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chaos on the internet
1st January 2006, 9:38 PM
chaos' guide to making a successful site - v1

[ I am writing this guide because my birthday is January 2nd, tommorow. So many people have helped me out on the way, that I figured I would give back to the community on my birthday. Consider it a present! ]

It makes me happy to see so many people these days trying to make a website. The problem is, alot of people have no honking (since i'm posting this at Serebii and PokeCommunity as well, i'll replace where I normally would swear with some random word) clue what on earth they are doing or take bad advice from their peers. After reading this you should get a better idea of how to make a successful website in this day and age :)

As for me, I run one of the biggest Pokemon websites on the internet, the only forums bigger than mine that deal with only Pokemon are Serebii and PokeCommunity, I run a NetBattle server that gets over 100 people on concurrently and I have a willing and active community of people to help me out. I've been doing HTML, CSS, PHP, and even though unrelated to web design, C++ for around 7 years now. My site gets 2,200 unique, 35,000-40,000 page views, and 250,000-350,000 hits a day. I know exactly what I'm talking about.

- BEGINNERS, AN INTRODUCTION -

Don't use free website templates. The goal of you starting out on a site is to do EVERYTHING by yourself. It's the only way you will ever get better at this. You might as well accept that your layouts are gonna look like crap at first, but they would anyway if you used a Bravenet template. Once you've made a few layouts and understand better how HTML and CSS work, you're ready for the real meat of this tutorial. Sorry, I don't have time to write an HTML tutorial when there are tons available already on the internet.

- So you're serious, and want more traffic? No complete beginners please. -

1. This is the absolute most important thing. Nobody cares about your ridiculous PHP script that lets you specify which 'style' you want a layout to be. It's cool for proof of concept to help you learn, but it has no point on a real site. Nobody cares about your 30 affiliates each getting 30 page views a day. This isn't going to attract you attention. Neither is your 600 page links on the site that lead to your default 404 page of 'I HAVENT MADE THIS YET/COMING SOON WITH ::MyGenericPokemonSite v4// SEE YOU ALL NEXT NOV!'

None of that is going to get you traffic. You know what gets you traffic? A _niche_. Find a niche for your site- something to hype it, something that nobody else has. Give your users a reason to come to your site; anyone can go to Serebii and see the latest headlines for anime. Don't be just another pebble in the gravel road. Instead, be some sort of brick! A car going down a gravel road isn't going to be stopped by your pebble. It's going to keep trekking on to its destination, the sites everyone else go to. So be a brick and stop the car dead in its tracks. Get them to look at your site first before they go to Serebii or such.

Yeah, that was a bad analogy. I was totally feelin' it though. The point is, you need something to make your site unique. My site's niche is competitive strategy to Pokemon. My users love my site because they know they can't go anywhere else for competitive strategy. It targets them. There is no other site on the internet that can MORE than fill a 128 man tournament in less than 24 hours.

2. DON'T LET YOUR FORUMS BE YOUR MAIN ATTRACTION. The forums are there to unite and give your users a sense of community. If you don't have a niche yet, you aren't going to have users. "My invisionfree.com board" is not a niche for attracting views. I could go to any site for a forum system. You didn't make it. It's not unique to your site. Why should I visit YOUR board and not anyone elses? I don't even like your site, it has no content, focus, vision. Just a forum system that you didn't make.

If you do have a forum, don't make this fatal mistake: making more forums than you have users. I see this all the time- 10 registered users, 100 forums of bullshnitey. Good job, you managed to make a section for every possible topic anyone could ever think of. Too bad you only have 10 members and with so many forums, they are going to have no clue where to post in. Keep it simple. When I started Smogon in May 2004, I had -2- forums. A general chat forum with a witty title, and a General Pokemon forum. I also got 1500 registered users in half a year. Even after purging inactive users, we at this time are 4 members away from 2000, with around 50-80 people viewing the forums at the same time (70 at this time of writing).

3. Involve your community. Ask people to help you, and help them help you by showing them the ropes. Eventually the newbies who want to help will grow up and "get it," and become very helpful staff to you. Don't turn away people that are idiots, even if they are idiots. Just help them be better. :/ You'll be able to generate content quicker, and this in turn will get you more visitors that will want to help as well. It's a vicious cycle. People love to contribute to projects. Just give them proper credit for their work.

When I was first starting my site, I had a Pokemon Analysis section and I let people contribute their work. It was a completely original idea, and attracted the attention of alot of people. Now every other knockoff site trying to be another Smogon tries the same thing, and it never works. Get your own niche. Don't copy mine, or anyone elses. My site can do strategy better than yours. Its what we are known for. Just accept it :/

" Best Moveset

Flamethrower
Dig
Detect
Aerial Ace

Use Flamethower against Grass and bug types, Dig For electric and fighting types, and Aerial ace for almost any pokemon, use detect to defend yourself from moves like hyperbeam"

4. DON'T OPEN YOUR SITE TOO EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. God, why do people always do this. It's like pre-ejaculation, to put it in vulgar terms. You get the users excited with all the original ideas you have, and then when you open.. YOU DON'T HAVE THEM. Nobody is going to check back every day to see your stupid 404 pages. Close your site down, generate some hype about what it's going to have, and open when you have stuff to actually keep users interested. If you do it this way, people will stay.

5. ... and as for the above, generate hype. Be a well known person in the community. Get people to respect you and listen to you. Signing up instantly and advertising your pile of horse jello invisionfree forum is going to get you banned for advertising. Make some friends on forums, and while you are at it study their practices for making your own. After making friends, get them to join your forums and help you out. People love to be involved in things!! I can't say it enough. Also, put your site in your signature with a short description about what's unique about it. Don't put an obnoxious banner with generic Pokemon sprites in your signature. Nobody is going to click that, it's like an ad banner. The human eye is conditioned to skip over piles of horse jello!

- Layout tips -

A catchy layout will get the attention of your visitors. Here is where ALOT of people make mistakes. AVOID THIS LAYOUT: big honking banner up top, links to every page on your site on the left, affiliates on the right. If you eventually have a big site, you can't put a link to every page of your site on the left. Don't be Serebii, they have an atrocious and slow loading layout, as well as an ugly color scheme. (No offense! Take pointers :/)

1. Avoid 3 column layouts. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR AFFILIATE BAR ON THE RIGHT. -NOBODY-. (Not even your affiliates, because affiliate bars don't generate clicks to their site)

2. Don't use stupid JavaScript to keep me from right clicking. Don't use stupid JavaScript to make snowflakes on my screen. Don't use stupid JavaScript to have a Pikachu follow my mouse cursor.

3. Don't use <embed> to play stupid music. Don't use <object> to play stupid music. Don't use bgsound to play stupid music. If I wanted to listen to the Route 33 theme, i'd have it on iTunes. However, NP: Ben Folds - Landed.

4. Come up with a good slogan for your <title> and banner. Examples of bad slogans:

* Your #1 source for __________
* Everything you could ever need about _____
* Your daily dose of _____!
* No slogan required.
* We're trying to come up with a better slogan!

A good slogan is memorable. It helps people remember your site. My old slogan was "Pokemon on the Internet: Lets make it happen!" No other site was about playing Pokemon on the internet. It wasn't my #1 source for Pokemon on the Internet. Your stupid site is just starting out, it's not the freaking #1 source. Anyway, my slogan eventually started a cult following where the word 'internet' is synonymous with 'smogon.' Do any of your communities feel that strongly about your site? Well, they should! Get a better slogan. You and your stupid 'I don't need a slogan, slogan not required.'

http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/2036/banner9px.jpg

(No offense to pokelericon, I actually like his layout. It's easy to read and has a cool color scheme. Just a gay slogan! Good luck with your site ;))

5. *WARNING* JavaScript menus are cool, but make sure the links to parts of your site are actually in the HTML file or search engines won't index your pages.

6. Use a readable color scheme. 'Oh hey my mascot is Kyogre, LETS MAKE THE WHOLE SITE BLUE.' No. Stop it. Monotone layouts are so hard to read, and don't stand out. Make sure the content area of your site is readable. Put it in a different color, and use alot of contrast.

7. MAKE THINGS NOTICABLE. MAKE HEADERS TO CONTENT LARGE. Don't make your content text really unreadable and small.

- Misc Advice -

1. Oh my god, stop affiliating so much. That doesn't help anyone, nobody clicks affiliate links ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR LAYOUT. PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY IGNORE THINGS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR LAYOUT SINCE THEY ARE CONDITIONED TO BELIEVE THAT LEFT - LINKS TO CONTENT | CENTER - CONTENT | RIGHT - LINKS TO THINGS NOBODY CARES ABOUT.

Of course, this doesn't apply to partnership. Help webmasters out. Hope they help you back. Make friends. Just another reason I'm posting this guide :) If you didn't know me as a webmaster before, you sure do now!

2. Make links on your site readable, and guessable.

Yes: smogon.com/advance/venusaur
NO: pokemonpalace.net/?id=news-subform

Don't use index.php?id= urls. It's bad form. Use mod_rewrite, google it if you have no clue. It also gives you bad ratings on Google. Even worse is site.com/?id=3 :/

- Closing -

Hey, thanks for reading this! And thank yourself too. Maybe you have a better perception of what it actually takes to stand a chance in the webmaster world. I end this document with a quote by Chrono Cr@cker:


And Choas, you haven't even capitalized your own username. Meaning
(i) You aren't a noun or
(ii) You probabably know you aren't so important so it doesn't matter or
(iii) You don't know English Grammar

Sucks that I'm one of the most well known Pokemon webmasters/players in the world :( Even groups of people that don't speak English know I'm one of the greatest battlers in the world! It means alot to me that my reputation has spread to even Brazil, China, and Japan. It's great to see pokedrome.info doing so well these days. That's ok honey, I love your quote :-) It gives me something to laugh at on my birthday :-D

Fix up your sites and PM me the results! Or post topics. I'll notice. I love seeing people improve their websites. If you ever need comments or criticism for a site, please go ahead and ask me. Even though I'm a very busy person, I like helping people out. Sorry if the advice here seemed harsh. It's sometimes hard for me to explain concepts without being a jerk about it.

Good luck in future endeavors.
~ Internet, Pokemon, websites, and Happy Birthday to me.
- chaos

Mamoru
1st January 2006, 10:03 PM
An excellent guide Chaos. A pity that so few will likely actually take notice of it. But that's what we've both come to expect, I think.

