Cheat-master30's Website Design Guide

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cheat_master30

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cheat_master30 submitted a new Article:

Cheat-master30's Website Design Guide

Originally on my site and Admin Addict, duplicated here:

When it comes to creating a website, I'll be perfectly honest and say my opinion has changed a heck of a lot over the years, with my tips for website design one year not holding out well for the next. However, I thought I might as well write a proper website design and content guide, not unlike those by sites like the Cave of Dragonflies, because frankly, the internet needs a fan site author who's less... anti business/anti premade stuff and who actually realises internet forums are far harder to run than they seem.

First things first however, internet forums. Now, I won't go into the specifics here, because I already wrote a fantastic guide you can find at vBulletin.org and AdminAddict about how to manage a forum, and the same sites have pages on pages on pages of resources about how to manage a forum in every way, but managing a forum (or any community element to a site) is probably one of the most difficult things to do as far as being a webmaster actually goes. It's immensely satisfying when the forum or wiki does well, but starting off it's basically a long, hard slog uphill for a minimum of weeks to get it off the ground. Indeed, it's not the easy option. Sorry Archaic Sage of Rauru's Return and whoever runs the Cave of Dragonflies, forum management is not the cowards way out in terms of fan site design, nor is it something that's merely an add on to a sucessful site. It's a whole subject area for which entire BOOKS and WEBSITES have been written. At least ten big forums thrive just on telling you how to run a community. It's also not linked to the success of the main website or attraction. A good fan site can be dead community wise, this killed Deku Palace the Zelda site. So can an active wiki. As can a very popular blog (see, John Chow. His forum died in weeks despite the fact he literally had thousands of unique visitors and made thousands of dollars in Adsense revenue).

On another note, I will say that about pre made software... just use it in most cases. Style is best to make or at least edit yourself, but really, coding your own database system, site layout and forum from scratch is a ridiculous waste of time for most people. I don't care if you belong to the rebel free software code it yourself 90s hacker movement, it's freaking stupid to even recommend that course of action to people. Go for it if you're a programmer or have far too...
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