- VOTE FOR ME AT GENERICIZING! - I am entered in SOTM and BAOTM. I'd greatly appreciate a vote! Thank you.

AUGUST 29th 2011: + Finished a review of The Escapade, earning Spud 2nd place in the site spotlight. All three sites, Seraphic, The Escapade, and Cadeau, have scored in the 90's and earned them a place there. Check them all out if you get a chance!
+ Ever After is still under construction, however I have added 5 banners and am awaiting multiple link backs.
AUGUST 28th 2011: Hi guys! Updates are cleared now. Sorry for not updating in two days. D: My laptop is running unreasonably slow and I've been avoiding any use of it. The problem is almost cleared up now.
I have created a premade banner site called Ever After (thats a link!) I created Ever After because there simply isn't enough room on Sandbox to host premade banners, and I would like to keep this mainly review-related. Ever After offers premade banners, bases, and it will offer resources. Check it out!

updates cleared every sunday

sandbox reviews v. 3.0

Hello, welcome to Sandbox. Sandbox is an established review site, where I hope to provide quality, in-depth reviews for you. I also take guild layout and banner requests! Please feel free to read on, and contact me here if you have any questions or comments. Look out for my occasional boards on the HC, and don't be afraid to request something! - Aliya

Link Backs

about aliya

Hi, I'm Aliya! I'm 15 as of October 27th, 2011, and I'm from a small town in British Columbia, Canada. Obviously to those less educated, this means I live in an igloo and ride a polar bear to school. I love music, my favorite band being Marianas Trench and my favorite genres including rock, alternative, indie, and djent. I love Doctor Who and one might say I'm a little bit obsessed with it. In other words, I love to draw, sketch, paint, create, and blog.


No fighting in the sandbox! Please respect my decisions and critique on your site- remember that this is my opinion only. If you think there is something wrong with the review, please contact me personally!

Don't squish other sand castles! Be respectful to other sites. Please do not point out other competitor site's differences in order to gain appreciation from me.

No stealing tools! Please refrain from using stolen CSS, graphics, resources, and ideas- credit everything.

Link back! Remember to link back to me, so other people know where to find me. Link back buttons are in the sidebar, and linked for credit.

Offsites are fine. I don't mind rating offsites, as long as they're neo-related. Please don't link me to personal blogs and such, they're not neo-related :)

Request a Review

GOAL FOR 2011: 50

Review Types

Here at the Sandbox, we offer a few different choices on how you would like your site to be reviewed. Feel free to choose the style you would like to be reviewed in, and neomail me the form on the rulebook section.


Recommended for: long-standing established sites
site name | date reviewed | browser reviewed | percentage

This is an all out review of everything on your site, from graphics, to content, to grammar and spelling. The format of the review can be seen below:

GRAPHICS /20: Are the graphics used well, in a way that isn't too overpowering or bright? Are the graphics untidy, unskilled, and do they relate to the theme at all? This is a run down of how well your graphics look in relation to the site and if they add or subtract to the overall effect.
CONTENT /20: The most important part of the site- is your content interesting, relevant, and helpful? Or is the opposite. If you run a graphics site- are they visually appealing, or would no one want to use them? Content is the real body of your site, so expect a long review on this section.
GRAMMAR + SPELLING /15: Grammar and spelling can wreck a site if not used properly. It's important to be professional if you're running a site, and failure to do so can result in unpopularity or an unprofessional look. dus ur sitez content reed lyke dis, or is it professional and easy to read? Lets find out!
ORGANIZATION /15: Is your site well organized? Are the links easy to find and use (if the site is anchored), or are the sections in an acceptable order if the site isn't anchored? Organization can also make or break a site. No one wants to have to navigate around something totally unorganized!
NAME + ORIGINALITY /10: Does your site have a name like ~*~*~FaerieLand~*~*~ or does it have something original, relevant, and interesting? Names that capture your attention really stick out and make people want to read more. As for originality- is your site just like the other hundreds of its kind out there, or is it different and unique?
REVISIT + LINK BACK BUTTONS /10: Would I revisit this site? Your link back buttons also say a lot- if they're poorly made, it basically reflects that your site is poorly made as well.
EFFORT /10: Did you put effort into your site? Its very obvious when you have, and when you haven't. If you don't put effort and will into your site, it's likely that it will close down.
BONUS /5: Does your site have an extra something? If so, it'll go here. Extra comments of mine will also have a place under this section. This can put you over 100% if your site is good enough!

