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muzzer

Few new PW sites

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Added a few new sites from New Zealand to the PW directory.

PW has made building these sites super-easy. Two of the above include tour booking systems made with PW pages and PW API, all very simple to implement.

Loving working in PW. The above are very basic sites, but I'm especially enjoying developing more complex sites utilizing the slick API, creating and amending pages on the fly, dynamically creating PDFs, booking and listing systems, and credit/debit registers . It just works so nicely :-)

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Looking good :)

Nice use of JQuery GoMap also in the Adventures site.
I suppose you did that without the PW MapMarker module?

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hi muzzer, thank's for sharing!

please don't get me wrong, but for me those sites look a little old fashioned. it's not that i want to blame you, but it sounds like you are a really experienced (pw) developer and i bet you are doing a great job and your sites are great from the technical/functional point of view! but they don't seem to be responsive for example and - as i already mentioned - at least they didn't "catch" me at first glance. so i just wanted to give you this feedback, because i'm afraid those designs could sell your work below value :)

i hope you don't mind me being honest and i hope i found the right words - not so easy for me in english :)

have you ever thought about buying a professional responsive HTML theme from one of the clubs? there are really good ones starting at around 15$ and looking really beautiful and of course are really easy to implement with PW.

i'm off  :-[

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He he! Hey Bernhard. thanks for the honest feedback. Even my wife ain't "that" honest ;-)

Unfortunately most tourism and business operators in NZ are "older" and a tad conservative - give them a modern theme and and older theme and they'll almost always go "ohh I like that!" at the older one. But thats ok, I gave up designing sites the way I would like them ages ago in favour of making a living!

Also, I've found that often designs that designers think look great most other people often think look crappy. 

Re: responsive, yeah, again possible a locality thing, they aint that big here. And responsive sites are perhaps a bit over-hyped in my opinion. I probably should do the "responsive" thing (which BTW is easy enough, you don't need a downloaded theme to achieve this), maybe I'll have a think on this.

Out of interest, anyone else out there want to comment on the responsive aspect Bernhard touched on? - how important do you guys think this is? Most users have tablets or phones which can display 960px sideways, so does a 960px site wide really need to crunch itself down width-ways and be 3 miles deep just to fit a portrait screen?

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I wouldn't build non-mobile optimized site at all (well, maybe some very specific application). And for the mobile optimization: responsive is way to go about 90% of times.

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I've got a friend who lives in New Zealand and he says he wasn't joking about IT in general being a bit behind the times there when he took his dual core PC over there a couple of years ago, so it's not really surprising that customers there aren't wanting cutting edge. Not sure if this is still the case - this was just his observation when he emigrated and took his old-ish PC with him that due to cost people are a bit slower than other countries upgrading to the latest and greatest all the time - I'm not sure and it might just have been a local thing to where he moved to. No insult intended there, that was just the impression I was given and it does sound way more relaxed and chilled out too - I'm envious whenever he posts photos on Facebook :D

I agree with doing what clients want though. It's a pain, you might not like it, but if they really want it a certain way then unless it's going to take you longer in terms of time then you have to give in at some point and just go with it.

I was very late to the responsive design party but with the likes of Foundation and, more recently, UIKit it's not difficult to design a responsive site any more (I never got on with Bootstrap for some reason, probably because every man and his dog was using it ;)). Heck, I've only recently started saving myself time using SASS - though on a basic website the time saved might be a few minutes, it can add up over a year or quicker on more complex projects.

My experience with responsive design is that it was once hard for me to understand and now with so many good frameworks I don't need to understand it as much, plus you have an excellent foundation (no pun intended) to build from so you can actually build quicker than normal.

It takes a little while to get used to, but those few hours will be time well spent. I'm now building responsive sites almost by accident - using either of the frameworks I linked to you can focus on the desktop version and chuck in a few extra classes to make it do different things at different screen sizes later, or do it as you go along with very little effort.

Sorry - I went on a bit longer than intended there but yes, it's worth looking into. I wouldn't say at this stage there's much you could do (or want/need to do) but it's worth bearing in mind if they want to update/refresh further down the line.

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Out of interest, anyone else out there want to comment on the responsive aspect Bernhard touched on? - how important do you guys think this is? Most users have tablets or phones which can display 960px sideways, so does a 960px site wide really need to crunch itself down width-ways and be 3 miles deep just to fit a portrait screen?

