won't usually count against review scores, but improve the site when fixed nonetheless.

    7. Resources & Extra Graphics - 04/5/18

    Discusses the usage of resources and extra graphics.

    Service Makes Perfect

    The saying is the saying goes. Service in running a site is key. Think in restaurant terms. When going to a restaurant, you expect to be shown a friendly smile and seated nicely. You expect to be served in a timely manner and if a mistake is made, an apology is common courtesy. The same thing goes for a site. Here are the steps in ensuring good service.

    1. Make sure that your introduction is friendly and informative. Also, be sure to update your site regularly. Of course, there are sites such as graphic sites and guides that do not need to be updated everyday, but try to get one in at least every week or two.

    2. Put in the extra effort to reach out to your visitors. Put links to your neomail or userlookup throughout the site and be sure to express your desire of wanting to help.

    3. Always reply to neomails. I cannot stress this enough. Even if the message is asking a question you have already answered on your site, just kindly point them to the right section with a reply.

    4. Finish requests in a timely manner. For graphic requests, a reasonable time-frame would be a week. Reviews would be about 1.5 weeks through 2. A layout would be about 2 weeks.

    5. Tone is everything. Like with a friendly introduction, make sure your entire site has an air of friendliness. Phrase your sentences in a way that makes you seem approachable and ready to help.

    6. Professionalism. What is it exactly? To me, it is the ability to remain calm when criticized and to make amends when in the wrong. As a site owner there will be times when unhappy visitors neomail you. However, it is your responsibility to remain calm and logically talk out the issue with the unhappy visitor. If they are wrong, correct them. If you are wrong, apologize.

    7. Honesty. This is so important in being a site owner. Everyone knows that RL tends to get in the way. However, there is a difference in not completing a request at all and neomailing a requester about being unable to complete a request. Neomailing and explaining why the request will not be completed shows that you care and respect the requester. They took their time requesting and filling out the form so in turn, you should return the favor by telling them about their request status. If time is of the essence, a simple update on your site explaining your situation is fine as well.

    Prewritten Messages

    If you own a request site, at some point you will realize how tedious it is to have to type out a reply for every request. In order to save time, many site owners prewrite their accept and deny messages.

  • Where do I put the messages? Many owners put it in their portfolio under a site category. However, you are free to put it anywhere you like such as having it saved on a notepad in your computer.
  • What type of prewritten messages are there? There are a lot of options. Just write the ones that you will most likely use. For example, most request sites have one for accepted, denied, and completed requests. Other sites such as competition sites will need multiple ones such as competition announcements and closings. It is all up to you.
  • What is the purpose of this? It saves time. All you have to do is spend about 5 minutes writing a few messages and saving it. Then, you are free to copy and paste the message whenever you have a request.
  • Examples of prewritten messages:

    Accepted: Hello! Your request as been accepted. I will notify you when it is completed. In the meantime, feel free to neomail me if you have any questions.
    - YOURNAME

    Denied: Hello! I am sorry to say, but your request has been denied because of [state reason(s) here]. However, if you would still like to request, feel free to send in another one. Feel free to neomail me if you have any questions.
    - YOURNAME

    Common Mistakes

    There are a couple of minor mistakes that I tend to see throughout sites. They're not particularly serious, however, these mistakes can add up and negatively effect your site. Here's a list of the top mistakes that I have gathered:

  • Images sticking together. Although this is not a serious issue, but having your images spaced out improves the overall aesthetic of your site. There's just something about properly spaced images that makes it pleasing to the eye. The most common times when I see this involves link back buttons:
  • The reason why the images stick together is because they are placed right next to each other:

    (BUTTON 1) (BUTTON 2) (BUTTON 3) (BUTTON 4)

    This is an easy fix. Just put each button on their own separate line such as:

    (BUTTON 1)
    (BUTTON 2)
    (BUTTON 3)
    (BUTTON 4)
    The results:

    So, my code overall looks like this:

  • Not aligning text to the left. Always align large bodies of text to the left because it makes your page easier to read. Only center small pieces of text and images (will get more into centered images later).
  • For instance, try reading these two versions of the same excerpt:

    1. The face of those neopians forever scarred in my mind. I will get revenge for what they did to me and my family. Because of them, I have lost my older brother and my owner. Now all that's left of my family is me, a blue lupe, and my little brother who is a baby lupe. These days, people don't notice or even care about what happens to us pets who are abandoned. We are just shut away in the pound awaiting for a next owner who will soon abandon us. (Excerpt taken from Parchment)

    2. The face of those neopians forever scarred in my mind. I will get revenge for what they did to me and my family. Because of them, I have lost my older brother and my owner. Now all that's left of my family is me, a blue lupe, and my little brother who is a baby lupe. These days, people don't notice or even care about what happens to us pets who are abandoned. We are just shut away in the pound awaiting for a next owner who will soon abandon us. (Excerpt taken from Parchment)

    Which one was easier to read? Hopefully you agree that the second one was. By having your text align to the left instead of centered, you can avoid the choppy formatting.

  • Not linking name in your introduction to your userlookup. If you site does not offer requests, or require a lot of contact between you and the visitor, you should at the very least link your name to your userlookup.
  • Why? Because it provides a way for visitors to neomail you if they have any questions or concerns.

    On the other hand, this is also important because it allows a way for your visitor to kind of get to know you. They can go to your userlookup and browse around such as reading what you have written there. Overall, the main reason is to provide a way to communicate.