That does remind me though, I really need to talk to you later today, after we've finished recording Bulbacast. We're getting rid of Drupal as a backend, and I was wondering what ideas and opinions you might have for a new layout. I was thinking maybe going back to something like the old v10 layout from the original site, with only a left sidebar and a main text section.

Serebii
2nd January 2006, 11:55 PM
Umm just for the record...around half of the left links go to pages which have a plethora of inner-section links to the right

Thats why my layout is so basic, with 133 things on the left and at least 50 of them having seperate bars (not counting each episode/movie guide & manga summary which has its own right bar which takes the number up even more) which have multiple bits of information, links & pictures required for that section. This is why I have a 3 columned, what many would class as basic, layout.

Its a curse of having a very big site

Some good tips there though chaos, hopefully the new webmasters will get it :)

Goldyoshi
5th January 2006, 2:40 AM
Well, I think it's useful, especially the niche part. *rant*I don't want to see the Serebii/Pokemonelite2000/PPN/ other big Poke News site wannabe(no offense meant if you own that kind of website, providing info is important, but too many sources= people go to biggest source :P)

You should aslo put that spelling and grammar is important. N0 t4k l13k th1s l0l.

What about Oekakis?

I reccommend to you webbies (stupid nickname) that you try and put opinions and personality into content; what good is unique content if it's boring (and/or eye hurting) to read?

chaos on the internet
14th January 2006, 3:55 AM
I also agree with personality in content. It makes it so much easier to read and your users will be hooked for more.

Sorry, I don't know what an Oekaki really is.

I'd also like to say, stop putting Shoutboxes :( that stuff is gay

Goldyoshi
14th January 2006, 5:00 PM
An oekaki is one of those online drawing boards... it is like an online photoshop. they were cool at first, but they turned into a trend and almost every site has one. Why would you even NEED more than one oekaki account? I can't draw better at EP's oekaki than the MH oekaki. <_<

chaos on the internet
14th January 2006, 9:02 PM
For the same reason every site has a forum, I suppose. If it's like a community thing (like forums), then having a proper niche and a unique crowd of forum goers would keep it alive (like forums!)

It's amazing how much stuff banks on niches. :(

Goldyoshi
15th January 2006, 3:41 AM
The thing is, it isn't for chatting, it's for drawing. And you could just as well hang out in fan art on the forums if you wanted to critisize pictures!

There is no real community in Oekakis, just people who draw and comment. It can't keep a site together, at least, I think. :O

And yes, finding your niche is important. I always hated it when Ifo und a site that had news and info that I could just as well get somewhere else. If they had other stuff, well, OK, but it should be unique. No 'Raise a Pikachu' game, or 'Catch a Pidgey', you didn't make it.

For example, on my site, Ihave POkemon theories, explaining thigns like why Feebas only live in 6 tiles and why Electrode explodes at the slightest shock. I have fun things there. Personality. And that's rare nowadays.

I liked this guide so much, I posted a link to it at another forums, with credit, of course. hopefully, more people will read ut. <_<;

chaos on the internet
15th January 2006, 3:54 AM
The thing is, it isn't for chatting, it's for drawing. And you could just as well hang out in fan art on the forums if you wanted to critisize pictures!

There is no real community in Oekakis, just people who draw and comment. It can't keep a site together, at least, I think. :O

And yes, finding your niche is important. I always hated it when Ifo und a site that had news and info that I could just as well get somewhere else. If they had other stuff, well, OK, but it should be unique. No 'Raise a Pikachu' game, or 'Catch a Pidgey', you didn't make it.

For example, on my site, Ihave POkemon theories, explaining thigns like why Feebas only live in 6 tiles and why Electrode explodes at the slightest shock. I have fun things there. Personality. And that's rare nowadays.

I liked this guide so much, I posted a link to it at another forums, with credit, of course. hopefully, more people will read ut. <_<;

Can you list the forums you post this on? I always like reading feedback to things.

Goldyoshi
19th January 2006, 1:17 AM
Well, wouldn't the link get removed? o_O

Sites with forumies:
www.dragonflycave.com/butterfree (very popular, it rules)
www.nightmarevalley.com (very nice site, nice Oekaki)
www.tenshi.howitends.org (Meh, new-ish)
www.salazardsden.co.uk (Very nice flash movies)

Dragonfree
19th January 2006, 1:40 AM
*prods* You never posted it at my forums. o.o

But yeah, it's a nice guide.

Goldyoshi
19th January 2006, 7:45 PM
Well, I thought that he meant a list of forums to post it on. 0_o

But I'll do it if you wants. *posts at all forums she hasn't posted it on before*

Dragonfree
20th January 2006, 9:20 PM
I was under the impression he meant a list of forums you had posted it on.

Jetx
4th April 2006, 9:39 PM
Uh... I finaly read this throughly, and I happen to disagree with you with alot of the things you mentioned. As do some others from SPPf, that I talked to once, but they never bothered to post. It is also to opinionated, I don't mean to be rude, and I appreciate the effort you put into it, but, I have my own opinion on the stuff you mentioned that I'm about to show now. Hopefully you can consider it and explain slightly why I am wrong, if I am wrong...


As for me, I run one of the biggest Pokemon websites on the internet, the only forums bigger than mine that deal with only Pokemon are Serebii and PokeCommunity, I run a NetBattle server that gets over 100 people on concurrently and I have a willing and active community of people to help me out. I've been doing HTML, CSS, PHP, and even though unrelated to web design, C++ for around 7 years now. My site gets 2,200 unique, 35,000-40,000 page views, and 250,000-350,000 hits a day. I know exactly what I'm talking about.
Yes... And you say you don't boast at all? Ah well, I'll start quoting every paragraph with my opinion. Which is a crazy wacky and stupid opinion!!!! =D (joke)

Don't use free website templates. The goal of you starting out on a site is to do EVERYTHING by yourself. It's the only way you will ever get better at this. You might as well accept that your layouts are gonna look like crap at first, but they would anyway if you used a Bravenet template. Once you've made a few layouts and understand better how HTML and CSS work, you're ready for the real meat of this tutorial. Sorry, I don't have time to write an HTML tutorial when there are tons available already on the internet.
Can't agree more... Though, you don't always need CSS..

1. This is the absolute most important thing. Nobody cares about your ridiculous PHP script that lets you specify which 'style' you want a layout to be. It's cool for proof of concept to help you learn, but it has no point on a real site. Nobody cares about your 30 affiliates each getting 30 page views a day. This isn't going to attract you attention. Neither is your 600 page links on the site that lead to your default 404 page of 'I HAVENT MADE THIS YET/COMING SOON WITH ::MyGenericPokemonSite v4// SEE YOU ALL NEXT NOV!'
Well, that's your opinion. If you are affiliated with another site, tell others all about, it's one of your partners so it's not a bad thing. But it can be bad when your right navbar of affiliates is longer than your left...

None of that is going to get you traffic. You know what gets you traffic? A _niche_. Find a niche for your site- something to hype it, something that nobody else has. Give your users a reason to come to your site; anyone can go to Serebii and see the latest headlines for anime. Don't be just another pebble in the gravel road. Instead, be some sort of brick! A car going down a gravel road isn't going to be stopped by your pebble. It's going to keep trekking on to its destination, the sites everyone else go to. So be a brick and stop the car dead in its tracks. Get them to look at your site first before they go to Serebii or such.
Ya, I agree. Only update about your website, such as adding a new page. Not "new pokemon!" a week after everyone knows.

2. DON'T LET YOUR FORUMS BE YOUR MAIN ATTRACTION. The forums are there to unite and give your users a sense of community. If you don't have a niche yet, you aren't going to have users. "My invisionfree.com board" is not a niche for attracting views. I could go to any site for a forum system. You didn't make it. It's not unique to your site. Why should I visit YOUR board and not anyone elses? I don't even like your site, it has no content, focus, vision. Just a forum system that you didn't make.
But you have to put in all the coding and customizing codes, make your own skins, and stuff like that. That paragraph is slightly hypocritical as you do have "discuss this on our forums!" on alot of your main pages...

If you do have a forum, don't make this fatal mistake: making more forums than you have users. I see this all the time- 10 registered users, 100 forums of bullshnitey. Good job, you managed to make a section for every possible topic anyone could ever think of. Too bad you only have 10 members and with so many forums, they are going to have no clue where to post in. Keep it simple. When I started Smogon in May 2004, I had -2- forums. A general chat forum with a witty title, and a General Pokemon forum. I also got 1500 registered users in half a year. Even after purging inactive users, we at this time are 4 members away from 2000, with around 50-80 people viewing the forums at the same time (70 at this time of writing).
Unless you have sub-forums. And that's yabbering on about how your site is perfect again...

3. Involve your community. Ask people to help you, and help them help you by showing them the ropes. Eventually the newbies who want to help will grow up and "get it," and become very helpful staff to you. Don't turn away people that are idiots, even if they are idiots. Just help them be better. :/ You'll be able to generate content quicker, and this in turn will get you more visitors that will want to help as well. It's a vicious cycle. People love to contribute to projects. Just give them proper credit for their work.

Yes, I agree with that alot.
When I was first starting my site, I had a Pokemon Analysis section and I let people contribute their work. It was a completely original idea, and attracted the attention of alot of people. Now every other knockoff site trying to be another Smogon tries the same thing, and it never works. Get your own niche. Don't copy mine, or anyone elses. My site can do strategy better than yours. Its what we are known for. Just accept it :/
What makes you think anybody reading this DOES want to take your ideas? ;/

4. DON'T OPEN YOUR SITE TOO EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. God, why do people always do this. It's like pre-ejaculation, to put it in vulgar terms. You get the users excited with all the original ideas you have, and then when you open.. YOU DON'T HAVE THEM. Nobody is going to check back every day to see your stupid 404 pages. Close your site down, generate some hype about what it's going to have, and open when you have stuff to actually keep users interested. If you do it this way, people will stay.
Yes, even if people bug you about it, don't. People keep asking me to hurry up with mine, but, when it's done they'll be in for a surprise. Don't listen to "ooh i can't wait to see, give me the URL!", tell those who are planning to contribute to it, but keep it hidden from the general internet public.

