Coding with Jesse

Review: Working at Home on the Internet

March 24th, 2006

Joseph Hauckes from the Working at Home on the Internet blog has asked me to review his other site, the Working at Home on the Internet Web Page. I've been reading his blog since the beginning, and it's become one of the few blogs I read daily. He posts very regularly every day (he's only missed one day in the past six months), and it's a pleasure to watch his story evolve over time. I look forward to seeing where it goes.

Usability

The website is a collection of resources and advice for people starting their own Internet-based businesses. At first, the site looks like a blog. It takes some time to find the resources pages including Scams, Forums and Blogging Services. The links to these pages blend in to the side of the site. The site could use some clear navigation, ideally at the top of the page. This would help make the site easier to use and explore.

Design

The design is nothing spectacular, but it doesn't distract from the content either. On the homepage, the left navigation takes up most of my screen, and I have to scroll to the right to read the content. The rest of the pages don't have this problem, but it's the first impression that counts.

Web Technologies

This site was designed and built using Microsoft Frontpage. As a result, the HTML doesn't come close to validating. There's scattered inline CSS and even font tags. It's just not easy to produce valid code with WYSIWYG tools without being strong in HTML and CSS. I hear Microsoft's new HTML editor Expression is supposed to help with this.

Summary

The most important thing about any website is its content. However, it's important to make sure this information is easy to find. Joe's site may not win design awards, but it has a number of great articles to help people getting started with their own sites, and that's what counts.