What makes a great website?

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Wizard7851

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So I had a topic for a blog I was thinking about writing, and i want some honest opinion's on what you all think entails making a great website and the best way to "build" it. Color scheme's etc, also I'm looking for the big no no's. What shouldn't go on a site under any circumstances. Thanks for your input I greatly appreciate it.
 

critter74854

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I'm liking the Responsive (Fluid) Web Design.
A Webpage that reconfigures its-self to a mobile devices - yeah man! that's what Im talking about..
 

Skizzerz

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Moved to Graphics & Webdesign.
 

theneale

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Purely my views...
Make sure the user can see who you are and what you're about on their first screen. That preferably includes mobile users too!
As critter74854 suggests, a good site MUST work well in mobile browsers and on small screens.
I suggest colourful but not gaudy - best to have high quality photos against a more sober looking background, for example, than to make the background stand out for the wrong reasons. Avoid brightly coloured text.
I think the current trend for a cute retro look with lots of cartoon images, textures and fancy fonts such as Lobster will go out of fashion, although there are plenty of web designers still doing it. Keep it simple and classic.
Try not to use Arial throughout - I don't think it scales up to headings well and there are plenty of more attractive free web fonts out there.
Use sound very sparingly and don't automatically play anything!
Don't over-use animations and image sliders. Some authorities don't like sliders or carousels at all - certainly don't use more than one on your site.
As for the site platform...Wordpress is hard to beat. There are more advanced platforms such as Drupal that offer more flexibility but these are harder to learn and probably aren't worth taking the time over unless your site is going to be particularly sophisticated.
 

Wizard7851

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sorry skizzers, thought i had it in the right spot but thank you for moving it. theneale, thank you for your thought's they were very informative, and you brought up quite a few points i hadn't thought of. I have never used wordpress i think i am going to have to atleast check it out before i write this blog lol. any other resources i may want to check into ?
~wiz
 

descalzo

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1. Content
2. Content
3. Content

Give me a reason to visit your site and then keep coming back.
Glitz and sparkle won't do it for me.

4. Ease of Navigation

I shouldn't need a treasure map to figure out where to find things on your site

5. If it's a blog, do not have 43 posts on your front page, all with images

Latest 5, maybe a menu with posts sorted by topic, rating, month, etc

6. Easy on the Slide shows and Flash

If the page takes a long time to load, I'm heading elsewhere.

7. Design for your target audience

Some audiences call for a dark theme, others bright and festive. JavaScript effects work well for some, are lost on others.

8. Easy on the Ads

I understand the need to monetize a site, but if the front page is 70% ads, Goodbye.

9. Thumbnails

Do not use the browser to shrink a 600x400 image to 120x80. Use Photoshop/GIMP to shrink/compress them.

10. Works in different browsers.

Test in IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Mobile.
 

Wizard7851

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thank you for the input descalzo, you have alot of valid points in there as well i really appreciate all the feedback. the blog I'm writing is gonna really come together again thanks guys :D
~wiz
 

sourabh0990

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So I had a topic for a blog I was thinking about writing, and i want some honest opinion's on what you all think entails making a great website and the best way to "build" it. Color scheme's etc, also I'm looking for the big no no's. What shouldn't go on a site under any circumstances. Thanks for your input I greatly appreciate it.
Thanks a lot for sharing such a great information. It is really useful.
 

documax1

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I enjoy functionality in any website I browse. An obvious factor to any website should be the user-experience. Is the website user-friendly? Is it achieving the purpose it was made for? Those are two important aspects of any website.
 

jopraise

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Thank you, How do I get started doing this? I have never had a website before and this is my first one. So I'm open to any ideas. Thank you again!


1. Content
2. Content
3. Content

Give me a reason to visit your site and then keep coming back.
Glitz and sparkle won't do it for me.