  • Inefficient space usage. There are some sites that I tend to come upon that have excessive scrolling due to the page not using its space wisely.
  • A common mistake that I tend to see, is again, with link back buttons. Buttons would be organized like this in the sitely page:


    It does not look like much since there is only two buttons shown, but think about how it would look if the site has 6 or even 10 buttons. Think of how much scrolling it would take. Instead, just place your link back buttons so that the button is on top and the textarea is below the button like this:


    In order to get this look, instead of putting [ br ] after each button image, put it once after all the images are placed. So your code would look like this:

    (BUTTON 1)
    (BUTTON 2)[ br ]
    [ textarea ] BUTTON 1 [ / textarea ]
    [ textarea ] BUTTON 2 [ / textarea ]

    Overall, your coding should look similar to mine:

  • Not centering images. This is a small mistake, but if corrected, it can do wonders for your site. Take a look and note the differences below:
  • 1.

    2.

    Notice how in the second one, the images seemed to fill up the text box despite it only being 3 in total. By centering your images, your page physically looks better, but it is more filling. Also, the same goes for link back buttons. Always center.

    Story Driven or Not?

    When in the process of opening up a site, many site owners debate over whether or not they want their site to have a certain theme and a story to go with it. Examples of these types of sites are The Teahouse and Parchment.

    Having a story throughout your site draws in the visitor's attention. They like the adventure of going through each page and putting themselves in the world that you imagined for your site. After all, a site is a place for you to express your creativity.

    However, not having a story is fine as well. There are plenty of amazing sites with a classic site structure and look such as Details and Project Star. Although these sites may have a theme, the sites themselves do not really expand more on it. Instead, the sites provide you the necessary information needed and get right into business.

    Putting together a story site involves a couple of factors:

  • Deciding on a central theme and finding a layout that fits said theme. Often times this is tricky. Many sites offer CSS premades that allow you to edit to your liking, but this usually only works for experienced coders. There are also graphic based layouts, but the layout may not be what you envisioned. The best thing would be to request a layout, but open requests are often hard to come by.
  • The process of writing the story. This step usually comes after deciding on a layout. Do you want the story to be scattered around your site or just on your homepage?
  • If you decided to scatter your story throughout your site, you need to keep in mind that you are leading the visitor throughout your site until the very last page. Usually the story starts off right after the introduction in your homepage and ending with a brief good-bye message on your sitely page. Take a look at The Teahouse or Parchment as examples.
  • If you decided on a homepage story, you only need to worry about writing a brief piece for your homepage. An example of this is A La Carte. Basically, you choose to open up your site with a story setting welcoming the visitor.
  • Overall, a story driven site allows the visitor to interact more with the site. It also lets you create more creative features centering around your site. For example, when Sweeters Cafe was still open, I created an extra called The Recipe Book where I gave a little insight on how I write reviews and tips for future reviewers.
  • That concludes this section. Having a story driven site will benefit the visitor by allowing them to interact with the site more. If the story is written well, the visitor will leave thinking about your site. However not having a story on your site is fine as well. You can still make sure visitors have an enjoyable experience by paying more attention to other factors such as service and extra features. When it comes down to it, it really is all up to the site owner of wanting to put in the extra effort of thinking up of a theme and writing a story to go with it.

    Credit

    Even if you are new to the site community, chances are that you would still see the word credit and how much it is repeated on most sites. But if you are new, what does this really mean?

    The definition of credit is to give acknowledgement to a work you have used that is not yours. In other words, be sure to give credit to the person who's graphic or content that you have used.

    Why is giving credit important? Imagine you are in a group project with another person and it is a day before the due date and you both have not started. All of a sudden, your partner decides to back out because they are too "busy" and leaves you with all the work. So, you spend the entire night doing the project only to walk in the next day to hear your partner telling the teacher that they did all the work. How would you feel? I would assume angry or frustrated. This is the same with site owners. If you are going to use someone else's work, credit them because behind that piece of content may be hours or even days of work; so it is only courteous to give them the credit that they deserve.

    When should you give credit?

  • When you are using a graphic/code/resources that is not made by you. Anything that you find on a site that is not yours and you did not make needs to be credited. That includes coding. If you did not type it out by hand, and have copied it from another site, you need to mention it in your credits.
  • When you are inspired by an idea. Yes, even ideas deserve credit. This is not to say that you need to credit a tutorial that taught you how to edit an image (though it is appreciated by the tutorial writer). What I mean is when you see a unique feature on a site that you like. For example, when Parchment added a story request station, other writing sites got inspiration from the rules. So to credit me, they listed it in the credits section of their site.
  • How do you give credit?

  • A textlink is the most common form of credit. Just simply have the link lead to the site where you got your content from. A textlink is usually placed in the credits section of the site.
  • Linking back graphics to their original site. This is popular with link back buttons and random graphics around your site such as extra images and whatnot. This is also convenient for you as a site owner because you will not have to list where you got each graphic in the credit section. If you choose to link back your graphics, be sure to mention something in your credits along the lines of: All graphics not made by me link back to their creators.
  • Overall, it is important to credit those who deserve it. A simple mention in the credits section or a linked graphic is a small price to pay for the creator's time.