Recommended for: new sites, ones that have been reviewed recently
site name | date reviewed | browser reviewed | score

This is a quick, overall glance at your site, and I'll be rating it out of 10. It will glance over the graphics, content, and grammar- I'll also comment on any other things I find particularly bad, or especially great and original. If you've just started a site or you've got a review from me a little while ago, you can use this as a touch up to see how you're doing.

Next Page

Review Types

Here at the Sandbox, we offer a few different choices on how you would like your site to be reviewed. Feel free to choose the style you would like to be reviewed in, and neomail me the form on the rulebook section.


Recommended for: any site that needs help in any category
site name | date reviewed | browser reviewed | score

This is a specialized review that I will go extremely in-depth on in any of the following categories:
* Graphics
* Content
* Spelling + Grammar
* Originality + Effect
You will be given a percentage on how well you've done in whatever category you have chosen. Expect it to be fairly long, because its only one topic!

Recommended for: high-scoring and established sites
owner name | date reviewed | browser reviewed | score

This review is a very fast one, focusing only on the negatives rather than the positives. I would only suggest this for sites that have gotten medium to high scores in the past (above 60%) from other sites, because it simply does not work for poor sites with a lot of problems. I will note between 5 and 10 problems with the site and explain why they are negatives, and how you can fix them. I highly suggest this choice for higher ranking sites that are trying to touch up. It is meant to be a helpful review and not offensive in any way, even though its focusing on negative!

Previous Page

Completed Reviews

Please read and save your reviews quickly. I do not archive them, so if you want to keep them, I recommend saving them. Please neomail me if you have any questions about your review. Don't forget to link back as well!