4. Ease of Navigation

I shouldn't need a treasure map to figure out where to find things on your site

5. If it's a blog, do not have 43 posts on your front page, all with images

Latest 5, maybe a menu with posts sorted by topic, rating, month, etc

6. Easy on the Slide shows and Flash

If the page takes a long time to load, I'm heading elsewhere.

7. Design for your target audience

Some audiences call for a dark theme, others bright and festive. JavaScript effects work well for some, are lost on others.

8. Easy on the Ads

I understand the need to monetize a site, but if the front page is 70% ads, Goodbye.

9. Thumbnails

Do not use the browser to shrink a 600x400 image to 120x80. Use Photoshop/GIMP to shrink/compress them.

10. Works in different browsers.

Test in IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Mobile.[/quote]
 

fretwizz

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At the risk of being redundant, (a thing you don't to do with your content to any great extent) I'd amend the previous first 3 points to:
1. Content
2. Fresh Content
3. Fresher Content
 

jopraise

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I understand, but however I am new here and have never had a or started a website before. This is all new to me that is why I was asking for tips and instructions on what to do. Please forgive me if I made your post sound redundant as I have never created a website before. Thank you!
 

fretwizz

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I think using the resources at places like Google to build your site are actually more important than the color, design, etc. Obviously, if it looks shabby it will obviously have a negative affect on the visitor but if it has nothing on it to keep them coming back it will fail. To answer the question: What shouldn't go on a site under any circumstances?
Useless fluff presentation methods that don't really present anything of value to anyone. Packing too much (overworded) content in without considering any visual appeal is also bad. The balance between well written content and its presentation, when done properly, will leave the user with a very positive attitude about you, your business, etc., which is the reason for having a site.
 

anamik.maju44

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Before you create a site, you have to do proper planning, like, which content to put on which part of the site. This is a very important task. Moreover, you must know that the website should be informative with eye-catching images. Colour combination matters as well. These are the basic things which you have to do in order to make your site better. A site is called GREAT when it has great contents, images etc. You can even add some navigation buttons. Animated buttons are even more attractive. As I told you, planning is very important and keep working on your site until you are satisfied with your site design. After creating a great site, you have to promote it. So that, most of the internet users get to see your site.
Thank you.
 

softvisi

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thank you for the input descalzo, you have alot of valid points in there as well i really appreciate all the feedback. the blog I'm writing is gonna really come together again thanks guys :D
~wiz

try Drupal as the basis for your site. It is openSrc and free. You can theme it to be any thing you want using
the latest CSS3/HTML5 ... etc..
It is loaded with interactive features that you can turn off .. then on as you grow.
Here's an example ... view it via any device. http://www.soft-vision.com ( I'm Retired - just a shell of what used to be )
There is also a very active community that you can tap into for information.

A few sites ( never inclusive of all that use Drupal - listed here below the authors item )
http://www.thesocialmediahat.com/article/most-popular-drupal-websites

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essellar

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... and I can point you to dozens upon dozens of top-tier sites that run on some descendant of IBM Websphere Applications Server and IBM Enterprise Content Management. That doesn't make it the right choice for your site.

It's the bloat that allows CMSs like Drupal, Joomla and, these days, WordPress to be all things to all people, and that's great if you're in a position to throw hardware at the problem -- or if you need to be up tomorrow morning at 10:00 or else. If, on the other hand, you want to run effectively on free or cheap (under $10/month) hosting, and the site is your problem (and not something you can just set up and walk away from) it's probably not the right choice. And if you want to do anything that isn't available off the shelf, you now have two server-side languages to be proficient in (PHP and the CMS inner platform) rather than one. Or four instead of two if you need to do an end-run around an ORM.

They're great for large teams of essentially interchangeable mediocre code monkeys working on big projects. But at the personal site/SMB level, you either need to hire or become a platform expert to make any real changes, and you use far more server than you ought to, so you'll have to scale up hosting earlier and more often as you grow. And if you ever get really big (and what "really big" means depends on the usage pattern; 10K users interacting in a Facebook pattern is a lot "bigger" than 100K users interacting with the New York Times or 1M users on a government info site), the server costs alone will quickly eat through any savings you made in development/deployment.