5. ... and as for the above, generate hype. Be a well known person in the community. Get people to respect you and listen to you. Signing up instantly and advertising your pile of horse jello invisionfree forum is going to get you banned for advertising. Make some friends on forums, and while you are at it study their practices for making your own. After making friends, get them to join your forums and help you out. People love to be involved in things!! I can't say it enough. Also, put your site in your signature with a short description about what's unique about it. Don't put an obnoxious banner with generic Pokemon sprites in your signature. Nobody is going to click that, it's like an ad banner. The human eye is conditioned to skip over piles of horse jello!
But banners are pwetty! ^_^
I never really thought about that... You definately taught me something there. But a banner and a description is better than a link that contains the description, is it not?

A catchy layout will get the attention of your visitors. Here is where ALOT of people make mistakes. AVOID THIS LAYOUT: big honking banner up top, links to every page on your site on the left, affiliates on the right. If you eventually have a big site, you can't put a link to every page of your site on the left. Don't be Serebii, they have an atrocious and slow loading layout, as well as an ugly color scheme. (No offense! Take pointers :/)
I like that layout... As do others... Affiliates look crap on the left and on the main page... The right bar is just a nice place to put it. The average pokemon fan is used to that layout. But, I have to agree about the amount of left-navbar links, create subpages, that's the solution. :P
Affiliates just belong on the right bar imo. Are you suggesting that we dump affiliates in a footer? Where do you think they belong?

1. Avoid 3 column layouts. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR AFFILIATE BAR ON THE RIGHT. -NOBODY-. (Not even your affiliates, because affiliate bars don't generate clicks to their site)
If you give people a reason to go there, they will...

2. Don't use stupid JavaScript to keep me from right clicking. Don't use stupid JavaScript to make snowflakes on my screen. Don't use stupid JavaScript to have a Pikachu follow my mouse cursor.
I agree, but right-click disable is the easiest way to get rid of thieves who don't know how to view the html..

3. Don't use <embed> to play stupid music. Don't use <object> to play stupid music. Don't use bgsound to play stupid music. If I wanted to listen to the Route 33 theme, i'd have it on iTunes. However, NP: Ben Folds - Landed.
Agreed again.

4. Come up with a good slogan for your <title> and banner. Examples of bad slogans:

* Your #1 source for __________
* Everything you could ever need about _____
* Your daily dose of _____!
* No slogan required.
* We're trying to come up with a better slogan!

A good slogan is memorable. It helps people remember your site. My old slogan was "Pokemon on the Internet: Lets make it happen!" No other site was about playing Pokemon on the internet. It wasn't my #1 source for Pokemon on the Internet. Your stupid site is just starting out, it's not the freaking #1 source. Anyway, my slogan eventually started a cult following where the word 'internet' is synonymous with 'smogon.' Do any of your communities feel that strongly about your site? Well, they should! Get a better slogan. You and your stupid 'I don't need a slogan, slogan not required.'
Those slogans suck. I can't agree more. My one is.. Wierd, but I suppose that makes it memorable.

6. Use a readable color scheme. 'Oh hey my mascot is Kyogre, LETS MAKE THE WHOLE SITE BLUE.' No. Stop it. Monotone layouts are so hard to read, and don't stand out. Make sure the content area of your site is readable. Put it in a different color, and use alot of contrast.
Unless it's readable...

7. MAKE THINGS NOTICABLE. MAKE HEADERS TO CONTENT LARGE. Don't make your content text really unreadable and small.
S'pose.. In most cases anyway.

1. Oh my god, stop affiliating so much. That doesn't help anyone, nobody clicks affiliate links ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR LAYOUT. PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY IGNORE THINGS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR LAYOUT SINCE THEY ARE CONDITIONED TO BELIEVE THAT LEFT - LINKS TO CONTENT | CENTER - CONTENT | RIGHT - LINKS TO THINGS NOBODY CARES ABOUT

Of course, this doesn't apply to partnership. Help webmasters out. Hope they help you back. Make friends. Just another reason I'm posting this guide If you didn't know me as a webmaster before, you sure do now!
I agree there, sister sites are good, but billions of affiliates are bad. If you get well known for denying affiliation requests, amybe it'll lead people to the other affiliates. I started searching a bunch of (no names mentioned)'s affiliate because I wanted to know if I'd be able to manage it. Then again, how many people do what I do? I'm a freak. :P

2. Make links on your site readable, and guessable.

Yes: smogon.com/advance/venusaur
NO: pokemonpalace.net/?id=news-subform

Don't use index.php?id= urls. It's bad form. Use mod_rewrite, google it if you have no clue. It also gives you bad ratings on Google. Even worse is site.com/?id=3 :/
YES! I hugely agree with that. If a host kills your URLs, don't use it.

Sucks that I'm one of the most well known Pokemon webmasters/players in the world Even groups of people that don't speak English know I'm one of the greatest battlers in the world! It means alot to me that my reputation has spread to even Brazil, China, and Japan. It's great to see pokedrome.info doing so well these days.
Maybe you are, but I hate that type of boasting. Hey, it's nice to see that you like to see other sites develop though. :)

Fix up your sites and PM me the results! Or post topics. I'll notice. I love seeing people improve their websites. If you ever need comments or criticism for a site, please go ahead and ask me. Even though I'm a very busy person, I like helping people out. Sorry if the advice here seemed harsh. It's sometimes hard for me to explain concepts without being a jerk about it.
I probably will, but I might not...

I felt that I had to comment on that, that's the whole reason for this post. But, I've definately learnt quite a bit, so thanks for writing this thing..

chaos on the internet
5th April 2006, 3:10 AM
I think you misunderstood alot of the parts you "disagree" with.


Can't agree more... Though, you don't always need CSS..

This isn't an HTML help thread, but if you're doing presentational aspects of your site with anything besides CSS you are making a mistake.


Well, that's your opinion. If you are affiliated with another site, tell others all about, it's one of your partners so it's not a bad thing. But it can be bad when your right navbar of affiliates is longer than your left...

You took my quote completely out of context, so really any comments you have are void. Please read the next paragraph after it. You should probably give your comments point by point, instead of paragraph by paragraph. Even so, that paragraph stands true on its own. Users aren't going to wet themselves looking at your affiliate list and splash page, don't concentrate so much on it.


But you have to put in all the coding and customizing codes, make your own skins, and stuff like that. That paragraph is slightly hypocritical as you do have "discuss this on our forums!" on alot of your main pages...

What on earth are you talking about?


Unless you have sub-forums. And that's yabbering on about how your site is perfect again...

No. Perhaps you should be more concerned about the content of the page as opposed to trying to point out everytime where my ego shows! Creating too many forums too early on is a sure fire way to kill it off quickly; you don't have enough activity to fill up the forums. Activity attracts activity- if people look at your forums and notice a bunch of empty forums they are going to shy away from registering because it looks like the forums are inactive. Nobody wants to post on an inactive forum.

The point of a forum isn't to categorize every post into a subforum that is on topic. You don't even know what your community is interested in at the very beginning of a forums life span. Start out small, and if you notice a large majority of posts about one subject create a new forum for said subject.


What makes you think anybody reading this DOES want to take your ideas? ;/

Okay, good job missing the point. To answer your question, because I have seen so many startup forums do it.


I like that layout... As do others... Affiliates look crap on the left and on the main page... The right bar is just a nice place to put it. The average pokemon fan is used to that layout. But, I have to agree about the amount of left-navbar links, create subpages, that's the solution. :P
Affiliates just belong on the right bar imo. Are you suggesting that we dump affiliates in a footer? Where do you think they belong?

The average Pokemon fan can get his Pokemon information at any average site. This isn't a guide on how to be every other Pokemon site.

-----------------

Unless you want me to take jabs at your site/forums to prove my points, please do not attempt call me out for considering my site is "perfect."

Jetx
5th April 2006, 10:07 AM
That's why I agreed with you about loads of stuff. Your site is WAY beter than mine anyway. And as the forum part, I'm on about invisionfree... Now I think about, more forums than members does kill the site.

I didn't mean to annoy you, I just wanted to point out my points so that youj could explain them better to me...

But the thing I really want to know is, where do you think we should put our forum links?

Bling Slaking
5th April 2006, 5:10 PM
chaos' guide to making a successful site - v1

[ I am writing this guide because my birthday is January 2nd, tommorow. So many people have helped me out on the way, that I figured I would give back to the community on my birthday. Consider it a present! ]

It makes me happy to see so many people these days trying to make a website. The problem is, alot of people have no honking (since i'm posting this at Serebii and PokeCommunity as well, i'll replace where I normally would swear with some random word) clue what on earth they are doing or take bad advice from their peers. After reading this you should get a better idea of how to make a successful website in this day and age :)

As for me, I run one of the biggest Pokemon websites on the internet, the only forums bigger than mine that deal with only Pokemon are Serebii and PokeCommunity, I run a NetBattle server that gets over 100 people on concurrently and I have a willing and active community of people to help me out. I've been doing HTML, CSS, PHP, and even though unrelated to web design, C++ for around 7 years now. My site gets 2,200 unique, 35,000-40,000 page views, and 250,000-350,000 hits a day. I know exactly what I'm talking about.

- BEGINNERS, AN INTRODUCTION -

Don't use free website templates. The goal of you starting out on a site is to do EVERYTHING by yourself. It's the only way you will ever get better at this. You might as well accept that your layouts are gonna look like crap at first, but they would anyway if you used a Bravenet template. Once you've made a few layouts and understand better how HTML and CSS work, you're ready for the real meat of this tutorial. Sorry, I don't have time to write an HTML tutorial when there are tons available already on the internet.

- So you're serious, and want more traffic? No complete beginners please. -

1. This is the absolute most important thing. Nobody cares about your ridiculous PHP script that lets you specify which 'style' you want a layout to be. It's cool for proof of concept to help you learn, but it has no point on a real site. Nobody cares about your 30 affiliates each getting 30 page views a day. This isn't going to attract you attention. Neither is your 600 page links on the site that lead to your default 404 page of 'I HAVENT MADE THIS YET/COMING SOON WITH ::MyGenericPokemonSite v4// SEE YOU ALL NEXT NOV!'

