The Simpsons Folder : Linkup : Design Tips
New Simpsons sites are born everyday, some of them will probaply be very good and some not. What’s wrong on your site you ask? Nothing I say! Everyone of them are good in someway, at least you like it!
Content is a king of your site! Don’t think anything else when you start making a site. Visitors are looking something from your Simpsons website. They don’t just wanna see your beautiful design skills, they wanna click and go further on your site and hopefully find something they don’t know yet. It is hard to think up something never been done before and because of that some of today’s Simpsons websites are looking much the same to me. Especially new sites has this so called ‘i-want-to-open-my-site-quickly-as-I-can‘ -method which will not lead you into a winner circle. They usually rip off half of their content from other sites and claim it’s theirs.
It’s waste of time to do something which are allready done plus other webmasters which have been on this circle lot longer than you will notice all your rip off parts. You don’t have to have 50 sections on your Simpsons site. No need to outplay other sites with amount of content. Smaller, original, simple and attractive works usually best at the beginning.
In the beginning you don’t have time to keep all up-to-date. New site owners are more into designing and all they time goes designing a better looking site. Funny but true! That’s why people rip off others content. How easy is to copy someone else work to your own site? My advice is don’t do it! Everyone has some creativeness, originality and ideas to use, visitors definitively wanna see yours!
Someone else is behind every website. They are not just updating itself, someone has to do it. Usual Simpsons website owner is 15 years old boy who is interest designing, HTML and of course The Simpsons but I personally know people over 20 years old who are running succesfull Simpsons website. Age is not a problem, actually it is good to have sites from different age groups.
The Simpsons websites are very big, commercial and professional looking sites today but believe me; there are only one site which is real one: Fox’s Official Simpsons Website. Other’s are fanpages and usually owned by a person who is big fan of The Simpsons but believe me when I say: fanpages offer more than official Simpsons site.
Most of the Simpsons website users seem to be looking multimedia. Multimedia contains movies and sounds. When you have movies and/or sounds on your Simpsons site it will increase your hits a dramatically. However when Fox lawyers finds illegal content from your site, they send you a Cease and Desist letter onto your mailbox. Letter simple order you to remove illegal material and usually something else too. If your not paying some attention to the letter at all, they will be contact your hosting administrator which will close down your Simpsons site immediately.
Sites with commercial banner on top of their pages are paying their space by viewing banners on the site. Nothing is free (unless you have good friend somewhere). Average Simpsons website needs at least 100MB space of the server for all the possible files, such as movies but I know several sites which can only need 5MB and still are pretty popular. If you’re not much into advertising on your own fansite then you can plan invest your own money to it. Money can open doors to ‘real’ hosting company which will not require any banners or advertisement, unless you want to add them on your site.
Everything is up to you and nobody is not forcing you to move or add certain codes on your site.
You have just added your site on the web and you have catchy new url to visit but nobody will not find your new site unless you simply promote to other Simpsons sites and search engines. Never under estimate power of existing Simpsons websites. They have been online much longer than you and some of them might add your support button, link and even mention your site at their news section. They will increase hits on your site a lot. You can simply send short message to other sites and describe your site a bit.
Tips and tricks
“Heh… it’s not a big job” – You probaply say and you start to make your first or second or third Simpsons site. In most cases people start from the design and layout. That is the first problem. You are thinking your new site only from design and layout aspects. You forgot the content and that is what counts.
When wondering how your future site might look, start from the content. Think what you can add and what not. e.x if you have scanner, you can add pictures. Try to remember what is allready offered and again, forget the stealing stuff from other sites. Most sites today offers sounds, pictures and contest’s. Well, you know how many sites offers these? Do you really want to make same kind of site but only title and design is different? Create something which is not made yet. If you have a idea, throw it in your head like a month and wait. You probaply get more good ideas which will be bursted to your forthcoming site. Internet is not going anywhere while you wait.
Design is important but it comes still in second place. Design is sometimes a door to success. If you are talented don’t just copy others. Use your vision and show it to others. Listen critic when it’s given to you from your friends and believe them when they give negative feedback. They sees your wonderful work differently, they are your future visitors who really explores on your interior pages more than you. You can use them as a beta tester’s on your site. Ask other webmaster’s to judge review your work and be a tester’s. Just simply send them a mail and explain what you want. Lately many people have tested their sites with ‘live audience’ on Springfield Message Board. On section ‘websites’ you can post your url available on board readers and get lot of feedback about it.
Jukka’s 9 Tips (has been released in SMB in 2000 or something)
#1 Design what YOU want not what everyone else is doing.
#2 Try to look for inspiration inside of yourself. There is only one You in this world.
#3 Design as much as you can, the more practice you get the better you are.
#4 Don’t use technologies you don’t need.
#5 Tell other designers about your work, get feedback but remember use your head when analyzing them.
#6 Don’t IGNORE other browsers. There’s more than IE.
#7 Test, test and test! What looks good on your graphic program not necessarily work smoothly on a browser.
#8 Don’t make sites without content. It’s nothing more boring than enter a site with “coming soon” signs on everywhere.
#9 Use original content. Don’t rip off other sites and their ideas.