New HCC Website

March 21, 2006

And not before time! You can go see it at www.hcc.freeola.com. I have an interest here, in a previous life I was HCC Secretary and had a go at a HCC website myself.

Some thoughts:–

  1. The URL sucks. Domain names cost next to nothing. Basic hosting isn’t much more expensive.

  2. The title tag on every page says “untitled document”, which means that at the top of the browser window it says “untitled document”. This should probably be fixed… the frameset means every page has to say the same thing, but it could at least say “Helensburgh Community Council”.

  3. There is no immediately obvious way to contact the community council. You have to burrow through two pages to get to any email addresses, and there is no obvious button marked “contact us”.

  4. Frames are evil. They really are. It’s possible for the link bar on the side of the screen to disappear below the bottom of the window, and then those links become inaccessible because there’s no scroll bar on that frame. Frames also make it impossible to deep-link, so if I, say, wanted link to a specific councillors page, or a bit of news, or whatever, I can’t. I don’t think you could use this site on a 800 x 600 screen. Or a phone, or a PDA…

    HCC menu buttons...HCC menu without scrollbar, button vanishes below the window edge

    …these two images show the story, with the unscrollable buttons disappearing below the grey Safari status bar…

  5. Some pages are just missing: the minutes archive, the links. Some result in blank pages, some result in 404s. This should be fixed, and sharp!

  6. “Helensburgh: be better–be excellent!” is still a dreadful slogan. However, I still can’t think of a better alternative. 😉

  7. The old site is STILL THERE–and being confusing! It should be removed forthwith. This is a five minute job. I don’t understand why it hasn’t been done yet.

Despite that, I think it’s a good start. Doing this sort of thing is not as easy as it looks. It’s useful; you can contact your councillor, see old minutes (if you enjoy that sort of thing) and hopefully find some useful links before too long. It doesn’t look bad, and it doesn’t break in Safari. Hopefully it will be maintained better than I maintained the old site, and all the moans listed above will be old news before very long…

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