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Thread: chaos' guide to making a successful site v1

  1. #1
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    Default chaos' guide to making a successful site v1

    I wrote this post in 2006. None of it is useful in 2014, so I have edited my post to save you some trouble. This thread should probably be unsticked.
    Last edited by chaos on the internet; 15th November 2014 at 7:02 AM.
    [20:54:24] Serebii: switching is cheap
    [20:54:42] Serebii: its as cheap as ubers

    95% of Serebii.net does not understand competitive battling. If you're one of the 5% that do, then don't waste your time putting this in your sig - head straight to Smogon.

    Remember, Serebii loves you

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    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

  4. #4
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    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?

  5. #5
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    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
    [20:54:24] Serebii: switching is cheap
    [20:54:42] Serebii: its as cheap as ubers

    95% of Serebii.net does not understand competitive battling. If you're one of the 5% that do, then don't waste your time putting this in your sig - head straight to Smogon.

    Remember, Serebii loves you

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    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. <_<

  7. #7
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    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.
    [20:54:24] Serebii: switching is cheap
    [20:54:42] Serebii: its as cheap as ubers

    95% of Serebii.net does not understand competitive battling. If you're one of the 5% that do, then don't waste your time putting this in your sig - head straight to Smogon.

    Remember, Serebii loves you

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    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. <_<;

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    Quote Originally Posted by 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. <_<;
    Can you list the forums you post this on? I always like reading feedback to things.
    [20:54:24] Serebii: switching is cheap
    [20:54:42] Serebii: its as cheap as ubers

    95% of Serebii.net does not understand competitive battling. If you're one of the 5% that do, then don't waste your time putting this in your sig - head straight to Smogon.

    Remember, Serebii loves you

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    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)

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    *prods* You never posted it at my forums. o.o

    But yeah, it's a nice guide.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

  12. #12
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    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*

  13. #13
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    I was under the impression he meant a list of forums you had posted it on.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

  14. #14
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    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..
    Last edited by Jetx; 4th April 2006 at 11:30 PM.
    nostalgia

  15. #15
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    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."
    [20:54:24] Serebii: switching is cheap
    [20:54:42] Serebii: its as cheap as ubers

    95% of Serebii.net does not understand competitive battling. If you're one of the 5% that do, then don't waste your time putting this in your sig - head straight to Smogon.

    Remember, Serebii loves you

  16. #16
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    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?
    Last edited by Jetx; 5th April 2006 at 11:15 AM.
    nostalgia

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaos on the internet
    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! 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.

  18. #18
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    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. <_<
    nostalgia

  19. #19
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    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.
    [20:54:24] Serebii: switching is cheap
    [20:54:42] Serebii: its as cheap as ubers

    95% of Serebii.net does not understand competitive battling. If you're one of the 5% that do, then don't waste your time putting this in your sig - head straight to Smogon.

    Remember, Serebii loves you

  20. #20
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    yes,it is an amazing guide for webmasters.the road to succes XD.But please,next time try to be less insulting towards serebii.
    Blast From The Past

    KABOOM!!!

  21. #21
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    Yes this is a very helpful thread! chaos on the internet, major kudos.

    Trainer sprite made by me!

    "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted - nevermore!"

    -Line from my favorite poem, The Raven.
    If you love poems by Edgar Allen Poe, PM me!

    Owner of the Dead Poet's Society
    Owner of the Covenant Alliance
    (Twins with Ohtachi)

  22. #22
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    Thanks. I'll try to update this sometime
    [20:54:24] Serebii: switching is cheap
    [20:54:42] Serebii: its as cheap as ubers

    95% of Serebii.net does not understand competitive battling. If you're one of the 5% that do, then don't waste your time putting this in your sig - head straight to Smogon.

    Remember, Serebii loves you

  23. #23
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    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.

  24. #24
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    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.
    Last edited by chaos on the internet; 19th May 2006 at 4:26 AM.
    [20:54:24] Serebii: switching is cheap
    [20:54:42] Serebii: its as cheap as ubers

    95% of Serebii.net does not understand competitive battling. If you're one of the 5% that do, then don't waste your time putting this in your sig - head straight to Smogon.

    Remember, Serebii loves you

  25. #25
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    Aug 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaos on the internet
    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

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