    Fixer-uppers

    This post is very much like the common mistakes one. However, it is about minor mistakes. These small mistakes are not exactly mistakes, but more like they will make your site more convenient when fixed. As a reviewer, if I see these errors on your site, it will be unlikely for me to take off points in the review. But I would strongly recommend you to fix them.

  • The first mistake is one that I see often in graphic sites. The mistake is not providing a code for your images. Granted, it is tedious to have a textarea code under every icon or banner, and not to mention, it takes up a lot of space. It is fine to not have a code under every graphic. Instead, provide a small textarea with a graphic code on top of your content page so that it is convenient for anyone who wants to use your graphic. An example of a site having this feature would be Bedazzled. However, you can also view an example below.
  • This way, people can easily plug in the image URL into a code and using the graphic right away. They would not have to type up their own. This is also an easy way to make sure you get credit for your work because the image would already link to your site if the visitor uses the code.

  • Another mistake that I commonly see is in Button request sites. The mistake is not linking the completed button to the site that requested it, and not linking the button code to your own site. The button linking to the requester's site is more for the convenience of your visitors rather than yourself. By linking the button to the actual site, you are, in a way, advertising the site. It is also a way to introduce a new site into the community because most of the time, a site requests a button because it is new. It allows directories and other visitors to come to the new site and bring it business. Examples of sites that do this are Oyster and Floret. An example is also shown below:

  • The button above is one that I quickly whipped up. When you click on the button it leads you to the site it is made for (which is this one) and when you copy the code, the button will lead you directly back to where it was made. By having your button link back to your site in the coding, it guarantees that the site owner will give you credit. Overall, linking back the button to the site that requested will spread word about the site itself.

  • This next one can be seen in all sites, but it is most common in writing-based ones. The mistake is overly long paragraphs. Just looking at a long piece of text makes me tired, so imagine having to read through it. By separating your paragraphs into shorter ones, your site not only looks aesthetically better, but is also easier to read. Your visitors will not get as tired reading through your site's content. Take a look at the two examples below:
  • 1. Everyone has heard of the great heroes of Neopia right? We have all heard of their legendary battles, and good deeds. We all know that they are always going to be around to protect Neopia with their lives. But what if a band of Neopia's most wanted and evils decide to join forces, and the final recruit is at the bottom of Maraqua? All of a sudden the heroes vanish and are not seen. What will Neopia do at this time of crisis? With all of this happening, a group of normal neopians travel up to Altador to visit the Hall of Heroes. Here, they acquire special abilities that the heroes have, and with the help of a certain janitor, they might just save the world. (Excerpt taken from Parchment)

    2. Everyone has heard of the great heroes of Neopia right? We have all heard of their legendary battles, and good deeds. We all know that they are always going to be around to protect Neopia with their lives. But what if a band of Neopia's most wanted and evils decide to join forces, and the final recruit is at the bottom of Maraqua? All of a sudden the heroes vanish and are not seen. What will Neopia do at this time of crisis?

    With all of this happening, a group of normal neopians travel up to Altador to visit the Hall of Heroes. Here, they acquire special abilities that the heroes have, and with the help of a certain janitor, they might just save the world.

    Which one was easier to read? Or which one did you prefer to read? I hope the second one was your answer. The shorter paragraphs provide a sort of break for the reader and kind of tricks them into thinking they are reading less than they have to. By breaking your wall of text into paragraphs, you can also separate your ideas, thus improving the organization in your site.

  • Having linked borders on buttons and graphics is also a small mistake. This applies to all sites. Although there is no problem in having a linked border, it does not make your page very attractive.
  • How can you tell if a graphic has a linked border? This is relatively simple. Take a button for example. If a button has a linked border, it will be surrounded by a black border. This makes the button look unattractive.

    How can this be fixed? This is also a simple solution. Just add this code to your button/graphic (A brief explanation is also in the textarea below):

  • Tiny div boxes. This is most common in review sites. Although there are not many active classic review sites at the moment, I would still like to point this out just in case someone is interested in opening one.
  • Take a look at the div boxes on this page as an example. They are small but the right size for the content. They merely serve as a way for me to organize the different points and examples without having to create excess scrolling. The content inside these boxes are not lengthy.

    Now, think about how a review would look like in one of these boxes. Take a look at one of my reviews in the pick-up section. Imagine having to read an entire review in one of these boxes. One, it would most likely discourage you. Two, think of how much scrolling there is.

    In order to remedy this problem, you can simply make the div boxes larger to fit with the large text. Or you can put the review on a separate page all together. An example of a review site with a well-executed div box is Esteemed and for the review being on a completely separate page, just take a look at Indulge's pick-up section.

    Overall, make the div boxes the size that is appropriate to the situation. For updates, a smaller size is good enough. But for large bodies of texts such as reviews or guides, the box needs to be bigger.

    Resources & Extra Graphics

    When you enter a site one of the first things you would notice are the resources and extra graphics used. The resources typically range from bullets, neomail signs, status signs, placeholders, and more. Extra graphics include icons, fake avatars, banners, pixels, etc. In this section, I am going to be talking about the importance of using resources and why extra graphics can be helpful.

    Resources are a great way to draw attention to important aspects of your site such as request statuses and neomail links. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a regular text link or bolded status sign. But, what exactly are resources? Resources are anything that is used to help your site function. In other words, think of them as signs. They can point you in the right direction, show you status updates, or lead you to another page.