There are a lot of considerations that should go into choosing a platform or development path; "X uses it" should be pretty low on the list.
 

softvisi

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... and I can point you to dozens upon dozens of top-tier sites that run on some descendant of IBM Websphere Applications Server and IBM Enterprise Content Management. That doesn't make it the right choice for your site.
It's the bloat that allows CMSs like Drupal, Joomla and, these days, WordPress to be all things to all people, and that's great if you're in a position to throw hardware at the problem -- or if you need to be up tomorrow morning at 10:00 or else. If, on the other hand, you want to run effectively on free or cheap (under $10/month) hosting, and the site is your problem (and not something you can just set up and walk away from) it's probably not the right choice. And if you want to do anything that isn't available off the shelf, you now have two server-side languages to be proficient in (PHP and the CMS inner platform) rather than one. Or four instead of two if you need to do an end-run around an ORM.
They're great for large teams of essentially interchangeable mediocre code monkeys working on big projects. But at the personal site/SMB level, you either need to hire or become a platform expert to make any real changes, and you use far more server than you ought to, so you'll have to scale up hosting earlier and more often as you grow. And if you ever get really big (and what "really big" means depends on the usage pattern; 10K users interacting in a Facebook pattern is a lot "bigger" than 100K users interacting with the New York Times or 1M users on a government info site), the server costs alone will quickly eat through any savings you made in development/deployment.
There are a lot of considerations that should go into choosing a platform or development path; "X uses it" should be pretty low on the list.

LMAO... I hope all realize your uninformed tirade belongs to you.
By the way - I still hand code - no WYSIWYG ... and have been listed on many programming sites in the past including Netscape - before the AOL buyout and Live Update ( the later you probably never heard of ) Our programming back when was considered cutting edge and USA Today did two expose's on two different sites. Wherefore, I guess I don't know what I preach, eh?

If the Hosting Co. finds any CMS a problem and it's in one of their self install programs for the rookies to setup.. then they should remove from the installer program. Why have items one can not use in peace. I noted x10 even offers Dolphin. Why, if what you state holds water? In fine, if I want to run Drupal or say Dolphin..( I own a Dolphin key ) you feel then I should reconsider setting up a paid account at X10 and go some where else? cause they will probably bust my chops for using a CMS? And that I should tell those who follow me to a host... not a good choice?

As far as programming drupal to ones flavor... easiest php to work with, and creating a theme is also quite easy as they have practiced the art of "separation" of code and GUI.

And what do I see... a legend in ones own mind.

Joe ( Programming for the then message based internet in the 80's while running BBSes of various flavor like GTPowerNet, RBBSNet and FIDONet -** infact Tom Jenning the "founder" of Fido Net" was given my Borland C/ASM Compilers when I moved over to C++ as he only had Lattice and a few MS tools. ** building mail tossers among other items.. and FINALLY domained in 1996 (whois my listed domain below ) despite my company was hosted prior to ...) Joe ( aka Eagle II )- Over 67 years old and still having fun on the web.. ( My stripped down Drupal CMS CSS3/HTML5 Skin - view it via any device.
http://www.soft-vision.com ( I'm Retired - just a shell of what used to be )
 
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softvisi

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pss:
If any one is looking for a great FREE shopping cart to work with... I highly recommend OpenCart. I have worked with their code since it's inception ... and unless you want to have it do something specific where php & mySQL may need altering... it's plug and play. Also really easy to skin.. (theme) Here are two I volunteered to setup and work with as I can in between "Geritol" swigs.. I themed both as well.
The PoW Network http://www.pownetwork.org/store
Branson Veterans Task Force (They are still in the process of adding their items ) http://www.bransonveterans.com/store
http://www.bransonveterans.com/store
 
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descalzo

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Great, a fight between two old fogies...
 
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