None of that is going to get you traffic. You know what gets you traffic? A _niche_. Find a niche for your site- something to hype it, something that nobody else has. Give your users a reason to come to your site; anyone can go to Serebii and see the latest headlines for anime. Don't be just another pebble in the gravel road. Instead, be some sort of brick! A car going down a gravel road isn't going to be stopped by your pebble. It's going to keep trekking on to its destination, the sites everyone else go to. So be a brick and stop the car dead in its tracks. Get them to look at your site first before they go to Serebii or such.

Yeah, that was a bad analogy. I was totally feelin' it though. The point is, you need something to make your site unique. My site's niche is competitive strategy to Pokemon. My users love my site because they know they can't go anywhere else for competitive strategy. It targets them. There is no other site on the internet that can MORE than fill a 128 man tournament in less than 24 hours.

2. DON'T LET YOUR FORUMS BE YOUR MAIN ATTRACTION. The forums are there to unite and give your users a sense of community. If you don't have a niche yet, you aren't going to have users. "My invisionfree.com board" is not a niche for attracting views. I could go to any site for a forum system. You didn't make it. It's not unique to your site. Why should I visit YOUR board and not anyone elses? I don't even like your site, it has no content, focus, vision. Just a forum system that you didn't make.

If you do have a forum, don't make this fatal mistake: making more forums than you have users. I see this all the time- 10 registered users, 100 forums of bullshnitey. Good job, you managed to make a section for every possible topic anyone could ever think of. Too bad you only have 10 members and with so many forums, they are going to have no clue where to post in. Keep it simple. When I started Smogon in May 2004, I had -2- forums. A general chat forum with a witty title, and a General Pokemon forum. I also got 1500 registered users in half a year. Even after purging inactive users, we at this time are 4 members away from 2000, with around 50-80 people viewing the forums at the same time (70 at this time of writing).

3. Involve your community. Ask people to help you, and help them help you by showing them the ropes. Eventually the newbies who want to help will grow up and "get it," and become very helpful staff to you. Don't turn away people that are idiots, even if they are idiots. Just help them be better. :/ You'll be able to generate content quicker, and this in turn will get you more visitors that will want to help as well. It's a vicious cycle. People love to contribute to projects. Just give them proper credit for their work.

When I was first starting my site, I had a Pokemon Analysis section and I let people contribute their work. It was a completely original idea, and attracted the attention of alot of people. Now every other knockoff site trying to be another Smogon tries the same thing, and it never works. Get your own niche. Don't copy mine, or anyone elses. My site can do strategy better than yours. Its what we are known for. Just accept it :/

" Best Moveset

Flamethrower
Dig
Detect
Aerial Ace

Use Flamethower against Grass and bug types, Dig For electric and fighting types, and Aerial ace for almost any pokemon, use detect to defend yourself from moves like hyperbeam"

4. DON'T OPEN YOUR SITE TOO EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. God, why do people always do this. It's like pre-ejaculation, to put it in vulgar terms. You get the users excited with all the original ideas you have, and then when you open.. YOU DON'T HAVE THEM. Nobody is going to check back every day to see your stupid 404 pages. Close your site down, generate some hype about what it's going to have, and open when you have stuff to actually keep users interested. If you do it this way, people will stay.

5. ... and as for the above, generate hype. Be a well known person in the community. Get people to respect you and listen to you. Signing up instantly and advertising your pile of horse jello invisionfree forum is going to get you banned for advertising. Make some friends on forums, and while you are at it study their practices for making your own. After making friends, get them to join your forums and help you out. People love to be involved in things!! I can't say it enough. Also, put your site in your signature with a short description about what's unique about it. Don't put an obnoxious banner with generic Pokemon sprites in your signature. Nobody is going to click that, it's like an ad banner. The human eye is conditioned to skip over piles of horse jello!

- Layout tips -

A catchy layout will get the attention of your visitors. Here is where ALOT of people make mistakes. AVOID THIS LAYOUT: big honking banner up top, links to every page on your site on the left, affiliates on the right. If you eventually have a big site, you can't put a link to every page of your site on the left. Don't be Serebii, they have an atrocious and slow loading layout, as well as an ugly color scheme. (No offense! Take pointers :/)

1. Avoid 3 column layouts. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR AFFILIATE BAR ON THE RIGHT. -NOBODY-. (Not even your affiliates, because affiliate bars don't generate clicks to their site)

2. Don't use stupid JavaScript to keep me from right clicking. Don't use stupid JavaScript to make snowflakes on my screen. Don't use stupid JavaScript to have a Pikachu follow my mouse cursor.

3. Don't use <embed> to play stupid music. Don't use <object> to play stupid music. Don't use bgsound to play stupid music. If I wanted to listen to the Route 33 theme, i'd have it on iTunes. However, NP: Ben Folds - Landed.

4. Come up with a good slogan for your <title> and banner. Examples of bad slogans:

* Your #1 source for __________
* Everything you could ever need about _____
* Your daily dose of _____!
* No slogan required.
* We're trying to come up with a better slogan!

A good slogan is memorable. It helps people remember your site. My old slogan was "Pokemon on the Internet: Lets make it happen!" No other site was about playing Pokemon on the internet. It wasn't my #1 source for Pokemon on the Internet. Your stupid site is just starting out, it's not the freaking #1 source. Anyway, my slogan eventually started a cult following where the word 'internet' is synonymous with 'smogon.' Do any of your communities feel that strongly about your site? Well, they should! Get a better slogan. You and your stupid 'I don't need a slogan, slogan not required.'

http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/2036/banner9px.jpg

(No offense to pokelericon, I actually like his layout. It's easy to read and has a cool color scheme. Just a gay slogan! Good luck with your site ;))

5. *WARNING* JavaScript menus are cool, but make sure the links to parts of your site are actually in the HTML file or search engines won't index your pages.

6. Use a readable color scheme. 'Oh hey my mascot is Kyogre, LETS MAKE THE WHOLE SITE BLUE.' No. Stop it. Monotone layouts are so hard to read, and don't stand out. Make sure the content area of your site is readable. Put it in a different color, and use alot of contrast.

7. MAKE THINGS NOTICABLE. MAKE HEADERS TO CONTENT LARGE. Don't make your content text really unreadable and small.

- Misc Advice -

1. Oh my god, stop affiliating so much. That doesn't help anyone, nobody clicks affiliate links ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR LAYOUT. PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY IGNORE THINGS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR LAYOUT SINCE THEY ARE CONDITIONED TO BELIEVE THAT LEFT - LINKS TO CONTENT | CENTER - CONTENT | RIGHT - LINKS TO THINGS NOBODY CARES ABOUT.

Of course, this doesn't apply to partnership. Help webmasters out. Hope they help you back. Make friends. Just another reason I'm posting this guide :) If you didn't know me as a webmaster before, you sure do now!

2. Make links on your site readable, and guessable.

Yes: smogon.com/advance/venusaur
NO: pokemonpalace.net/?id=news-subform

Don't use index.php?id= urls. It's bad form. Use mod_rewrite, google it if you have no clue. It also gives you bad ratings on Google. Even worse is site.com/?id=3 :/

- Closing -

Hey, thanks for reading this! And thank yourself too. Maybe you have a better perception of what it actually takes to stand a chance in the webmaster world. I end this document with a quote by Chrono Cr@cker:



Sucks that I'm one of the most well known Pokemon webmasters/players in the world :( Even groups of people that don't speak English know I'm one of the greatest battlers in the world! It means alot to me that my reputation has spread to even Brazil, China, and Japan. It's great to see pokedrome.info doing so well these days. That's ok honey, I love your quote :-) It gives me something to laugh at on my birthday :-D

Fix up your sites and PM me the results! Or post topics. I'll notice. I love seeing people improve their websites. If you ever need comments or criticism for a site, please go ahead and ask me. Even though I'm a very busy person, I like helping people out. Sorry if the advice here seemed harsh. It's sometimes hard for me to explain concepts without being a jerk about it.

Good luck in future endeavors.
~ Internet, Pokemon, websites, and Happy Birthday to me.
- chaos


Yea but it's so much work! :p You may as well just do yer best and as long as you enjoy making the site, it doesn't matter too much how it looks, as you learn from doing it yourself better.

Jetx
5th April 2006, 9:44 PM
If you're not prepared to put loads of effort into your site, it's not gonna get far. Doing it yourself is better, but chaos is showing helpful tips when you are doing it yourself. <_<

chaos on the internet
6th April 2006, 8:46 AM
Please don't quote the whole article...

If you don't want to make your site popular, then it's not for you. This is targeted at people who understand HTML and want to make a successful site.

azurill
30th April 2006, 2:28 PM
yes,it is an amazing guide for webmasters.the road to succes XD.But please,next time try to be less insulting towards serebii.

Shivla'k
8th May 2006, 3:21 AM
Yes this is a very helpful thread! chaos on the internet, major kudos.

chaos on the internet
8th May 2006, 9:30 PM
Thanks. I'll try to update this sometime :)

Faltzer
17th May 2006, 6:17 PM
Mainly I only found a few subjects in the guide helpfull such as Don't release your site to early,Java menus,Unique content,Don't make your forums the main attraction. The rest is mainly going to far on how the site should look like. And what's so wrong with 3 column layouts? Just because you don't use them and use tabs instead it doesn't mean you can just jabber on about how layouts should look like. And btw don't boast on using your site as an example just because it's a large succesfull website.

chaos on the internet
19th May 2006, 3:20 AM
If you don't have anything to say about the guide please don't post. I know you guys think "don't boast" helps me, but it really doesn't. If you're gonna post something like that, delete everything in your textbox and replace it with a more intelligent post.

This guide is solely my opinion, if you disagree with my opinion I don't care, don't post about it. If you want to have your own opinions, make your own "____ guide to making a successful site v1" topic. Keep them out of my topic. 3 column layouts are generic and will not catch the attention of your viewer, at least if the 3rd column is used for useless **** like affiliates, top sites, and a saybox. When summer comes around I'll update my guide and probably put it on a site with some other stuff I've been formulating. I don't know how you can expect me to take you seriously at all when you can't even write a coherent post and your "website" is an InvisionFree forum. The best part is how in another post you say "3 columns is sometimes usefull but don't recommend it to a few people." While I can barely understand this, I assume you are saying "3 column layouts are sometimes useful but I don't recommend using them often." If this is the case, then you agree with my sentiments in this topic and you only brought up 3 column layouts to make a scene and cause trouble. Way to be a retarded hypocrite. :/ Get out.