    Commonly used resources are bullets, neomail signs, status signs, and placeholders. There are more, but these are the most used. Bullets can help organize rules or lists. Unlike coding your own bullets, using a graphic bullet provides that extra pop of color to your site. Neomail signs lead you directly to blank message. Status signs show you if the site owner is currently available to take requests. Finally, placeholders are used in place of graphics. For example, I would use a button placeholder to show that a button is meant to go in a certain spot. These are temporary and will be replaced with the graphic that you intended for that spot.

    Extra graphics are usually a great touch to any site. These graphics are different from resources in that they are not necessarily needed for a site to function. They are mainly there for decoration. Then, why are they important? They are important because they can really liven up a page. Sometimes it is nice to have a picture to look at when reading a large body of text. An example of this would be any of the posts in this site. I make sure that each post has a fun image to tie it together. They are also a great way to fill in any empty space. If there are only a few words or a textbox on a page, just add a banner or icon to give an illusion of the page being filled.

    Using resources and graphics are great. However, it is easy to overuse them or use them ineffectively. Although there are plenty of nice resources out there, pick one style that you like and stick with it throughout your site. For example, with neomail signs. Let's say you have these to choose from:


    First, look at the ones that complement your site's theme/color scheme. The colors that go well with my site are mainly purple, pink, and gray so I gathered resources of those colors. Next, pick the one style that you like best and will be most effective. For me, I chose the third one because I kept in mind of my site's textarea sizes. It aligns perfectly with my textarea and evens out my page. This strategy can be used with all resources. Make sure that the colors match your site and be consistent when using them. Have one style of neomail signs, status signs, bullets, etc throughout your entire site. This will improve the overall aesthetics of your site.

    The over and ineffective use of extra graphics can also tie into the reasons with the resources. The difference with graphics is that they do not have to be the same every time you use them and the colors do not necessarily have to match your site's color scheme. Of course, if they do, your site will appear more consistent. The main thing that you need to look out for is to not pile the graphics on a page (unless your site is a graphic site and it's your content page). But if you're just using a graphic for decoration, try limiting it to maximum of two graphics to each page. This also depends on how much text is on a page. If the page is text-heavy, then more graphics will help alleviate the pain of reading through the large body.

    Overall, resources and extra graphics are a great way to enhance your site and aesthetics. Resources are a helpful way to guiding your visitors and extra graphics contribute to your site's charm. No matter how you use your resources and graphics, be sure to be consistent and not overuse them.

    Request

    From time to time I get the urge to review so this section is for that. Requests will open randomly so check frequently if you're interested. Also, be sure to read the rules below before requesting.

    Rules

    Be sure to link back before you request a review. Credit is mandatory.

    Keep in mind that the review is my opinion so please be polite. Also, be sure to read each rubric carefully before requesting.

    Only request when requests are open and one request at a time. If you read the rules, include your favorite dessert somewhere in the form.

    Select the rubric that you want, and be sure to fill out the form completely. Also, do not make any big changes to your site while you are on the waiting list.

    Rubrics

    In-depth

    Homepage: This includes everything on your homepage. The introduction is the part where you introduce yourself and your site to others. See if your introduction made sense, and did your name link back to your userlookup. Also, see if your introduction told enough information on your site and if the page is organized.

    Rules: Are your rules fair? Do you sound too harsh? Do they make sense? Easy to understand?

    Layout and Organization: Your layout is very important because it's the first impression that the visitors see when they enter your site. Looking to see if your layout is pleasing to the eye, and if it's organized. See if your site's navigation works and is easy to spot and use. Also take a quick glance through your site to see if anything is out of place, or needs to be positioned a bit better.

    Spelling and Grammar: This is a quick read through your site to see if there are any mistakes.

    Sitely: The sitely part of your site usually contains Link Backs, Affiliates, Listers, and your Credits. Critique your link back buttons to see if they are high quality.

    Content: Your content is the most important thing on your site because it lets others know what you have. See if you organized your content in a manner that is easy to access and use. Is it neat? Are the textarea/textboxes the right size? Your content's quality will also be scored on here.

    Revisit: Yes/No

    Recommended: Yes/No

    Pro/Con

    Pros: What is good about your site. This review can be in bullets. Some things to comment on can be layout, content, organization, spelling/grammar, anything that is positive and stands out.

    Cons: Some of the things that you need to improve on as well as ways that you can fix it. Some things to comment on can be layout, content, organization, spelling/grammar, anything that you think can be/needs to be improved.

    Visual

    First Impression: What do you first see when you enter your site? Does anything stand out? What do you like and don't like? Go over your site's introduction, and see if it has all the necessary requirements such as your name linking back to your userlookup, information about site, and neomail link.

    Spelling and Grammar: This is a quick read through your site if there are any mistakes.

    Layout and Organization: Your layout is very important because it's the first impression that the visitors see when they enter your site. Looking to see if your layout is pleasing to the eye, and if it's organized. See if your site's navigation works and is easy to spot and use. Also take a quick glance through your site to see if anything is out of place, or needs to be positioned a bit better.

    Q&A

    This is a simple questions and answers review. You will be able to ask questions about your site and I will do my best to answer them. This type of review is always open even when requests are closed and will be done through neomail. When requesting this rubric, be sure to include all your answers in the form.

    Examples of questions:

  • How should I organize my sitely page?
  • What do you think of my introduction? Is there any way that I can improve it?
  • Is my site organization okay? If not, how can I improve?


