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 Post subject: Site design and integration
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:07 pm 
Knowledgeable Dragon

Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:39 pm
Posts: 213
It looks like the main site has finally moved from http://colba.net/~tempest/ to the root of this domain. However not much has changed. As charming as the 90s music playing internet sites are, the web itself has moved on. Much of this lays in the design and layout of websites. But also in the actual source code for the site. And by today's standards it does not fare well

Currently there are 4 completely separate forums hosted under dragnix.net. The Message board, The Dragnix wiki, The Artistic Section and Dragons from the Analog and the Digital World. They are different in the design as well as the way they function. As a bare minimum they should at least link to each other and the main page. Ideally they should all function as one site with a common interface and login. Integrating them may be both hard and time consuming, but the flow of the site will definitively benefit greatly from it.

Minor issues include the lack of a defined icon for dragnix.net which causes some browses to display the Coppermine Photo Gallery icon instead. And the main page background that repeats horizontally on a sufficiently large screen.

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 Post subject: Re: Site design and integration
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:07 pm 
G.E.E.K.
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:01 pm
Posts: 476
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I, being an admin of my own forums, am ashamed to say that I've failed to think of the strategy you've outlined.
A link network between the seperate sections would improve visits and post counts across the board.

I noticed that while this place is dying, the artistic section (found here http://www.dragnix.net/Artistic_Section/Drawings/ ) is thriving.

If only Tempest were still around to actually implement the changes needed.

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 Post subject: Re: Site design and integration
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:14 pm 
Knowledgeable Dragon

Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 12:31 am
Posts: 201
i've been wondering about that for a while; where is this site's administration?

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 Post subject: Re: Site design and integration
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:38 am 
G.E.E.K.
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Alas, Tempest hasn't been seen in years. Last I knew he was focusing on the much more active Artistic section.
As to mods: Only Vamp remains. And he's as inactive as the rest of us.

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 Post subject: Re: Site design and integration
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:49 am 
Knowledgeable Dragon

Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 12:31 am
Posts: 201
focusing on one section.

just throwing this out there, it probably doesn't help that each section of the site seems to be treated like its own website. i had no idea that this section existed until it was pointed out the other day.

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 Post subject: Re: Site design and integration
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:58 pm 
Site Admin
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 11:22 pm
Posts: 340
Hi all,

I'm not dead even though circumstances may have made people believe otherwise.

First, a bit of explaining, a lot of those problems are (were) caused by my outdated hardware. When coding a page it's important to be able to see it in different resolutions, different browsers, different monitors (color/readability) to see if it displays properly. Until very recently, I had only a very basic CRT monitor, so I was blind to what was obviously looking wrong. ColbaNet is also no longer my web host, so everything had to be moved to Dragnix.net (or com, org; they are all the same). It didn't went as smoothly as expected; a bit my fault and a bit the fault of my former web host.

Also, there are currently only 2 dynamic "forums" so to speak: the Gallery and the Message board. I have locked the Wiki as the system is unfriendly and prone to spammers abuse. It would be a nice project but only if there was a lot of people around to patrol the area. So this section is displayed but you shouldn't be able to change anything in it. The Digital and Analog Section is not considered as a "forum section" as any change must be hard coded by yours truly (little more work for me, but I can be the gate keeper of what is displayed there).

As for unifying the website under a single username to access everything, I have considered this. It's not extremely complicated but if something goes wrong, the effect is no longer confined to a specific section. This is the thing that bother me the most in all this. But at the very least, I can add links between sections to make it easier to navigate the site.

Lastly, yes, each section of the site seems to have it own design as they weren't coded at the same time. To unify this design, I would need a template and recode the entire site with this in mind. It's not an impossible feat but as the different designs across the websites have shown, I have a hard time sticking to something specific. I goes with whatever I have in mind at the moment, I don't say this because it's better but merely to explain the strength and weakness of the person who play the role of janitor, cop, mayor and judge around here.


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 Post subject: Re: Site design and integration
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:16 pm 
Knowledgeable Dragon

Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:39 pm
Posts: 213
I'm digging up this thread as this is more or less a continuation of the discussion, albeit a rather late one.

I have tinkered quite a bit with programming and web development over the years, and the state of Dragnix as a web page is quite awful. The issue I brought up about the background repeating horizontally hasn't been fixed, but rather bodged. Which of course, on my shiny 4k monitor isn't much of an improvement. With the adoption of ever higher resolutions, adding more pixels to the width of the background image isn't going to make it stop repeating.

Looking at the HTML code behind the main page is like entering a museum. The practices and technology used is from the '90s. 15 years later and the technology and tools available have improved greatly. For instance, to set the background to a page that doesn't repeat, these days CSS would be used.

Code:
body {
    background-image: url("blufade2.jpg");
    background-repate: repat-y;
}

With a stylesheet with this code, the page will have a background that doesn't repeat in the horizontal axis no matter how wide the page is, now or in the future. The technology has progressed a lot since that was possible, now days it's possible to create the above gradient with CSS alone.

Code:
body {
    linear-gradient(to right, rgb(96, 104, 140), white 160px);
}

Not that I would use something like that, gradient backgrounds like this has been out of style for a decade. It also makes the text harder to read. A redesign of the main site is long overdue. The same goes for linking the different sections of the site together.

The move of the main page to dragnix.net (and the duplicate .org, and .com domains) has had a profound negative impact on this sites ranking with search engines. Before this, a search for "dragon" or "dragons" would list this site somewhere around no 6. Today, neither of these search terms list this site in the first 20 pages of results on Google. Even a search for "dragon message board" doesn't make this site show up. Mainly this is due to the fact that most sites that used to link here is still linking to the old colba.net/~tempest page. The duplication of this site under .com and .org makes this worse, as search engines will classify all 3 domains as worthless content aggregators since they contain the exact same content.

Tempest wrote:
To unify [the] design, I would need a template and recode the entire site with this in mind. It's not an impossible feat but as the different designs across the websites have shown, I have a hard time sticking to something specific. I goes [sic] with whatever I have in mind at the moment, I don't say this because it's better but merely to explain the strength and weakness of the person who play the role of janitor, cop, mayor and judge around here.

Really Tempest? Having a logo for the site stuck somewhere near the top of every page that links back to the main page would go a long way into making this feel like one site. It can't be that hard to accomplish.

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