Take what Antti said, replace 90% with 99.9% and you've got my opinion.

Anyway, reading this made me cringe; if that's your idea of responsive design, I'm not surprised at all to hear that you're not very impressed with it. Take a look at the RWD patterns library collected by Brad Frost and you might get a better idea of what it's actually about.. or listen what Google has to say about responsive design fundamentals.

(In a way you might be right, as that's really what a lot of people are doing -- but that's just because they're doing it wrong. RWD is all about making things usable and future proof regardless of resolution, window size, (physical) screen size etc.)

By the way, I liked your sites. Keep up the good work! :)

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I'm not going to make too many comments about responsive design at this point, and only because I haven't fully ventured into it myself (I'm only building my first fully responsive site on PW now...) That said, I do think it's a good idea. I'm based in South Africa, and it seems to be the trending thing with all modern designers. In addition, even my clients in Cameroon want their sites to be responsive.

Otherwise, I do like the sites, @muzzer. One nit to pick: On the Uncharted Wilderness Tours site, it says "About Us page" in the footer. The word "page" should not be there. I am very sure that was a simple oversight. Yes?

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+ a lot, what teppo said

RWD is not some kind of afterthought to cater for those pesky smartphones. It's about displaying your content as optimal as possible on all screen sizes and resolutions, from small to large.

" Out of interest, anyone else out there want to comment on the responsive aspect Bernhard touched on? - how important do you guys think this is? Most users have tablets or phones which can display 960px sideways, so does a 960px site wide really need to crunch itself down width-ways and be 3 miles deep just to fit a portrait screen? "

If i take for example the Springlands Veterinary Centre site : My phone displays 1920 x 1080, so in that sense it fits, but, it's just not a nice user experience. I have to zoom to read the left column, where the main navigation resides. The footer text is so small you hardly notice it. So it's useable, but could very easily be much better. Switching, at some breakpoint, from 2 to 1 column, including a mobile friendly navigation would not be that hard if you design with these kind of things in mind. Imo it brings big rewards.

The fixed (960px) layout just doesn't make that much sense anymore. RWD is here to stay.

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I agree with everyone about RWD, however I also agree with things that @muzzer says.

First, content will always be king.  A great looking website means nothing without good content.   RWD, SEO and a host of other things cannot replace content that is specific to whatever the website is about.

Secondly, the customer pays the bills.  We can create all these gee wiz bang websites, however someone (the paying client) needs to be satisfied with your work.  Ultimately, they are the only ones who count, no matter what their artistic tastes are.

I support anyone who has the tenacity to spend their time and resources creating websites.  Some people are more talented than others, but we all deserve appreciation for doing what others haven't done.  I honestly believe the only websites that I would never support are the ones that have music playing as soon as you arrive at the site.

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I am with Teppo too. I have been designing websites as responsive by default for a couple of years now. Now, I never design sites that are not. I roll my own, use css frameworks like Foundation, Pure, Bootstrap, etc, and they are not difficult. They may get you into other things like sass and grunt that will help with workflow as well (well it did for me :-) )

I know responsive is not foolproof and weird things can happen on some devices, but really, scrolling a page on a smartphone is way more intuitive than dragging around a page and clicking to zoom in to a bit (what bit?) of a non-responsive page. I agree with Sinnut re the 960px thing on smartphones. It is a horrible, frustrating experience.

You are obviously really proficient developer as BernhardB said, but honestly I would try and get to the position where a client would have to ask for a non-responsive website rather than the other way round.

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Music on a website, shocker, cstevensjr! :rolleyes: However, to my mind design is not just about the look of a website but the functionality, and whilst I agree about content, etc. We still have a duty to inform and make our clients futureproof to some degree. And making sites non resolution dependent seems to make sense to me.

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We still have a duty to inform and make our clients futureproof to some degree. And making sites non resolution dependent seems to make sense to me.

I agree.  Now if we could only have clients work with us that listen to reason and facts.

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hi muzzer, i'm glad you got lot's of good feedback from the more experienced guys :)

I probably should do the "responsive" thing (which BTW is easy enough, you don't need a downloaded theme to achieve this), maybe I'll have a think on this.

of course, you don't NEED such designs, but if you are more a developer than a designer i think that's a good way to go and you can save lots of time and money. i would be interested in other's opinions about that approach, but i know if i started a thread with this topic, i would have no time for coding left because i would need all my time for studying all the good answeres in the forum :) and its offtopic for this thread...

and i agree, if your clients want it that way it's the best to do so!