  • Waiting List

    1. Name | Rubric | Site
    2. Name | Rubric | Site
    3. Name | Rubric | Site

    Pick-up

    This is where you can pick up your review requests.

    Candy | In-depth | 02/17/18 | Read more?



    Angela | In-depth | 02/17/18 | Read more?



    Jewlz | In-depth | 03/18/18 | Read more?



    Name | Rubric | Date Completed | Read more?



    Name | Rubric | Date Completed | Read more?

    Candy | In-depth

    Homepage

    There is really nothing to say about your homepage. You introduce your site nicely in your introduction as well as make your site's goal clear. The only thing that I would fix is maybe bold or italicize key words in your introduction. Examples include your site's name and the type of site it is. Overall, nice job here.

    Rules

    Your rules are all straightforward and fair. It is also nice how they are not long, which makes them a quick read.

    Layout and Organization

    All your links work and everything is organized nicely. Each type of pet goes in their respective categories, and nothing seems to be out of order.

    However, there are a few things that I would fix. In your sitely page for instance, you have different sections where you provide a pet directory, customization help, and more. This makes your sitely page cluttered. To fix this, I suggest creating an extras page where you can move all of this other stuff there, thus clearing up some space. Creating an extras page will also allow you to add more features to your site.

    Spelling and Grammar

    After a quick read through your site, I did not find any spelling/grammar mistakes. Good job here!

    Sitely

    Like mentioned in the Layout and Organization section, your sitely page is cluttered. I suggest moving everything but your link back buttons, affiliates, listers, and credits to an extras page. This will make your page appear less crowded.

    Lastly, for this page I suggest requesting another link back button or two. This will give your visitors more options when they want to link back. I will provide a few active button request sites in the suggestions section.

    Content

    You have a wide variety of pets listed. This is good because it gives your directory variety. Also, the layout does a great job at presenting each pet. The dark colors complement the type of pets as well as makes them stand out. I also liked how you included a blurb about the pets from their owners. This is a nice touch because it gives the pets personality.

    Your content display and variety in itself is fine. The only thing that I think you should fix is your form. Put your form in a textarea to make it easier for your visitor to fill it out on your site. It also makes it easier for visitors to copy and paste. They can simply just choose select all and then paste it into a neomail. It also helps if you have a neomail sign instead of a text link. This makes the link stand out more and easier to find. I will also put a few resources that I think will complement your site in the suggestions section.

    Also, I think it would also help if you added an open or closed status bar/graphic above your form. This will show your visitors then you are accepting listing requests and not. It will also make it convenient for you when you decide to close requests.

    Revisit: Yes

    I will definitely revisit to see the rest of pets that you have listed.

    Recommended: Yes

    From the layout to how each pet is displayed makes this site a pleasant place to be. The blurb also makes it enjoyable to read about each pet and see their owner's opinions.

    Suggestions

    Button Requests (All open requests)

    Resources that I think complements your site (All images link back to their respectful sites)


    Remember to link back! (Goes right under the 'reviewed by' section) I have added your review and everything in the button below. When you roll over the button after pasting on your site, you will be able to see your score. Hope the review was helpful!


    Angela | In-depth

    Homepage

    Right when I entered your site, my eyes were immediately drawn to the welcome banner on your homepage. I felt that this was a nice touch since it establishes the theme of your site right away. The only thing that I would fix here is maybe provide a text right below the welcome message that says, click here so that the visitor would know how to get to the actual introduction.

    Your introduction is fine. It gets straight to the point and introduces your site nicely. The only thing that I would fix is maybe bold or italicize key words in your introduction. Examples include your site's name, the type of site, and your goals. Also, be sure to include a way for your visitor to neomail you. I suggest ending your introduction with something like: If you have any questions, please neomail me.
    Have neomail me link to a neomail with your username included.

    Also, for your updates section, I noticed how your updates can be seen if you roll your mouse over the x in the top right corner of your site. However, I would not have known this unless I accidentally placed my mouse there. This is a simple fix. You can replace the x with the word updates instead. Another way that you can fix this is by mentioning it in your introduction. Something like: You can see the site updates if you roll your mouse over the x in the top right corner of the site.

    Rules

    Everything made sense and seemed to be in order. Your rules were straight to the point and short and sweet. Good job here!

    Layout and Organization

    All of your links work nicely and your site does not have any broken images. However, the way that you organized your navigation can be improved upon.

    First, I suggest ordering your navigation from the most important pages to the least. Therefore, I think it is best if you organized it like this: Home, Premades, Font Menu, Sparkle Lines, Request, Pick-up, Portfolio, Extras, and then Sitely.

    Having your Premades before your request page will allow your visitor to browse through your selection before deciding if they want to request. You might have something that fits their needs in your premades so it saves the both of you time.

    According to your site, you require requesters to choose a preferred style in your font menu or sparkle lines while requesting. Having these pages right before your request section makes it convenient for your requester because they will get to see the different styles that you offer right before they fill out the form. This will also allow them to decide if your style is right for them or not.

    For your request page, there really is nothing wrong with how you organized it. However, I think it would look better like this:

    Having your information paragraph align to the left column caused too much scrolling, so what I did was put it out of the left float and placed it on top. I also moved your request sign and placed it on the right because people typically read from left to right. It's just a matter of convenience for your visitor. If you like how the new page looks, here is the coding:

    You can also use the code above for your other request option as well. Another thing on your request page, is to include a sentence about referring to the font menu in the information paragraph and linking it to the menu itself.