If a mod could delete all the stupid crud in this topic that'd be appreciated.

Faltzer
23rd May 2006, 12:06 AM
If you don't have anything to say about the guide please don't post. I know you guys think "don't boast" helps me, but it really doesn't. If you're gonna post something like that, delete everything in your textbox and replace it with a more intelligent post.

This guide is solely my opinion, if you disagree with my opinion I don't care, don't post about it. If you want to have your own opinions, make your own "____ guide to making a successful site v1" topic. Keep them out of my topic. 3 column layouts are generic and will not catch the attention of your viewer, at least if the 3rd column is used for useless **** like affiliates, top sites, and a saybox. When summer comes around I'll update my guide and probably put it on a site with some other stuff I've been formulating. I don't know how you can expect me to take you seriously at all when you can't even write a coherent post and your "website" is an InvisionFree forum. The best part is how in another post you say "3 columns is sometimes usefull but don't recommend it to a few people." While I can barely understand this, I assume you are saying "3 column layouts are sometimes useful but I don't recommend using them often." If this is the case, then you agree with my sentiments in this topic and you only brought up 3 column layouts to make a scene and cause trouble. Way to be a retarded hypocrite. :/ Get out.

If a mod could delete all the stupid crud in this topic that'd be appreciated.

You don't have to be so mean. ;~; (kidding)

I'm mainly stating my opinion on the guide and there is no need for such a long post. I can express alot with a 3 line post and not 7 lines full of crap I mainly last a minute reading.

Why am I posting this? Becuase I felt so. K? K

AgentChronon
22nd July 2006, 7:26 PM
I dun like this guide... it has good advice I suppose but it says it so rudely I'm inclined NOT to follow it than to follow it. It also has an overall air of "my site is good, your site sucks"


And where are you going to put your affiliates if not in the link bar on the side?

Give me one other place to put them.

You just love to think that you're better than everybody else just because you have a popular site, don't you?


Sucks that I'm one of the most well known Pokemon webmasters/players in the world Even groups of people that don't speak English know I'm one of the greatest battlers in the world! It means alot to me that my reputation has spread to even Brazil, China, and Japan. It's great to see pokedrome.info doing so well these days.

See what I mean?

Faltzer
22nd July 2006, 9:43 PM
And where are you going to put your affiliates if not in the link bar on the side?
Give me one other place to put them.



I'll gladly answer that,you can place affiliates in a navigation bar like Pokerealm,or just place your affiliates in one page like other cool websites do,or just place them in the footer,as long as they're there.

AgentChronon
22nd July 2006, 10:03 PM
The first idea is good, but putting them in a footer won't generate nearly as many clicks as on the side. Putting them all on one page is a horrible idea, as most sites only accept affiliations where you put a link on every page.

Oh and so chaos on the internet doesn't get really mad at me, I liked the part in the guide about the niche. I agree to that.

Faltzer
22nd July 2006, 10:05 PM
Affiliation won't generate clicks to your site. Why the damn don't people understand that? Affiliation doesn't generate clicks to another site. And the way you put it,when you meant "generating" you must be reffering , that they automatically visit your site. If so,you're wrong.

AgentChronon
23rd July 2006, 12:17 AM
If you have a link button on every page, sooner or later at least one visitor will get curious and click on it. Of course they don't automatically visit your site, but probably one tenth of the people will which is good.

DragonDance
23rd July 2006, 12:29 AM
You just love to think that you're better than everybody else just because you have a popular site, don't you?
I fail to see how he is saying he is better than everyone.

AgentChronon
23rd July 2006, 12:35 AM
Sucks that I'm one of the most well known Pokemon webmasters/players in the world Even groups of people that don't speak English know I'm one of the greatest battlers in the world! It means alot to me that my reputation has spread to even Brazil, China, and Japan.

It also seems that he has the general air of "you people have no clue what you are doing and I am much better than you everything I say is right and you are just idiot kids who think they can make a site"




I don't know how you can expect me to take you seriously at all when you can't even write a coherent post and your "website" is an InvisionFree forum. The best part is how in another post you say "3 columns is sometimes usefull but don't recommend it to a few people." While I can barely understand this, I assume you are saying "3 column layouts are sometimes useful but I don't recommend using them often." If this is the case, then you agree with my sentiments in this topic and you only brought up 3 column layouts to make a scene and cause trouble. Way to be a retarded hypocrite. :/ Get out.

Listen. He's just saying "I'm better than you because I have a popular website."

Also his advice is put in a really rude manner.

You know, I used to like smogon.com until I found out about how mean the owner was.

AgentChronon
23rd July 2006, 12:40 AM
Alright we probably should stop arguing about this. We can just think different things without flaming each other :D.

EDIT: Wait... that post was just deleted.. now I look like a fool

Faltzer
23rd July 2006, 12:47 AM
If you have a link button on every page, sooner or later at least one visitor will get curious and click on it. Of course they don't automatically visit your site, but probably one tenth of the people will which is good.
I find it really strange that the Damaged Games website stores all his affiliates in one page,and then his affiliates gain 50 hits a day from Damaged Games in the result of it being in one page. So what can you say to that?

Affiliation doesn't bring hits to your website just because you affiliate. And if you think I'm a hypcrite on affiliates,I'm not. I affiliate to help other websites,I don't affiliate to gain:

A)Hits
B)Visits
C)Page Rank

That's retarded.



It also seems that he has the general air of "you people have no clue what you are doing and I am much better than you everything I say is right and you are just idiot kids who think they can make a site"
He wasn't saying he was better just because his site was succesfull,he was just saying he was a real well known webmaster. What's wrong with that? It's just true. Deal with it.


You know, I used to like smogon.com until I found out about how mean the owner was.
I actually like Smogon even if I'm flamed for being under-age,but that's just normal for a community that get's into more mature discussions of Pokeon. You know,he might act a little flamy,but that's just how he is,but when you get to know him,he's a nice person. And if he dislikes you,it's obvious you've been noobing around.:)


I fail to see how he is saying he is better than everyone.

And I failed to see how it helped this topic in any way.

AgentChronon
23rd July 2006, 1:43 AM
I've never been to damaged games...

You know this is a really stupid dispute we should probably stop.

Yeah you are probably right chaos on the internet is probably nicer once you get to know him... even though I have a bad first impression. I don't like people that cuss for no reason... I mean cussing when you are mad makes sense but in just ordinary dialogue??? Whatever...

Faltzer
23rd July 2006, 1:47 AM
www.damagedgames.com

Take that

AgentChronon
23rd July 2006, 2:24 AM
That is a cool site.

Faltzer
29th July 2006, 8:24 PM
Also,chaos,if you're reading this,I posted this on Nachtara forums,I'll PM you the link to it if you want.

AgentChronon
29th July 2006, 9:59 PM
I think he would have wanted you to ask permission first.

Magma Leader Maxie
29th July 2006, 10:15 PM
You two, Faltzer and AgentChronon, are just pointlessly arguing about something that isn't the subject of this thread, and it is rather annoying.

I must admit myself, there are certain sentences that make it sound as if the internet is chaos' back yard, but if you ever visited smogon.com, you'll know that's just what he's like, and he won't change just because you tell him his head is excessively inflated.

In this guide, there are some things I agree with, and others with which I don't. The most useful quality tips are about not opening your site too early, not stacking useless Javascripts (a.k.a. dynamicdrive syndrome), finding something specific that your site will be about and not using pre-made templates at any price.

As for what I disagree with it's mostly those "this/that sucks" little comments chaos slips in every now and again. Whether they're deliberate or not, I don't know, but some plain aren't true or are highly biased.

When I reached the end of the article, I wasn't sure whether chaos intended to help other webmasters or shock and scare them out of the webmastering business. I know that everything you said, chaos, was true, but the way you wrote it was "curious", to say the least. Give the people a chance to breathe, because even following these tips won't help much anyway. It all comes down to how much effort you're willing to put into a site. These are all just measures that can be taken along the way to improve the finished product.

AgentChronon
29th July 2006, 10:34 PM
You two, Faltzer and AgentChronon, are just pointlessly arguing about something that isn't the subject of this thread, and it is rather annoying.

Yes this is the fourth argument that we have been holding XD we always argue with each other.

Oh and BTW I agree with every single thing you said in that post.

Faltzer
30th July 2006, 12:27 AM
We were ON topic for your information MLM,we were discussing on where people can place other affiliates,other types of navigation,etc. which was related to the topic.

Magma Leader Maxie
30th July 2006, 12:35 AM
We were ON topic for your information MLM,we were discussing on where people can place other affiliates,other types of navigation,etc. which was related to the topic.

This guide is solely my opinion, if you disagree with my opinion I don't care, don't post about it. If you want to have your own opinions, make your own "____ guide to making a successful site v1" topic. Keep them out of my topic.
And there I was, under the impression that chaos specifically asked you not to purposelessly argue with what he said about affiliates and 3-columned site designs, or anything else for that matter.

whatadai
30th July 2006, 5:00 AM
um. affiliates help a lot. you just have to know who to affiliate with. if you've ever been affiliated with ppn or suta-raito you'd get 2342341234 visitors. i was also site of the month on ppn once and that got me a lot of visitors and suta-raito too. of course those two are big sites and hard to get affiliated with, but thats why you work harder to make yours good enough for them.

Trainer Rachel
30th July 2006, 9:45 AM
um. affiliates help a lot. you just have to know who to affiliate with. if you've ever been affiliated with ppn or suta-raito you'd get 2342341234 visitors. i was also site of the month on ppn once and that got me a lot of visitors and suta-raito too. of course those two are big sites and hard to get affiliated with, but thats why you work harder to make yours good enough for them.


I agree that having the right affiliates CAN help A LOT.

AgentChronon
30th July 2006, 1:50 PM
And I agree with both of you.





(No offense to pokelericon, I actually like his layout. It's easy to read and has a cool color scheme. Just a gay slogan! Good luck with your site ;))

This is something that really bothers me and I know you are not the only person that does that, but the slogan is not "gay". Gay means two things, happy... and well we know what the other thing is. I'm sure the slogan is not happy, as chaos said he didn't like it. But slogans don't even have genders, so they're not "gay". They're stupid maybe, but not "gay". I'm sorry, but that really bugs me.



