Website?

Discussion about the project in general, organization, website, or any other details that aren't directly about the game.
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xahodo
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Website?

#1 Post by xahodo » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:35 pm

The current website looks ugly. Why not make a new one?

Someone with some pretty basic skills could whip up a site in no time. However, if some server side things need to happen, some more work is required... or you could use wordpress and have that serve the site.

That being said, if you don't use WordPress, you could use SVG on your website.

defaultuser
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Re: Website?

#2 Post by defaultuser » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:08 am

Ugh, Wordpress? Really?

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Oberlus
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Re: Website?

#3 Post by Oberlus » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:29 am

I'm happy with current website.
When I first found this game, that page directed me to this forum and the latest releases.
Having a not-fancy website is not a problem IMO (in fact, I prefer it that way).
Also, FreeOrion is in more need of developers rather than players.
Pleasepleaseplease, join fifth multiplayer slow game!

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Website?

#4 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:10 am

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:29 am
Also, FreeOrion is in more need of developers rather than players.
More players are quite welcome. Players have useful comments and suggestions, can turn into devs, can directly or indirectly help publicise to inform or attract more players or devs, and really are a big part of why some people contribute to a project like this: in the hope someone else will play / use it.

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Re: Website?

#5 Post by Oberlus » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:41 am

Oh, you're so right, Geoff!
Pleasepleaseplease, join fifth multiplayer slow game!

xahodo
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Re: Website?

#6 Post by xahodo » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:42 pm

Well, the current website is just a wiki. Most people will see the front page and think "oh, this doesn't look like much. I'll look somewhere else" or "oh, a wiki. I'm probably in the wrong place." Either is terrible. The webpage fails to communicate that this is the website of a game and any recent activity.

Everything has to be specifically looked for on the website. It actually takes a while to find the download link for the eyes, as there is a lot of text to search. Before the download link is found, most users are already gone.

here are some examples of open source games which have a good website:
  • OpenTTD. You can instantly see:
    1. That the website is about a game;
    2. A menu;
    3. The download link;
    4. A link to documentation on the game;
    5. A screenshot;
    6. Most recent news;
    7. and a request to help with translation, including which languages need some help.
  • 0 A.D.. You can instantly see:
    1. That it's a game;
    2. A download link;
    3. A menu;
    4. A donate button;
    5. Some images and a video;
    6. News about the game.
  • The Battle for Wesnoth. You can instantly see:
    1. That it's a game's website;
    2. A menu;
    3. A download link;
    4. A description of the game;
    5. Some pleasing art;
    6. (scroll down)A video;
    7. (scroll down)Some images.
Do I need to continue? All of these are open source projects. And each of their websites is inviting to at least investigate further.

Yesyes, 0 A.D.'s website requires some love, I agree. But it's still much better then what freeorion has.

Things which could be done to improve the freeorion homepage:
  • A menu (preferably at the top (below the image portraying the game) or on the left side of the screen;
  • The website needs to communicate that it's the website of a game;
  • An obvious download link (think an image);
  • An obvious link to the community (again, think an image);
  • An encouraging image to contribute (whether it be translation, art or coding), with a link to a page which explains that;
  • Some (recent) images of the game on the front page.
When looking for information, images help a lot and cut down the time to find something on a page significantly (if used correctly). You want those eyes to find what they are looking for as fast as possible. Each second they haven't found what they are looking for, means a significant increase in the probability that the owner of those eyes will go somewhere else.

No, text is not as efficient in communication as images. However, text correctly mixed with images helps a lot.

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Oberlus
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Re: Website?

#7 Post by Oberlus » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:46 pm

You've got a point there, xahodo.

Maybe you are applying for the web maintainer position or for making a new design? :D Either of that would be great, I guess.
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Re: Website?

#8 Post by xahodo » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:54 pm

I'm willing to do it, but I still need to learn a lot. It gives me some incentive to use my (very limited) web development skills (html, some css, some javascript). However, I'm also afraid I might be inadequate for the job. Especially when communication with the server needs to happen (I'm clueless in that regard).

I would love to help out but, to be honest, I'm scared to mess up.

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Re: Website?

#9 Post by xahodo » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:07 pm

Well, ok. Tonight I'm willing to try (haven't got an excuse to not try). But I would like some feedback on my ideas.

At the top I would like to put the FreeOrion logo. Below that a horizontal menu. At the right I'd like to put a download button. Below the download button a donate button.

Below the menu is the space of the website that changes.

The menu would contain the items: "about" (default page), "news", "media", "manual", "community", "contributing" and "contact".

Everything you're able to click on would change color if the user hovers over it. The currently selected menu page would be obviously differentiated.

Now on to images: the download link would contain a down arrow, the donate button would contain a heart icon.

On the about page would be a small text along with a couple of images.

The demo of the site will not be fully functional, but rather serve as an example. I will be busy for a while before I have anything tangible (basically need to learn as I go and I won't be using web design software).

But I need some blessing to start and at least some idea that, if it's deemed better then what currently serves as a front page, I can go off and finish it and that it'll actually be used.

It won't contain any back-end stuff, though (so no database support whatsoever). I'm willing to learn that somewhere in the distant future.

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Vezzra
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Re: Website?

#10 Post by Vezzra » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:42 pm

xahodo wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:35 pm
The current website looks ugly. Why not make a new one?
Short answer: because we don't have anybody who has the skill, nerves and time to make a better one and is willing to maintain that website long term. The good thing about the current wiki homepage is that it's easy to maintain. It does not help if someone makes a fancy new website, but leaves the project a year later and no one's left behind who can maintain the new website.

That said, you're certainly welcome to put up a prototype for a new website. Don't worry too much about getting it wrong, the current website demonstrates quite clearly that you're dealing with a bunch of people who don't know much about making a good webiste. ;) So, as long as it looks better than what we have now, and, in terms of function, has everything we have now, it most likely will be welcomed as an improvement.

The main issues will be if that new website will work on our current hoster (that means, are all the frameworks, libraries, whatever you use to build the website available etc.), and can someone else take over maintenance should you, for whatever reason, not be willing/able to do that anymore someday (which is quite likely, as only a very few people stay with the project for more than a couple of years - which is perfectly ok, you have to be quite hardcore to stay with an open source project for 10 or 20 years... ;)).

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Vezzra
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Re: Website?

#11 Post by Vezzra » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:58 pm

xahodo wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:07 pm
But I would like some feedback on my ideas.
I'll give it a try :D
At the right I'd like to put a download button.
Placing the download button for the current stable release more prominently is certainly a good idea. However, I'd still also want the links to the test builds, and, if we are currently close to a new release and offering release candidates, a link to those as well on the front page.
The menu would contain the items: "about" (default page), "news", "media", "manual", "community", "contributing" and "contact". [...] On the about page would be a small text along with a couple of images.
The most recent news entries should also be displayed on the front (=default) page. There can be an additional, separate "news" page where you can see more news (and of course a page where you can see all the old news, like now), but I think it's important that you don't have to go to a different page (even if it's only one click) to see the latest news.
But I need some blessing to start
Well, I can give you mine. I cannot, however, promise you that we're going to use it, for that it has to meet some requirements (basically what I mentioned in my earlier post above).
It won't contain any back-end stuff, though (so no database support whatsoever).
Actually, the simpler (implementation-wise) the better. I don't see the need for a database (the only thing that comes to mind would be the news, and for the few news we put on our homepage that can easily be managed by editing static pages accordingly, so a database would be overkill anyway). The less frameworks, libraries, javascript and other fancy stuff you use, the easier it will be to maintain the site (and for someone to take over if necessary). So, IMO, keep it simple and straightforward.

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