    Another organization tweak that I would make is in your pick-up and premades section. Your textareas are placed after another for each font that you finish leaving a lot of extra space on the right. To save space, put each textarea next to each other. After going through your code I realized why your textareas would not stay side by side. It is because the coding for the textareas that you use is too big for your text box. To fix this, I added a new textarea code for you and the results looked like this:

    If you like what you see, here are the two separate codes. The first textarea contains the code for the sizing and formatting of the textarea itself. You would place this in the top code. (Feel free to edit and customize this code) The second textarea contains the code that you would use to create the textarea. The third textarea is the coded part that you see in the example above.

    Your Portfolio can either be a part of the navigation or it can be in the Extras page. The reason why I included an extras page is so that you can add more features to your site, since you mentioned your interest in it in your request. I will get more into what you can include in your extras page in the suggestions part of this review.

    Spelling and Grammar

    The only spelling/grammar mistake I found was that you needed to capitalize the a in your name in the introduction. Overall, good job here!

    Sitely

    For your sitely page, you have a variety of high quality link back buttons. However, there is a couple that are low quality. It is good to remember to have high quality buttons on your site because when the buttons get used, they attract more attention and visitors. Here are the buttons that I think should be replaced:


    The animation on this button is certainly unique. However, the text is what makes this button lose points. The thing with pixelated text is that you can only make it so big until it becomes unreadable and blurry. This is what happened with this button. If the text were a size or two smaller and centered to the left more, this would have been an exceptional button.


    Unlike the previous button, the text on this one is easier to read. But what makes this button low quality is the background, text execution, and animation. There is no clear or definite background. A good button usually has a focal point or main image to make it stand out. This button does not have that. The white shadowing of the text also brings the quality down making the button look tacky. Lastly, the animation is too fast. Right after the first round, it picks back up almost right away. A button needs breathing room between each animation.

    According to your neomail, you stated that your sitely page is a mess. However, I do not think it is at all. Your textareas for your buttons are a little too big for my taste, but that is really just a personal preference. It does not need to be fixed if you are happy with how it looks. The only thing that I would change is the form for affiliates. Most sites do not need a form to apply for affiliates. Site owners usually know that requesting to be affiliates just involves asking politely and providing a link. There is really nothing that needs to be fixed here.

    Content

    Your content is where your site shines. Over the course of your site being open, you have completed many requests as well as premades. This gives your visitors a lot of variety and things to choose from even when your requests are closed.

    Looking at your fonts themselves, you seem to have a good grasp on color usage. The fonts are all simple and appealing.

    The only thing that I would add to your content is the image of the actual avatar that corresponds to each font rather than writing just the name. This will let your visitors know which avatar you are referring to since not everyone memorizes the name of each avatar or know how they look. There is not much to say other than to keep working hard!

    Revisit: No

    Although your site offers a lot of variety in fonts, I would not revisit due to the organization issues since it makes moving around your site rather difficult. However, after a few tweaks here and there, I will definitely drop by again.

    Recommended: Yes

    I will recommend this site due to it's content. The fonts are well-made and pleasing to look at. There are also a wide variety of premades for those who are interested in getting a quick font.

    Suggestions

    Coding Help Sites just in case my codes or explanations were not clear. Here are a few sites that I have used throughout the years such as this Coding Guide.

    Ideas:

  • A small tutorial on how you make your fonts. A lot of people may want to create their own fonts, so creating a basic tutorial will provide them what they need to start.
  • Color Palettes. Provide a few of your favorite color palettes as a resource.
  • Other resource sites. You can never go wrong with recommending resources.
  • Font templates. Create a section with a few uncolored templates (typically in monochrome) so that visitors can color them in themselves.
  • Tips and Tricks. This can tie into the tutorial idea. Provide a few tips about how you make your fonts. You can also include popular font faces here as well.
  • Vocabulary. There may be some confusing terms when talking about fonts, so you can create a place where you clear up these misunderstandings.
  • Remember to link back! (Goes right under the 'reviewed by' section) I have added your review and everything in the button below. When you roll over the button after pasting on your site, you will be able to see your score. Hope the review was helpful!


    Jewlz | In-depth

    Homepage

    Upon entering your site, my eyes were immediately drawn to the banner. The colors used complement your site nicely. There really is not much to say about your homepage. Everything was neatly organized and the introduction was straight to the point. The only thing that I would fix is to link your name to your userlookup. This opens a way of communication between you and the visitor and it also allows them to easily reach you.

    Rules

    Your rules are all straightforward and fair. It is also nice how they are not long, which makes them a quick read.

    Layout and Organization

    Your layout itself is nicely made. The color scheme makes the site pleasing to look at. When I first entered your site, I initially thought that the textboxes would be too small for the content, since layouts tend to need a larger content box to be neatly displayed. However, you did a good job making sure to use your space efficiently.

    Your content is displayed nicely, and everything on your site seems to be in working order (all the links work and navigation leads to where it is meant to be). The only thing that needs fixing is your visitor counter in your sitely page. While the counter itself is fine, it does not display the total of visitors.

    Spelling and Grammar

    There were a few minor mistakes throughout your site, but not so much that your meaning does not get across. Below are some corrections and the coding for each one.