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My experience with responsive design is that it was once hard for me to understand and now with so many good frameworks I don't need to understand it as much

I guess this is why I have an ongoing philosophical problem with frameworks... the basic aspects of responsive design are really not that difficult to understand, but by using frameworks, people are just bypassing that essencial understanding and accepting some limitations that are imposed to them. In essence, making a website responsive is not much more difficult than rearranging a bunch of photos in different physical formats (with the advantage that you can also change their size) and registering the movements that are needed from one form to the other. Only thing to keep in mind is: with CSS you can change the horizontal order of elements with floatings, but not the vertical order -> that's actually the only limitation. Ok, I'm drifting away from the thread theme, I'll stop here and focus on that :)

Oh, @muzzer your sites don't seem to be working right now, getting a 502 on all of them.

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I guess this is why I have an ongoing philosophical problem with frameworks... the basic aspects of responsive design are really not that difficult to understand, but by using frameworks, people are just bypassing that essencial understanding and accepting some limitations that are imposed to them. In essence, making a website responsive is not much more difficult than rearranging a bunch of photos in different physical formats (with the advantage that you can also change their size) and registering the movements that are needed from one form to the other. Only thing to keep in mind is: with CSS you can change the horizontal order of elements with floatings, but not the vertical order -> that's actually the only limitation. Ok, I'm drifting away from the thread theme, I'll stop here and focus on that :)

.....

To add to the OT:

flexbox (near future) and CSS Grid Layout module (not so near future) will make the task of achieving solid and responsive layouts a whole lot easier. No more floats and/or inline-blocks, finally. (some nice flexbox stuff here). If i where new to RWD and wanted to learn i would probably focus on learning the basics of these new CSS features. For current work i would probably most of the times take a well tested and established grid/framework, because floats and such can be quirky.

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To much & to bloated, thats my opinion about most frameworks. 97% of the classes & scripts I don't use and the rest I have to reset styles for to get what I want. 

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@Martijn Geerts - 'tis true. But if you can incorporate something like grunt or gulp into your workflow, then you can use something like grunt-uncss to remove all the unwanted classes. In Foundation 5, you can just call the scripts that you want and exclude the bulk. Never going to be as clean as vanilla handwritten, but not bad imo.

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I tried several frameworks, but in the end I prefer to write the CSS myself.

I'm tired of unwanted classes, colors, positions, floats and display properties. 

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To much & to bloated, thats my opinion about most frameworks. 97% of the classes & scripts I don't use and the rest I have to reset styles for to get what I want. 

Agreed, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that some of the popular frameworks (BS, Foundation, UIkit) introduce too much 'design' and UI components, where indeed a lot of the stuff remains unused. There are better options though.

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Thanks for all the replies guys, been a bit of an eye-opener for me. Some wonderful replies and perspectives. I'm definitely lagging behind developers in Europe/US in regards to design for mobile devices (and other screen sizes, thanks Teppo).

Pete, I think you are right, New Zealand is certainly "laid-back" and probably a bit behind the times as a result. Most developers here still develop for IE7 (and some even IE6), which I suspect you guys don't stress over these days. Tablets etc are common here but certainly not to the extent of the US etc.

Sinnut, Martijn etc, agree with your comments regarding CSS and frameworks and bloat. I've got some thinking to do regarding this subject.

I'm now looking forward to attacking RWD, something I was always happy to avoid. It's great to hear what other developers are up to. I live in a small town in a country at the other end of the globe and as a result I don't get to mix with others in my field (other than in forums like this) so it's bloody good to get others perspectives on these thing. Cheers all

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...Pete, I think you are right, New Zealand is certainly "laid-back" and probably a bit behind the times...

I once watched something on TV here in the UK that compared "Crimewatch UK" to your NZ counterpart. In the UK program the police were trying to solve horrible crimes like murders and rapes. In the NZ version they were trying to trace the owners of lost property.

I wish the UK could be more like NZ in that respect.

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 honestly believe the only websites that I would never support are the ones that have music playing as soon as you arrive at the site.

I will open an exception for this one http://www.pierrevonkleist.com/ (if you're in a library, turn your volume down (as you should have already, by the way))

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