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hmm, although the antiques may be old and retro, I don't the website has to be. I like the blue background, but not the gray box that stretches the width of the page. I would make that content part the width of the header, and continue the blue background down to the bottom of the page. Shorten the width of the list on the left so its not as ginourmous when brought into the center of the page. Or you could just make it its own page linked to along with the navigation links, that could be individually accessed through a drop down when hovered over. Then I would try something other than the gray background, maybe make it that partial transparency that you have going on the header and give it that blue rounded border too. And an overall touch up on the hover state styles, try and find a consistent theme throughout the site. Also, any text on top of transparency should be a dark color to provide for ease of readability.

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hmm, although the antiques may be old and retro, I don't the website has to be. I like the blue background, but not the gray box that stretches the width of the page. I would make that content part the width of the header, and continue the blue background down to the bottom of the page. Shorten the width of the list on the left so its not as ginourmous when brought into the center of the page. Or you could just make it its own page linked to along with the navigation links, that could be individually accessed through a drop down when hovered over. Then I would try something other than the gray background, maybe make it that partial transparency that you have going on the header and give it that blue rounded border too. And an overall touch up on the hover state styles, try and find a consistent theme throughout the site. Also, any text on top of transparency should be a dark color to provide for ease of readability.
Okay so i've updated it to your critique and assistance.
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sort of. I liked the header you had, I was merely implying you apply that same sort of "container styling" to the area that you are putting the content in. (to me it looks kinda of weird with the content stretched the width of the page). You might want to consider using a lossy file format (.jpg) for your image, it must be huge because it takes a couple of seconds to appear after your page loads.

Edited by thescientist
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sort of. I liked the header you had, I was merely implying you apply that same sort of "container styling" to the area that you are putting the content in. (to me it looks kinda of weird with the content stretched the width of the page). You might want to consider using a lossy file format (.jpg) for your image, it must be huge because it takes a couple of seconds to appear after your page loads.
I changed the image format and your right it does load a lot quicker in JPG. i just always used PNG cause its (i think) best quality.
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well .png's are lossless and thus will carry with them larger file sizes. The benefit though is that they support transparency. So if you don't need transparency in an image, you're better off using .jpg.

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well .png's are lossless and thus will carry with them larger file sizes. The benefit though is that they support transparency. So if you don't need transparency in an image, you're better off using .jpg.
what about Gif?what are they best for? and best Not for?
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GIFs are basically the same as PNGs, but limited to 8 bits of color, and can only do index transparency. Basically an inferior version of PNG, but they can be animated.

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