spud | august 29th, 2011 | google chrome | 91%

GRAPHICS 18/20: Your layout is well-balanced with brushes, textures, and effects. I think the top navigation bar is unique, and I like that when you click the links, everything stays in the same place. Nothing jumps around showing more/less of the layout, which is what often happens on anchored petpages. I suggest only that for future layouts, you make the title stand out from the rest of the layout. Since visuals fit under graphics, I should let you know that you do have some broken images in your site. The button (as I assume it was) under your welcome paragraph, is broken. In your affiliates section, the 4th affiliate (linking to /~iszan) is broken and replaced by a giant photobucket icon. :D I also noticed that the footer banner features text that looks a little blurry/washed out. I would use a pixel font like silkscreen or handy00 with a border, it'll look a lot cleaner and more discreet. Just fix those up, and everything will be great visually. I like the use of neopets images as a bullet on your titles as well.
CONTENT 17/20: Starting with your graphics layouts, I think they are well made, but a little on the plain side. I would actually suggest leaving any titles off the layouts, because a lot of people edit layouts and would want to put their own title on it, whether it be for a guild or a site, etc. Your CSS layouts are clean, simple, and perfect for editing or adding graphics to, assuming that is allowed. The little blurbs beside the layout offer some information about it without having to try and preview the layout yourself, which I like. Honestly, some of them could use more creative names. In the future, I'd suggest offering different color schemes for each layout. A lot of people don't know how to match up colors and what websafe colors are. And a lot of people are literally too lazy to do it themselves (coughmecough), so its a nice luxury to add. My only major suggestion is to take longer on your graphics layouts and making them as good as possible.
GRAMMAR + SPELLING 15/15: I have yet to find any spelling or grammar errors. Just make sure to spellcheck everything before you post it. Chrome automatically spellchecks everything (ironically, spellcheck isn't a word) and I believe Firefox does too.
ORGANIZATION 14/15: Having your updates and welcome paragraph at the top, and all your content at the bottom, is a great and organized idea. However, the first link in the sidebar- top- brings me to your rules, FAQ, and info. Instead of calling it top, I would call it home, welcome, or rules. Everything else is in the category they should be.
NAME + ORIGINALITY 8/10: I like the name, considering it doesn't include the words 'css' or 'graphics' for a change. The name does relate to the topic: Escapade is a datebase or programming language. A lot of people might not know this, but it does have an underlying link which I find to be extremely unique and clever. While the name is original, your graphics and CSS are largely similar to CSS I can find elsewhere. However, it is well made which sets it apart from the vast amount of low-quality graphics and CSS sites.
REVISIT + LINK BACK BUTTONS 9/10: There's a great revisit factor in premade layout sites, especially if people like your layouts- they'll bookmark your site or something, and come back when they need a new layout. Especially if by the time they revisit, theres more content, it's just a giant revisit circle. Which isn't a good way of explaining things, but its true. Personally, I would revisit for two reasons: I like your graphics, and I'd like to see more, and I always revisit site's I've reviewed. Obviously, the second reason doesn't apply to everyone, but it does to me. Essentially, just add more content weekly (if possible). Your link backs are well made, and since there is no underlying theme, they represent your site well. If you have ugly link backs, people will just assume your site's ugly, its just instinct.
EFFORT 8/10: I only suggest working harder/longer on your graphics layouts, and checking your site for broken links.
BONUS 2/5: + Unique navigation and good organization (that rhymed..)
+ Quality graphics and CSS
Your score of 91% has placed you in the site spotlight. Congratulations!

interl | august 25th, 2011 | google chrome | 81%

GRAPHICS 8/20: The first thing I noticed was the very large amount of pink. I think the image part of the layout is very different from what we normally see, and I like that. However, the graphics are mostly text talking about the site whereas it should be images- a collage of some sort. The blurb about the site shouldn't be in the graphic, but in the welcome paragraph. Only the title of the site and maybe 'disney themed graphics' should be in the actual image. I can't help but notice that your titles aren't all the same. Updates and Graphics are set on a grey bar whereas the others are not. Other titles are done with CSS and not graphics, so I would take the time to write a few other titles in the Disney font and re-upload them so there is some sense of continuity. The body text should not be Georgia or Times New Roman under any circumstances. Keep it very simple with Verdana, Arial, Trebuchet MS, Calibri, or Tahoma. The text should also be grey or black (I prefer grey, because it's less harsh on the eyes). You can keep bolds and italics in pink/red, but leave the main font a neutral color. I like how you have the grey clips on the main content box to separate it from the sitely section, but the sitely part should be beneath the main content. Your eye is automatically drawn upwards, and you would rather have the eye drawn to the content, not the sitelys. The last thing I noticed is how the background awkwardly cuts off mid-pattern when the image ends. You could just add a bit more pattern to the image so it meets up with the CSS background and doesn't look so unfinished.
CONTENT 18/20: Your graphics are very pretty, as far as I can tell. They more than outdo your current site layout. They're very good, and not over or underdone. You can see the improvement from your older graphics to the new ones, and its great to see an effort. Your navigation for the animation section is fantastic, and theres a massive amount of screencaps from the movies. I also love how they're classic Disney movies; not the newer ones. My personal favorites are Brother Bear and Sinbad, which you should definitely add :) I do love how you have the lesser-known Disney classics along with the well-known ones like Alice in Wonderland and Hercules (another favorite!). I love the variety of live action, animation, Pixar and non-Disney. Its a large variety of graphics that you can't find on any other site.
GRAMMAR + SPELLING 13/15: There are a few spelling and grammar errors. In your about me section, there are missing commas (there should be one right after 'I love all animals'). You also spelled 'obsessed' wrong in your dislikes, but I assume it was just a typo.
ORGANIZATION 14/15: The navigation was a little confusing at first, but I got used to it. It's probably just me, anyways. However, I would suggest having the navigation window just a little separate from the rest of the layout.
NAME + ORIGINALITY 10/10: The name is original and interesting and clearly states what the site is about. There aren't many good Disney sites with quality graphics, and the idea is extremely unique.
REVISIT + LINK BACK BUTTONS 7/10: I love Disney movies, and personally, I may revisit. I think it has a great revisit factor, because new content is added so often. You should remove the link back buttons that are not 88x31, because people will not use them as link-backs, especially as affies. 99% of all people will only use proper sized ones. I recommend removing the odd-sized buttons and put them in a different category, or remove them altogether.
EFFORT 10/10: I like the fact that you have revamped, showing effort on your part. Again, theres a huge amount of graphics, also showing effort.
BONUS 1/5: + Massive amount of content