1. Oh my god, stop affiliating so much. That doesn't help anyone, nobody clicks affiliate links ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR LAYOUT. PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY IGNORE THINGS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR LAYOUT SINCE THEY ARE CONDITIONED TO BELIEVE THAT LEFT - LINKS TO CONTENT | CENTER - CONTENT | RIGHT - LINKS TO THINGS NOBODY CARES ABOUT.


I'm sorry, but usually the second thing I do when I go to a site is (after I browse the content) click on about half of the affiliates. I've been to every single one of TCoD's affiliates and I have become a fan of a lot of them.

Fiery Blaziken
30th July 2006, 5:29 PM
AC:
You =/= everyone else.
And if you're offended by that, I really reccomend you not to go to Smogon. ._.

AgentChronon
30th July 2006, 5:37 PM
AC:
You =/= everyone else.
And if you're offended by that, I really reccomend you not to go to Smogon. ._.

Sorry bout my online term stupidity, but what does =/= mean?

Yeah I know people do that a lot at Smogon... it's just something that bugs me a lot.

Fiery Blaziken
30th July 2006, 5:46 PM
Not equal. >_>;

AgentChronon
30th July 2006, 6:51 PM
Oh okay. It's just something that really really bothers me...

Trainer Rachel
30th July 2006, 8:45 PM
AgentChronon, I agree with you a lot (if not fully... I can't remember what all you've said =P) And yeah, the "gay" thing is fairly annoying, but meh, at least he didn't use anything worse.



I'm sorry, but usually the second thing I do when I go to a site is (after I browse the content) click on about half of the affiliates. I've been to every single one of TCoD's affiliates and I have become a fan of a lot of them.

TOTALLY AGREED! Lol, I love checking out other sites and stuff. People do click on affiliate links, no matter what people say. Does everybody? No. But a lot do.

AgentChronon
30th July 2006, 9:00 PM
Well it's good to know someone agrees with me, kinda balances off Faltzer disagreeing with me.

Faltzer
31st July 2006, 1:49 AM
I've set a special script on my site to see how many hits I get from my affiliates. PokePark usually recieves around 100 unique hits a day,and look at this:

"Pokepark:6"

Proof of affiliates NOT generating clicks to your site.

AgentChronon
31st July 2006, 2:12 AM
Hmm so? That's about what I would expect, 10%.... well it's less than 10% but it's probably on a bad day... and 100 isn't that much, that's what my site gets.

But you see most of them have already come to your site, and now they just type it in or have it on their favorites. So you see it probably gives you about 20 hits or so.

Trainer Rachel
31st July 2006, 4:40 AM
Yeah, if they only get 100 hits, (not saying that's small, but compared to other sites) I wouldn't expect to get many clicks to my site. BUT say, if you affiliated with Serebii, then you're bound to get loads of hits.

Faltzer
31st July 2006, 2:00 PM
100 isn't that much, that's what my site gets.


All lies.
It's hard to get 100 unique hits per day,and I'm lucky I get 50-60 unique per day. And who do you think I am? Some kind of *******? I used a link checker to see how much hits you gained and it showed you only recieved "10" per day.





Yeah, if they only get 100 hits, (not saying that's small, but compared to other sites) I wouldn't expect to get many clicks to my site. BUT say, if you affiliated with Serebii, then you're bound to get loads of hits.

That isn't logic enough,and what's the chance of being affiliated with a cocky webmaster? None.

chaos on the internet
31st July 2006, 3:35 PM
But the problem is, sites tend to only affiliate with sites the same size as them. Of course if you affiliate with Serebii you are going to get loads of hits. Is Serebii going to affiliate with you? No. Moot "what if" questions are useless :/ Unless you have a specialized site (hello, you've found your niche which is the "theme" of this topic) the only sites that will affiliate with you are going to be other new small sites. No popularity + affiliation with sites that get no popularity =/= popularity. The amount of hits you get from affiliation does not justify cluttering up your website with buttons. Now, I affiliate with Bulbagarden for other reasons than hits but out of the ~2,500,000 page views my site has had this month so far 8,292 have come from Bulbagarden. There are other ways to get visitors to your site than affiliation, don't waste your time with buttons ._.

Faltzer
31st July 2006, 4:31 PM
Exactly,what chaos said. Affiliation isn't the only way to gain hits/visitors to your site. Placing 100 buttons on your site is going to slow everything down more. You can advertize your site on plugboards,saybox's,sigs,etc.

AgentChronon
31st July 2006, 5:30 PM
All lies.
It's hard to get 100 unique hits per day,and I'm lucky I get 50-60 unique per day. And who do you think I am? Some kind of *******? I used a link checker to see how much hits you gained and it showed you only recieved "10" per day.

Hmm... that's weird my site has been up 45 days and has over 3000 hits so that would be 66.6666666666666666666 etc. per day... well it wasn't quite 100 but it wasn't 10.... and for the first 14 days I didn't advertise it at all so I think it's about 100 per day I know one day I got 300..

On the other hand it's not counting unique hits, just front page hits like TCoD, so that would be less.

Trainer Rachel
31st July 2006, 5:35 PM
I know that affiliation isn't the only way to get hits. I agree that you should also advertise your site and stuff, but if you were to get the right affiliates (yes, just accept this "what if" question) there's no denying that it'd help.

AgentChronon
31st July 2006, 5:40 PM
I got my first affiliate today... and my site already has 3000 hits.


(hello, you've found your niche which is the "theme" of this topic)

I thought the theme was discussing what you had posted and agreeing and dissagreeing with it. Oh and I 100% agree with the niche thing (although it's a bad metaphor...). I spend most of my time trying to think of a "niche."

Although the theme seems to be now Faltzer and I arguing...

Faltzer
31st July 2006, 5:54 PM
AC,stop lying about you recieving that much hits,it's impossible to recieve 3000 unique hits unless you actually have something unique.

AgentChronon
31st July 2006, 6:09 PM
They weren't unique hits... they were hits. I'm not lying dude go to my site and scroll all the way down.

Also please don't say I jacked up the number because I started at zero and when the site was on hiatus for three days and I didn't have the counter up I added 35 to the counter which means I estimated about 11 hits per day and I am almost positive it was more.

Faltzer
31st July 2006, 8:59 PM
1. This is the absolute most important thing. Nobody cares about your ridiculous PHP script that lets you specify which 'style' you want a layout to be. It's cool for proof of concept to help you learn, but it has no point on a real site. Nobody cares about your 30 affiliates each getting 30 page views a day. This isn't going to attract you attention. Neither is your 600 page links on the site that lead to your default 404 page of 'I HAVENT MADE THIS YET/COMING SOON WITH ::MyGenericPokemonSite v4// SEE YOU ALL NEXT NOV!'

None of that is going to get you traffic. You know what gets you traffic? A _niche_. Find a niche for your site- something to hype it, something that nobody else has. Give your users a reason to come to your site; anyone can go to Serebii and see the latest headlines for anime. Don't be just another pebble in the gravel road. Instead, be some sort of brick! A car going down a gravel road isn't going to be stopped by your pebble. It's going to keep trekking on to its destination, the sites everyone else go to. So be a brick and stop the car dead in its tracks. Get them to look at your site first before they go to Serebii or such.

Yeah, that was a bad analogy. I was totally feelin' it though. The point is, you need something to make your site unique. My site's niche is competitive strategy to Pokemon. My users love my site because they know they can't go anywhere else for competitive strategy. It targets them. There is no other site on the internet that can MORE than fill a 128 man tournament in less than 24 hours.

I always hate to see PHP scripts relating to switching a layout to what you want. And when you look at the script,you'll see they didn't write the script. They found it on a google search.

I despise websites with 404 pages as well,and even if they have content,it's just all generic copied right from Serebii. You'll have to live with seeing it,because people now a days don't like to write content.


2. DON'T LET YOUR FORUMS BE YOUR MAIN ATTRACTION. The forums are there to unite and give your users a sense of community. If you don't have a niche yet, you aren't going to have users. "My invisionfree.com board" is not a niche for attracting views. I could go to any site for a forum system. You didn't make it. It's not unique to your site. Why should I visit YOUR board and not anyone elses? I don't even like your site, it has no content, focus, vision. Just a forum system that you didn't make.

If you do have a forum, don't make this fatal mistake: making more forums than you have users. I see this all the time- 10 registered users, 100 forums of bullshnitey. Good job, you managed to make a section for every possible topic anyone could ever think of. Too bad you only have 10 members and with so many forums, they are going to have no clue where to post in. Keep it simple. When I started Smogon in May 2004, I had -2- forums. A general chat forum with a witty title, and a General Pokemon forum. I also got 1500 registered users in half a year. Even after purging inactive users, we at this time are 4 members away from 2000, with around 50-80 people viewing the forums at the same time (70 at this time of writing).
This ticks me off. Why did you have to post this piece of paragraph when you post a link to your forum in every main page of your categories. Example:

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5500/hypocriteoz3.jpg


Just my two cents.;)

Trainer Rachel
31st July 2006, 9:39 PM
This ticks me off. Why did you have to post this piece of paragraph when you post a link to your forum in every main page of your categories. Example:

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5500/hypocriteoz3.jpg


Just my two cents.;)


Haha :p And some people like forums to be their main attraction. You should accept that too, Chaos, cause at least that way they aren't totally copying Serebii or all your other main sites. It all depends on preference, and what their "niche" is.

AgentChronon
31st July 2006, 10:50 PM
Yeah like theninfort.funpic.org is a great forum site and all, but the main attraction is the forum.

zuloon
23rd August 2006, 10:19 PM
Smashboards.com has it's forum as its main attraction. It's doing fine.

tylerH
9th September 2006, 3:27 PM
As for me, I run one of the biggest Pokemon websites on the internet, the only forums bigger than mine that deal with only Pokemon are Serebii and PokeCommunity, I run a NetBattle server that gets over 100 people on concurrently and I have a willing and active community of people to help me out. I've been doing HTML, CSS, PHP, and even though unrelated to web design, C++ for around 7 years now. My site gets 2,200 unique, 35,000-40,000 page views, and 250,000-350,000 hits a day. I know exactly what I'm talking about.

My site can do strategy better than yours. Its what we are known for. Just accept it :/

You brag WAY to much.

wiiman
10th September 2006, 2:06 AM
That's because he has the best Pokémon strategy site in the world...