  • Introduction: Element is a premade css layout site run by Jewlz. For the moment, all the layouts on this site are petpage layouts that have a matching color scheme to their graphics to keep things bright and fun! Of course, all our layouts are customizable. Element was designed to be used with the jewel family sites to create the perfect layout. All content is interchangeable within sites. So take a look around and see if you find something to your liking.
  • Element Layouts Have Multiple Views (Last 3 Sentences): You can find the layout code in the boxes below the images. Use CTRL A + CTRL C to copy all the text. As previously stated, all of these layouts can be easily edited. There is also additional instructions for use within the layout coding itself.
  • Sitely

    Everything seems to be in order in your sitely page. The page is organized nicely and everything is easy to find. One thing that I suggest you add is the code to remove linked borders to your button codes: border = 0. Remember to put quotation marks around the 0 and remove spaces. There are, however, a few link back buttons that can be replaced.

    This button is nicely cropped and the text is well executed. The color scheme also matched the button as well. The reason why the quality of this button is on the lower side compared to your other ones, is because the shine animation lags. It makes the button appear tacky.

    The colors on this button are used nicely. What throws this button off is the text and the image used. For starters, the image is way too big for this button and pixelated. The image takes up more than half of the button which blocks out the majority of the text and hinders the scrolling animation.

    Content

    From just recently being revamped, you have a wide variety of layouts. This is good because it gives your visitors a lot of choose from.

    Now lets take a look at the layouts themselves. For the most part, they are all simple in structure with simple color schemes, which is a strong point because this allows for the user to get creative with editing.

    Highest Quality Layouts: Smell the Roses and Cotton Candy. While most of your layouts seem to be easily edited, these I think are your strongest. Smell the Roses is a typical request site layout that I feel will be convenient to those who are starting out. It has a replaceable banner and the colors are easily adjusted as well. Cotton Candy, like Smell the Roses can be easily adjusted to your liking. I felt that the design is classically appealing and allows the user freedom to edit it to their preference.

    Layouts that can be Improved: Over the Rainbow and I Dreamed a Dream. While most of your layouts are pretty solid when it comes to structure and easy to understand coding, there are a few that can be improved. The structure for Over the Rainbow itself is convenient. Especially for guilds with portals. However, the image(s) and colors used do not complement the layout. The black birds stands out in the layout and draws attention away from the rest of the layout. I suggest changing the color to something lighter. The title itself is not attention-grabbing enough. Try colors that are a bit bolder. I Dreamed a Dream is nicely coded and structured. The only thing that I think should be changed is the title. Sine the layout is dark, having a dark colored title does not make it stand out as much. You want the title to draw attention. I suggest a yellow or white to go with the night sky theme.

    Overall, you have a wide variety of content that is appealing and of quality. The small explanations to the side of each layout is also a nice touch since it allows the visitor to know a bit about the layout before deciding to use it.

    Revisit: Yes

    I will definitely revisit to see upcoming layouts or to use the current ones.

    Recommended: Yes

    I would recommend Element because I feel that it is a great resource for anyone who is looking for a new layout or want to improve their coding with a basic structure.

    Suggestions

    This is where I usually recommend active review sites, but there are currently none. If there is anything that you are curious about, take a look at the content page for additional site tips.

    Remember to link back! (Goes right under the 'reviewed by' section) I have added your review and everything in the button below. When you roll over the button after pasting on your site, you will be able to see your score. Hope the review was helpful!


    Extras

    Here you can find extra features that you can explore.

    Story

    Here, you can read the continuation of the site story and the reasons why this site was opened.

    Checklist

    A general site checklist.

    Helpful Sites

    A list of sites that are useful for site-improvement.

    Portfolio

    A place where all my past reviews go.

    Suggestion Box

    Have something you want to see? This is the place to tell me.

    Story

    The first part is the continuation of the story in the homepage. Below that is the reason why this site was opened.

    Continuation

    After she gets you seated and tells you to take your time ordering, she goes back to the group of people at the counter and hands them their packed orders after a small chat. Then, she walks back to you and asks you what you would like to order.

    You scan the menu for a moment and decide on a Sweeters Cupcake and a Bubble Tea. Upon hearing your order, Tiffany gives you a small smile and quickly notes it down.

    A few minutes later, she comes back with your order and places it in front of you.

    Please enjoy and call me if you need anything, She says before going back into the kitchen.

    You thank her and dig into your food. The cupcake, you observe, contains all the colors of the rainbow and topped with cupcake shaped sprinkles along with a raspberry. Interesting, you think to yourself. Without waiting another moment, you dig in. The cupcake is sweet, but not so sweet that it gets tiring. The cake itself is perfectly moist and the pink lemon buttercream frosting adds just the right amount of zest. As for the flavor of the cake, you can't put your finger on it. You taste vanilla, chocolate, a mixed variety of berries, but there is something else. Something that ties all of the bizarre combination of flavors together.

    Before you knew it, you have already finished the cupcake. So then you move onto the tea. The first sip cools down your body and relaxes you immediately. There is a slight bitter tea taste, but it immediately washes away when you bite into the boba. What a perfect way to end the snack.

    You take a look around the cafe while sipping your tea. You see pictures on the walls of past customers with Tiffany. She looks younger, you think to yourself.

    Tiffany comes back and places the bill on your table and tells you to take your time. There was no one in the cafe now so you stop her and ask her about the pictures on the walls.

