Author Topic: A website overhaul?  (Read 2065 times)

Jubal

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A website overhaul?
« on: November 03, 2013, 11:17:10 PM »
I think this should be a job to look at in the next few months.

The current front-end website looks good, it's pretty swishy and nicely formatted. However, it is simply too hard to keep up to date.

Things we could do to improve this:
- Consolidate the navigation using PHP include statements. This would make adding new pages vastly quicker.
- Consider simply replacing the mod pages with the mod's download thread OP; again, this would save generating a whole load of new content for the site
- In the long run, we might want to look at content management systems. Having lots of projects and doing all of them via raw HTML is an undeniably slow system.

At present, the content is unwieldy and often out of date. Some of our biggest mods don't even have pages on the website, and the structure makes little sense either given the structure of what we do. For the moment I'm very tempted to just cut down to having the main pages for sections (RTW, M&B, etc) linking to the relevant subforums for particular mods, as unless we get another person working in the content branch who can do those updates the current system simply isn't functioning that well.

Thoughts, anyone?
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Silver Wolf

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 12:23:28 AM »
Sounds like a good idea, but it depends on who's going to do it.
It's a lot of work, after all.
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Jubal

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 12:28:58 AM »
True. But we also can't do nothing and leave a content-drained website.  :-\
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Silver Wolf

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 12:44:28 AM »
Maybe it could be done slowly over time?
It doesn't matter much now, not until we get some new material.
AFAIK your Warhammer mod is our only living mod at the moment. And it's nearing completion.

Now, more about new material.
Hopefully Rome 2 or M&B Bannerlord.
M&B would be a better option since Total War games tend to be covered better on TWC or ModDB.
Back when M&B 1.011 was still up to date we had some pretty nice activity in terms of quality.
I'm sure that you remember that we also hosted subforums for numerous mods which were still in development (and therefore could get the same treatment on Taleworlds forum).
That's the way to go, if you ask me.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 03:20:17 PM by Silver Wolf »
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Son of the King

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 02:08:07 PM »
I was/still am intending for the site to be more generalised as you say (wrt the navigation etc), I just never got around to implementing much on the technical side of things after I got all sidetracked with uni stuff. It is something that I am willing to do (and fully intend to do) at some point in the near future.

Jubal

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 03:29:07 PM »
Yeah, agreed.

In terms of new material, yes, that would be great - I'm simply unsure how best to attract people. I am not going to start any R2 or Bannerlord mods, time is just too big a constraint, but I'd definitely love us to be hosting some.

SOTK: good to hear. I can certainly work on content, or I can do programming, but dealing with content and programming would be an overstretch.

I'm still not quite sure what the best way is to do content. I am thinking that mirroring the forum more (mods/programs/arts/tabletop as major sections)? Might work well. Updating the Warhammer page is certainly urgent, and RTH should have a page really. I'm not even sure there's a PI page up there which is a fail on our part.
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Son of the King

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 03:32:51 PM »
Redone the index page with a template, I will do the rest of the site at some point in the next few days. Also yeah, some help on the content side would be great please :P .

I agree with you on that restructuring idea too, it certainly seems more open than the current "only these games and not much else" look it has at the moment.

Jubal

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 03:48:59 PM »
Content I can help with, though might be the weekend before I can really attack it.

Thinking further, mods & games should really be one section at the moment, not enough games. But we should have an academy section (or rather have the academy section linked, since it does already exist).

So I think updates needed:
WHTW
GoC
Spainmod

And new pages:
Mod/Game
PI
RTH
Atlantis
Adventures of Soros
0AD Maps

Tabletop
Cepheida
GS&S
Norbayne

Arts
Generic poetry page
Generic writing page

...owch? :p

I do think we should try and keep the pages as generic as humanly possible, with really quite basic descriptions as funnels into the relevant forum areas.
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Son of the King

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 03:01:50 PM »
I've now switched most  of the site over to the template format (excluding the constitution and history pages, as well as mod pages). Anyone (thinking maybe especially Othko as part of the Press Officer role, and Jubal if you have time) is welcome to give me content to put up, it would be much appreciated. For mod pages its perhaps worth contacting the people responsible for the mod to get content?

Jubal

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2013, 01:26:36 PM »
I'll start firing you some emails with text for the filler pages and my projects soon.  :)
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Jubal

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Re: A website overhaul?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2013, 11:14:12 AM »
Ta-da, first couple of text blocks. I put all the links in red and underlined so you know where they should go, should be pretty intuitive.


Poetry & Artistic Writing filler page:

Exilian has a thriving poetry section, where people can post, discuss, and comment on one another's work. Any sort of creative use of words can fit in - we're not snobbish about haiku, and we'll still enjoy random blank verse and oulipo-style musings. Monologues and other "slam poetry" style work, as well as song lyrics, are also all greatly appreciated - if you've written it we'd probably like to read it!

To go to the poetry forum, click here


Writing filler page


The writing section on Exilian caters to all sorts of fiction, particularly short stories as these fit onto a message board easily! We also do chain writing,

The "storyteller's hall" is the main discussion area for writing in general. Three of its four subforums are for story writing (the fourth being, of course, for poetry). In the main hall area, we usually discuss other people's work or general snippets, settings, and other miscellaneous things we've created. From A Song of Ice and Fire to The Last of the Mohicans and from Discworld to the world of Homer, a huge range of literature is often under discussion.

To go to the Storyteller's Hall, click here

As to the subforums, there is of course a generic stories forum, for posting any standard short story (or even long story!) you've written and want to share. There's a specific "War Stories" forum for any stories set in wartime - as we tend to end up with a lot of historical and sci-fi fiction this tends to be a fairly good split to have. Finally, there is the AAR section, which no doubt will have some of you nodding sagely and others wondering what on earth that means. An AAR is an After Action Report - essentially it's where gaming of any sort meets story writing, using the flow of a campaign game and reporting that in story form. AARs can be great fun, particularly since the game need only give a basis for the story you're telling and you can add a lot of characterisation and depth to the worlds you're playing in and with.

To go to War Stories, click here
To go to Other Stories, click here
To go to AARs, click here

The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...