I'm trying to make my site a complete nex gen pokémon resource. If I only focus on D/P and PBR I think I have a chance, as that's pretty limited. Sure, it'll decrease my hits and such, but I'll be able to manage it.

Dragonfree
11th September 2006, 4:11 AM
I always hate to see PHP scripts relating to switching a layout to what you want. And when you look at the script,you'll see they didn't write the script. They found it on a google search.
Uh, when you look at the script? You can't look at PHP scripts. I think you're confusing it with Javascript.

Magma Leader Maxie
11th September 2006, 11:36 AM
I always hate to see PHP scripts relating to switching a layout to what you want. And when you look at the script,you'll see they didn't write the script. They found it on a google search.

Which, in essence, is the kind of style-switcher you have. (and yes, Javascript, not PHP)

People who don't know Javascript use google searches to get their scripts. There's nothing bad about that, in my opinion. But going overboard with "dynamicdrive syndrome" is a completely different matter. ("oh...ok, let's take... pikachu cursor, falling snow, no-right click, popup menus, date and time, fireworks, curtain effect, DHTML splash screen, ...")

Faltzer
1st October 2006, 12:11 AM
Uh, when you look at the script? You can't look at PHP scripts. I think you're confusing it with Javascript.
Oops, I meant view source. Most source codes put the PHP code in a PHP file. Thanks for the correction. (No sarcasm detected)

Dragonfree
1st October 2006, 2:50 AM
...

It is not possible to view anybody's PHP code. If you can view the source and see whether somebody got a script on Google or not, it's Javascript, not PHP. I don't even know what the heck you're talking about by "Most source codes put the PHP code in a PHP file."

I thought I managed to tell you that a while ago, but apparently not. v.v

Faltzer
2nd October 2006, 10:00 PM
Please, I don't really want to pick off before from PC.

nabt
18th November 2006, 1:58 AM
I agree with your tutorial completely. You made a good point on the visual aspects of a site such as the affliate section being the area that most ignore. I also admire the fact that you mentioned the annoyances of javascript. The second I see snowflakes or hear background-music (save for sites that are directed to music), I immediately leave the site. Also, you've made wonderful points on how to create a sucessful community, which is something I don't see very often. People go about it the entirely wrong way, with flashy colors and dancing bananas to attract visitors. It's nice to see someone with experience helping out the community. Hopefully others learn from this and the on-going rampage of badly done sites might end.


Even though I'm a very busy person, I like helping people out. Sorry if the advice here seemed harsh. It's sometimes hard for me to explain concepts without being a jerk about it.
Sometimes the only way to get your point across is to wake people up by being harsh.

Faltzer
18th November 2006, 4:21 PM
Don't use index.php?id= urls. It's bad form. Use mod_rewrite, google it if you have no clue. It also gives you bad ratings on Google. Even worse is site.com/?id=3 :/


I just really have to agree with this. I don't get why people don't care about SEO. If you don't care about seo, then you don't care about your sites future. I recieve 80% of my hits from search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

togepip
12th February 2007, 7:17 PM
This is a really good guide and I think it will help me ^^.
BTW: Faltzer it is Togepi from MMC

pokemonelite4leader
22nd February 2007, 5:54 PM
There is a wat to evade the no right-click thing anyway, what you must do is right click and hold it down, then when the thing comes up saying dont copyor somethng press ok while right is still held down, put the mouse over what you want to copy, and release so the no right click stuff is a waste anyway, if you make all those special effects it bugs people that wantto concentrate on teh actual site good tip.

TO CONTENT | CENTER - CONTENT | RIGHT - LINKS TO THINGS NOBODY CARES ABOUT lol
GOLDYOSHI:

The thing is, it isn't for chatting, it's for drawing. And you could just as well hang out in fan art on the forums if you wanted to critisize pictures!

There is no real community in Oekakis, just people who draw and comment. It can't keep a site together, at least, I think. :O

And yes, finding your niche is important. I always hated it when Ifo und a site that had news and info that I could just as well get somewhere else. If they had other stuff, well, OK, but it should be unique. No 'Raise a Pikachu' game, or 'Catch a Pidgey', you didn't make it.

For example, on my site, Ihave POkemon theories, explaining thigns like why Feebas only live in 6 tiles and why Electrode explodes at the slightest shock. I have fun things there. Personality. And that's rare nowadays.

I liked this guide so much, I posted a link to it at another forums, with credit, of course. hopefully, more people will read ut. <_<;
what if it was a site about art? maybe pokemon art!

The first idea is good, but putting them in a footer won't generate nearly as many clicks as on the side. you wont generate may 'clicks' anyway dude

Squall
6th March 2007, 5:00 AM
Disregarding the bloated ego, this is a great guide in my opinion. Most advice are common sense for the at least slightly experienced webmaster but for most starting ones it isn't and it's always good to point those things out. With the growth of Pokémon websites overcoming the growth of Pokémon itself it's getting harder and harder to come up with original ideas so just saying 'be original' isn't much of a help really. Also, the guide is kind of old and still v1 so I guess you could revamp it some time soon. As nabt said: "It's nice to see someone with experience helping out the community". Kudos for the guide ;)

Magma Leader Maxie
6th March 2007, 7:58 AM
I just really have to agree with this. I don't get why people don't care about SEO. If you don't care about seo, then you don't care about your sites future. I recieve 80% of my hits from search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

SEO is a good thing, but using mod_rewrite to implement some uber-complex querystring rewriting (though the querystring is still the same stupid page=somestatictext) isn't necessarily the proper thing to do. If you're rewriting the URLs of an application like a blog, a forum or a CMS, then it's all right (getting rid of Joomla's index.php?com_option=blahblahblah&id=6 and transforming it into something more logical) but when you have complete control over how your URLs are going to look, for me it's just a hassle - purposefully damaging your own URLs, and then attempting to "fix" them with a 79-line .htaccess involving regular expressions a mile long.

And generally, not looking from the point of view of the visitor, using one script to serve all content (index/default) isn't a good idea since it gets messy. I don't know what's so good about it.

I don't even use .htaccess, I wrote an email to my server administrators and they tweaked the server configuration globally in a way so that it doesn't matter whether you put the file extension into the URL or not. This way everyone got the same benefit and I didn't have to write any .htaccess files. All my files are still .php, but if I ever wanted to change the technology used (to Perl, Python or anything else) I could do so, and no one would notice.

Some of you people sound like you work for Microsoft: first let's release a badly planned version - it doesn't matter if it makes future maintenance difficult - and then we can issue patches later.

*EDIT* :

This ticks me off. Why did you have to post this piece of paragraph when you post a link to your forum in every main page of your categories. Example:

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5500/hypocriteoz3.jpg


Just my two cents.;)
Whaa...? What are you smoking, Faltzer? Probably because the Smogon Forums aren't the site's main attraction? It's not like chaos has got 3 useless things on his site and a font-size 40px link to the forums, he's just trying to promote a sense of community by encouraging visitors to register and get more personalized info on the matter from "the experts". Seriously, before the move to the new server (when the site became pretty chaotic) I used to visit Smogon pretty frequently whenever I was looking for a good NetBattle moveset for an obscure pokemon, and I have never been a member of the forums.


Smashboards.com has it's forum as its main attraction. It's doing fine.
... Jesus H. Christ. Now I know why chaos doesn't post in this thread any more. Being a webmaster isn't rocket science, but still some people don't see such obvious things.

Faltzer
9th March 2007, 2:37 AM
SEO is a good thing, but using mod_rewrite to implement some uber-complex querystring rewriting (though the querystring is still the same stupid page=somestatictext) isn't necessarily the proper thing to do. If you're rewriting the URLs of an application like a blog, a forum or a CMS, then it's all right (getting rid of Joomla's index.php?com_option=blahblahblah&id=6 and transforming it into something more logical) but when you have complete control over how your URLs are going to look, for me it's just a hassle - purposefully damaging your own URLs, and then attempting to "fix" them with a 79-line .htaccess involving regular expressions a mile long.

And generally, not looking from the point of view of the visitor, using one script to serve all content (index/default) isn't a good idea since it gets messy. I don't know what's so good about it.

I don't even use .htaccess, I wrote an email to my server administrators and they tweaked the server configuration globally in a way so that it doesn't matter whether you put the file extension into the URL or not. This way everyone got the same benefit and I didn't have to write any .htaccess files. All my files are still .php, but if I ever wanted to change the technology used (to Perl, Python or anything else) I could do so, and no one would notice.

Some of you people sound like you work for Microsoft: first let's release a badly planned version - it doesn't matter if it makes future maintenance difficult - and then we can issue patches later.



You don't need a 79 line .htaccess file to rewrite all URLs. This shows how much you know. And if you're good for writing PHP code which uses some regex, then you're going to do great with mod_rewrite. Did you look at my topic anyway about mod_rewrite before you jump to any conclusions about it?



*EDIT* :

Whaa...? What are you smoking, Faltzer? Probably because the Smogon Forums aren't the site's main attraction? It's not like chaos has got 3 useless things on his site and a font-size 40px link to the forums, he's just trying to promote a sense of community by encouraging visitors to register and get more personalized info on the matter from "the experts". Seriously, before the move to the new server (when the site became pretty chaotic) I used to visit Smogon pretty frequently whenever I was looking for a good NetBattle moveset for an obscure pokemon, and I have never been a member of the forums.


... Jesus H. Christ. Now I know why chaos doesn't post in this thread any more. Being a webmaster isn't rocket science, but still some people don't see such obvious things.
I was smoking crack with Joe Crack. Promoting a sense of community is alright, though that's why the sites main content is mainly there for. The forum was mainly created for discussions and strategy for people who need help from "the experts'.

Magma Leader Maxie
9th March 2007, 8:10 AM
You don't need a 79 line .htaccess file to rewrite all URLs. This shows how much you know. And if you're good for writing PHP code which uses some regex, then you're going to do great with mod_rewrite. Did you look at my topic anyway about mod_rewrite before you jump to any conclusions about it?
No, I did not look at your topic because I perhaps know more about .htaccess then you think. I like many things .htaccess allows me to do (I currently use some features like it's WWW-Authenticate header substitute, which makes locking out admin-only areas of a site very easy), but this one particular feature, mod_rewrite, being used on a site where no dynamic processing (like viewing threads, topics, news comments) is done whatsoever makes no sense to me. Sorry, it just doesn't. Mod_rewrite should be used where some script requires an ID or sometimes another crucial piece of data passed by querystring, and you want to make it cleaner. "page=goldsilver" isn't a crucial querystring unless you have a system in place that allows users to create their own areas on your site.