    When she hears your question, another small smile pulls at her lips as she turns her gaze towards the pictures.

    After a moment of comfortable silence, Tiffany pulls out of her thoughts and says, As you have already guessed, these are my past customers. She pauses for a second as if she were debating whether or not she should say the next part. She walks over to a smaller picture and brings it over to your table to show you. These pictures were not taken here at this cafe. Rather, they were at my first one, Sweeters Cafe. However, that cafe is long gone now. Though, there are some instances where long-term customers come back and visit, She says with a kind of wistful tone as she stares at the picture on the table. At this moment, you realize that the group of people who was talking so happily were a group of her old visitors. No wonder they were so familiar with each other, you think.

    You take a look at the picture and see a building slightly larger than the one you are sitting in. The cafe in the picture had a small outdoor seating area and sitting there was Tiffany surrounded by a group of friends. What catches your attention most in the picture are the three cupcakes in the middle of the table. One of them is the cupcake that you just had moments before.

    You point out the cupcake and ask Tiffany if it is the same one you just had. She nods and says, It is. That cupcake was Sweeters Cafe's specialty. It is made with all of the ingredients used in the other cupcakes and baked treats along with an extra ingredient to tie it all together. I remember everyone wanted one of the cupcakes when it first came out. Her eyes sparkled as she recalled these memories.

    But, all good things have to come to an end, Tiffany sighs as she puts back the picture. Now, I am just a tired baker who yearns for a time when the cafe was still bustling with life.

    She turns to look at you and for a moment, her eyes lights up. But people like you are what keeps me coming back to the kitchen, She says with a bit more energy than before, I may not have the same energy as I did when I first opened Sweeters Cafe, but I am willing to pass down my knowledge in the business if you're interested?

    Tiffany puts out her hand and you stare at it as you debate whether you are ready or not to apprentice under her.

    So, will you take her hand or not?

    Our Story

    Indulge is an extension of my now closed review site, Sweeters Cafe. Now that Sweeters Cafe is closed, I noticed that the site community lacked review sites. However, I did not want to get back into reviewing due to my busy schedule. So then, I took some time to mull it over. New sites were constantly popping up, but there was no one new owners could turn to for advice on how to improve. Granted, there were plenty of site guides, but most were out-dated. So, I was inspired to create Indulge.

    Indulge started off as a self-reviewing site where the site owner could actually go through the process of being a reviewer for their own site. However, that project fell through and was not completed. After several months of thinking, I still felt like the site community needed something it could turn to for help. Thus, the Indulge help site emerged. This way, I will be able to update as I like as well as have a site that will never truly be completed. I also felt that with it being written as a blog, it will be a quick and easy read.

    Checklist

    Below is a checklist to a successful site. Not everything on the list is referring to every site. Single out the parts that you think applies to your site.

    [ ] Well organized layout. Are all of the links working? Is everything easy to find and nicely laid out?

    [ ] Goals, Spelling & Grammar. Did you clearly state your goal and purpose of your site in the introduction? Is the writing in your site clear? Is it easy to understand?

    [ ] Content. High quality? Is there quantity? Is it organized properly?

    [ ] Service. Are you responding to neomails regularly? Are you friendly with the visitor/requester? Are the forms and rules easy to follow? Are you open to suggestions?

    Helpful Sites

    Here are some sites to help you on your site making journey. Be sure to read the descriptions for each site.

    How to Write for the Web and Talia's Writing Guide are both great guides to writing. Both guides show you how to properly structure your writing as well as keep your visitor engaged.

    Atlas is your one stop shop to finding out all about the different types of site there is. Here, you will find information on each type of site and the responsibilities that come with it. This is a great read for those wanting to create a site, but do not know where to start.

    A simple guide on how to run a successful site. This site will give you the basics of running your site to help you get started. Good for new owners.

    This is a guide to owning a link directory. This site provides in-depth explanations on how to make your link directory successful as well as extra pointers. This page is a great read for both new and veteran directory owners.

    Although the links and images on this site may be broken, the content itself is priceless. This site has in-depth articles on how to write reviews and tips on running a review site. Even now, I still often refer to this guide to help me write reviews. Highly recommended read for those interested in becoming a reviewer.

    If How to Write Great Reviews was too hard to read because of the broken images, give this guide a try instead. Everything is still mostly intact. This is also another guide to reviewing.

    Before creating a site you will need a name and this site will help you with just that. There are a wide variety of names throughout this site, so I'm sure there will be one that appeals to you.

    This site is also filled with broken images. However, that can be overlooked because the information in here is just as valuable as these other guides. This site is your basic how-to-run-a-site guide. Perfect for new site owners.

    Portfolio

    For my full portfolio, click here and scroll all the way down. As for the requests completed at Indulge, I have completed 4 in total. Roll over each button for the score.

    Suggestion Box

    Is there anything that you would like to see on this site? You can request that here. Suggestions can range from new posts to more content on various subjects. Suggestions are always open.


    Sitely

    Link Back




    Affiliates

    Requests are open / Apply?

    Listers

    Credits

  • Layout from Floral, edited by me (tdog_19). Coding for banner from Nienke. Background from Whitespace Resource.
  • Banner created by me (tdog_19).
  • Resources from Whirligig and Bedazzled
  • Buttons, icons, and any other graphic that is not mentioned here link back to their creators



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