1st place

Nicole at Seraphic, a wonderful custom layout site, scored extremely high on Sandbox! Nicole offers custom petpages and guild layouts, as well as a host of extra content like color schemes and pixels. If you don't mind waiting a week+ for a layout, I recommend Seraphic, which scored a 9.5/10!

2nd place

Spud at The Escapade scored a 91%, earning her premade graphics and CSS efforts a spot on Sandbox's Spotlight. The Escapade is a wonderful place to go if you're looking for high-quality and different CSS or graphic layouts.

3rd place

Kari at Cadeau scored a 9/10. Cadeau is a fairly new layout site; offering both premades and requests. For a new site, its doing extremely well and I look forward to seeing how it progresses in the future. If you're looking for simplistic premades, or requests (that aren't always closed!), check out Cadeau!

Ask and Answer

Have a question about your site, but you don't want to get a whole review done? Please take advantage of the new Ask & Answer section. You can fill out the form below and send in your question, and I'll answer it in this section. Please title your neomail Ask & Answer for easier organization on my part.

What sites do you recommend for resources, like backgrounds? - Anonymous
One of my favorite sites is The Lunch Box (TLB). It offers a huge amount of resources, bullets, banner bases, backgrounds, pixels, etc. I really don't recommend anything else because I mainly stick to TLB for resources.

What resources do you use on your banners? - Taylor
I use Nienke's Resources on a lot of my graphics, as well as resources from bloomotion, swimchick, 99mockingbirds, and google images.

Can I use pink on my site without it looking too girly? - Kiara
Yes! I see pink on many sites without it looking overdone. Make sure you contrast the background and layout so its not overly girly. Use a grey-black font with purple/pink font features so you balance out the color.

Graphic Requests

banner requests

I am now taking banner requests! I will take requests for any type of banner- userlookup, shop, site, and offsite. I will choose the font and colors for the banner if not specified.

guild layouts

I am now taking guild layout requests! With these, you can get the image base for the layout- I will not code them. My layouts are generally NR-based blog layouts, but I will do other types if specified. I am only taking NR requests.


affiliates + listed at

20/25 Send me a neomail if you would like to become affies or if you'd like to list me.


Layout/Coding/Design by Seraphic.
Credit to Sticky's Goodies for the pixels (blue stars + bullets).
Link backs from Kyuki, A La Mode!, Buttonier, Kimono, Whirligig, a gift from awong22, and Button's Galore, respectively.
Status signs and open/closed signs by The Lunch Box.
But most importantly, thank you, guest!

Feel free to take and use the banner anywhere, because you, yes you, are so fabulous. Thanks for supporting Sandbox! It means so much.

site rankings

The best of each category! Keep in mind, this is my opinion only. I may not be affiliated with the sites listed. These are not in any particular order.

premade layouts/layout requests

button requests

premade fonts/tutorials



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