I was smoking crack with Joe Crack. Promoting a sense of community is alright, though that's why the sites main content is mainly there for. The forum was mainly created for discussions and strategy for people who need help from "the experts'.
I don't see how the smogon forums have ever been much an "attraction" - firstly, there are many, many other forums about Pokemon where people can go. Secondly, you have to swear a lot and have an inflated head to be a member worthy of visiting.

Many sites offer a link to their bulletin board (or ticketing/knowledgebase system, if they're more professional) to get more information for a certain topic.

Faltzer
16th March 2007, 6:02 PM
Using mod_rewrite is much more secure, as its URL manipulation stops crucial data from being given out to the internet. This is crucial to prevent site hackings and stops the user from knowing what you use for includes.

Magma Leader Maxie
19th March 2007, 8:49 AM
Using mod_rewrite is much more secure, as its URL manipulation stops crucial data from being given out to the internet. This is crucial to prevent site hackings and stops the user from knowing what you use for includes.

Assuming of course that you know nothing about security in PHP, and that you use PHP only for including segments of a HTML file (for which you might as well use SSI, it's slightly faster too). Mod_rewrite definitely isn't crucial for preventing "site hackings", and if you already are determining what files to include by the query string, you're already making that public information (assuming of course that there is a reason why the user knowing what files are included is a terrible security threat)

Faltzer
21st March 2007, 9:48 PM
A hacker can simply view your include files, and view secret PHP data that you might have hiding within. And I'm ****** that you recommend SSI when you were first suggesting to use PHP includes instead of SSI for includes.

Magma Leader Maxie
23rd March 2007, 11:29 AM
A hacker can simply view your include files, and view secret PHP data that you might have hiding within. And I'm ****** that you recommend SSI when you were first suggesting to use PHP includes instead of SSI for includes.

If you save something as .php, the server will never send the contents of the file: it will be executed and any output (worst case scenario: a piece of a table) sent. You always seemed to have problems understanding this, I have no idea why. If you have .inc files, make them .inc.php to overcome this problem (which isn't really a problem).

I recommended PHP in the "which is better" discussion if I remember correctly, because SSI just includes files, php can do so much more. If you're going to use the language for doing stuff like processing contact forms on your site, then there's no point in using SSI at the same time. I didn't really recommend using php include instead of SSI. So if you had some subtlety you would recognise that I didn't say that.

chaos on the internet
23rd July 2007, 2:22 PM
This is a really old thread. I would be willing to remake this guide and maybe include some new information/etc, but I don't know if it would actually be appreciated here. Most of the comments I've seen on this since the very beginning ignored the content and complained about my writing.

Faltzer
29th July 2007, 4:37 PM
I'm all for a new guide, really. The current one in my opinion could require some organization, and I'd like to see any new things you've learned if possible from a new guide

Squall
5th January 2008, 3:19 AM
Yeah, little late reply, I don't know if you've changed your mind but a re-written guide would be useful, this one's kind of old. I enjoyed reading it, though, learned a few things with it.

Disgruntled Goat
7th January 2008, 7:01 PM
SEO is a good thing, but using mod_rewrite to implement some uber-complex querystring rewriting (though the querystring is still the same stupid page=somestatictext) isn't necessarily the proper thing to do.
I'm tired of this "SEO" buzzword. There are plenty of other reasons for using these techniques. Simpler URLs = easier to type. Using proper HTML tags (headings, etc) and cleaner HTML makes for better browser compatibility. Ultimately, this makes thing easier for the visitors of your site. It just so happens that search engines like this too (which is obvious: they're trying to return the best results for users).


And generally, not looking from the point of view of the visitor, using one script to serve all content (index/default) isn't a good idea since it gets messy. I don't know what's so good about it.
Depends how you structure it. I've recently started using something called "Model-View-Controller", so my index file is just 30 lines of PHP code which calls other files to get and display the content.

blueparukia
8th January 2008, 12:59 AM
I find PHP including/requiring is something very useful and good for structuring your pages, and my index.html file looks like:



//Variables declared, and some CMS functions which I don't want made Open source
require('settings.php')

echo $doctype;
echo "<html><head>"
require($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."themes/".$currenttheme."header.php");
echo "</head><body>";
require($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."themes/".$currenttheme."index.php");
echo "</body></html>"



There's 25 lines in that on HTML file (including comments) and I just use those 3 require()s to retrieve all setting and database variables, and the theme's header file and index file.

Cheers,

BP

Crepuscular
8th January 2008, 5:15 AM
I'm tired of this "SEO" buzzword. There are plenty of other reasons for using these techniques.
Of course there are numerous reasons to have clean HTML and easy URLs, but you can't deny that SEO is an important aspect of having a good (or at least, popular) site; it provides a popular advertising outlet (Google). Acknowledging alternative reasons is one thing; being "tired" of SEO is another.

Disgruntled Goat
8th January 2008, 10:48 PM
Yeah I understand that, what I meant was it annoys me a little when people keep raving about search engine optimisation, when they're really talking about user optimisation. SEO is really just a marketing buzzword that some people use to sell. Some professional web designers charge a fee for "SEO", like if you don't pay for that part they won't make your site properly. This stuff isn't something you can "tack on" to a site after you've made it.

And your site won't get into Google or get particularly high just from having "SEO'd" pages - you still need links to your site from other popular sites, which generally only come from having good content.

Crepuscular
9th January 2008, 12:12 AM
Yeah I understand that, what I meant was it annoys me a little when people keep raving about search engine optimisation, when they're really talking about user optimisation. SEO is really just a marketing buzzword that some people use to sell. Some professional web designers charge a fee for "SEO", like if you don't pay for that part they won't make your site properly. This stuff isn't something you can "tack on" to a site after you've made it.
Fair enough.


And your site won't get into Google or get particularly high just from having "SEO'd" pages - you still need links to your site from other popular sites, which generally only come from having good content.
Yeah, I probably should've said "helps provide". :s My bad.

blueparukia
20th January 2008, 4:50 AM
Yeah I understand that, what I meant was it annoys me a little when people keep raving about search engine optimisation, when they're really talking about user optimisation. SEO is really just a marketing buzzword that some people use to sell. Some professional web designers charge a fee for "SEO", like if you don't pay for that part they won't make your site properly. This stuff isn't something you can "tack on" to a site after you've made it.

And your site won't get into Google or get particularly high just from having "SEO'd" pages - you still need links to your site from other popular sites, which generally only come from having good content.

You are 100% correct, however most people don't realise SEO does not really exist, as Google will index your site content anyway. And while people don't know, I have made about $300 from various clients who paid extra for SEO ;)

blueparukia
22nd January 2008, 2:28 AM
I know, and I can afford a dedicated server because of it.

SHUCKLE MAN
7th April 2008, 5:01 PM
Well, nice to see you're justified blueparukia. :)

Matty_G33
10th May 2008, 6:04 AM
So...is using a lot of GIFs a bad idea?

Solaceonave
24th November 2008, 3:52 PM
Good guide. i will keep that in mind :)


ps; try not to be so insulting the next time :)

thedudemister
27th December 2008, 3:56 AM
This was a very well made guide. All of it makes sense and I will take it all into consideration. Thanks for the help.

THE EXTREME ONE
1st December 2009, 5:15 PM
how can i post a forum?

An00bis
1st December 2009, 9:21 PM
how can i post a forum?

You cannot post what is simply a forum. That's not what this section is for.

If you want to advertise your Forum do it in your signature. Don't make a Topic here about it. That's not being mean about it. Those are simply the rules of the Forum.

THE EXTREME ONE
2nd December 2009, 2:18 PM
dude i have been searching on how to do it for 1 week now and i am not advertising i am looking for a gd dude to help me apperently i have came to the wrong place!!!god

Darkwhole
11th December 2009, 4:09 AM
Thnx, As I post this comment i do nothing to my site because I'm lazy,
But honestly, those are very good tips to new website makers..
JavaScript(rggh)

sitekickdude1432
9th January 2010, 6:23 PM
i completely agree with what chaos is saying, with all those premade templates your site just gets tacky. now i cant say anything to really take to heart as i am a very beginner webmaster. i just started learning some language and i can say that it is best to skip HTML and just go straight to XHTML, it is much cleaner and easier. and as for CSS, always use a separate document for CSS as it makes it a lot less confusing.

Disgruntled Goat
14th February 2010, 11:06 PM
i just started learning some language and i can say that it is best to skip HTML and just go straight to XHTML

HTML/XHTML are the same, XHTML is just a bit more strict. Actually XHTML is dead and HTML5 is the next standard.

mew72
6th January 2012, 12:03 AM
xD Thanks for the guide. i think you should make a site secretly, and then tell eveyone when you're ready to show it.

ArteMagica
16th July 2012, 3:25 AM
I have read this guide a variety of times since it was posted way back in 2006. I feel that I have finally made a website that I'm proud of, but I'm not sure if the kind of site I have fully follows these guidelines. I own a Pokémon art site. My niche is drawing Pokémon in what I call costumes. It is similar to how Neopets/Subeta draws their pets in special colors and whatnot. It allows me to be creative in transforming a Pokémon based on the specified design.

My problem is that I'm not sure if my niche is a valid one. I know that there are Pokémon sites with drawings far better than mine, but I feel my site is more different because I actually alter the Pokémon's design. I'm just not sure if this fandom understands what I'm trying to portray. My site doesn't have written Pokémon articles; it is simply images and other graphics. While I do enjoy what I have created, I don't know if my site is "just another pebble on the road" or an actual brick. I'm trying to be active in more communities, and I'm trying to affiliate too. It's just hard for me to find affiliates because so many websites are closing/changing topics.

My ultimate question is this: Are art sites such as the kind I have a nice addition to the fandom? I know websites that have Pokémon images are original, but those sites also contain written articles too. Since my site is completely centered around Pokémon images, I'm not sure that the casual fan would view it as an actual site.

If none of this makes sense, please tell me. I'll try my best to specify.