Please, For The Good Of The Community, Read Before Making A Star Wars Website

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by NarCranor, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. NarCranor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2005
    star 2
    Alright, there are a lot of star wars fan sites out there, ranging from the amazing to the horrible, and from the informative to the ridiculous. I personally have a site that does star wars fan comic books and fan D20 material, as well as some short fiction, though the comics are what we try to showcase (http://www.fandomcomics.com). Anyway, I just notice that there seem to be a lot of people out there who want to have a star wars fan site, but don't really have any focus for it. I mean, there are probably over 5,000 star wars fan sites that just have a few of the webmaster's fave star wars images and maybe some sound files. While that is all well and good, there are a lot of sites that SHOULD be out there, that aren't. So if you are interested in making a star wars fan site, maybe just browse this thread for ideas before making another generic star wars media site (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    Sites we don't see any/enough of:

    1.) Obscure character focus sites. I think these are always fun. Granted, they don't do much that your more standard media fan site does already, but they have a unique slant and focus. Some sites that come to mind are the one for the Ice Cream Man, Porkins, and Wedge. However, there would seem to be plenty of popular obscure characters without their own tribute site. Setting up one of these sites is fairly simple, and whats best is that it helps the rest of us out a bit, in that it expands the library of images available on a google image search. These are fairly low maintenance sites once they are set up. I am shocked there arent a ton of these for all of the background characters. And, if you wanted to get crazy, you could go to the Nth degree, and have fan art, fan fiction, fan comics, fan figures, costuming, a personal timeline for what the character was doing when in official appearances, etc etc etc. The Ice Cream Guy fan site popularized that character to the point where hasbro put him on the poll for the fan choice figure. He has made an appearance in the creaturecantina webstrip (funny, BTW). YOU could do the same for some other obscure character!

    2.) Technical Commentaries. Obviously there IS a site called the star wars technical commentaries, but I dont believe it updates at all anymore. I am surprised someone else didnt pick up the reigns and continue the work that site started. Similarly, there arent really any sites that go into star wars technology and science. The technical commentaries site tried to explain star wars phenomena in real world terms, but there hasnt been a site that examined the galaxy scientifically on its own scientific terms. Either type of site would be welcome. Obviously to make this site work well youd need to know quite a bit about science or engineering or whatever like curtis saxton did, but hey, there has GOT to be a science brain out there who is a hardcore star wars fan.

    3.) Mapping sites. Obviously www.nav-computer.com was the best galactic map site on the web. No question. But they shut down, plus, there isnt really a site that deals with a lot of maps of various planets. I would love to have a site like this that takes what we see in the essential guide to planets and moons and turns that into a map of alderaan. Or a deck by deck map of an imperial star destroyer by combining the technical manual, cross sections, and WEG RPG material. I mean, an Imperial Star Destroyer site with a map like this, images of the interior and exterior, maybe a list of all the named ISDs and their captains, that would be an amazing site in of itself. I am SHOCKED there isnt a site like that out there already. Obviously you need a bit of artistic/photoshop talent to pull off a site like this, plus quite a bit of reference material, but still, seems like there should be at least 1-2 more mapping sites out there.

    4.) Holonet News. They don't do the holonet news anymore in the insider or online, so I am surprised someone hasnt cloned the site and created their own holonet news/Imperial holovision. Its like a new twist on a fan fic site/fake ne
  2. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I personally have a site that does star wars fan comic books and fan D20 material, as well as some short fiction, though the comics are what we try to showcase (http://www.fandomcomics.com).

    Great way to advertise...:p

    Anyway, a great thread, one that will help a bunch of people IMO. Some of my favorites are 3 and 4. 3 would be interesting, especially if it offered all the charts and such that you can find in those books, but for free. That'd be nice. I find myself wondering about maps and blueprints of things as I write, and a site like that would be helpful. 4 would be very cool, though I would think to make it most interesting were to have it be an official Starwars.com run thing. However, I would love to see somethign like this, I enjoyed it in the Insider. 5 is very possible. I mean, you see things like that for a bunch of other things, namely Halo (granted, you can do a lot more with Halo than say KotOR, but it'd still be awesome.

    I would like to put in a word of advice (simple, yet very important):

    ~Be creative. As Narcranor has stated, there are tons (and I mean hundreds, even thousands) of Star Wars fan sites out there. If you are going to create something and spend countless hours on it, you are going to want something that will succeed, not something that will get one to two visits per month. So, what you need to do is be creative. Chances are you are going to create something that's already out there, so you need to be unique in how you approach it. Do not copy Link names from another site, make your own up. Do not use the same template from another site, again, make your own up. Use unique color combinations, unique linking (like how NarCranor's is). If you make a site that is boring, no one will want to go to it (trust me, I know...:(), especially if they already frequent three other sites like yours.

    Also, if you are just starting out, you will need to learn at least the basics of certain web languages, especially HTML and possibly CSS. HTML is a must for any site administrator, and CSS is helpful for making your site unique. If you want to be successful, with a unique look and feel to your site, go deeper in-depth than just simple web tutorials. Take a class, buy a book, do something, make the effort and it will pay off.

    Another thing is: DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED! There is a very, very good chance that your site will not work out. If it doesn't, don't give up. Keep thinking and keep trying! If you do have a successful website, it will be well worth the hard work. ;)

    EDIT: I forgot...a good thing to do is Advertise! Advertise, advertise, advertise! That is the best possible way to get people to come to your website. Make cool banners that you will use as links to your site and give them to other websites in hopes of becoming what is known as an affiliate. Post the link to your website in your sig at other message boards, in your profile, etc. If there is an advertising board at another website, post a link to it in there. But, you want to be careful not to break any rules that any other place may have, that could be bad and will give you the opposite of what you want. Register your site with a search engine, add the content meta tag to your index in order to help with Google, Yahoo!, etc. This will make a BIG difference!

    Also, try to get a website with little to no ads. Ads turn people off. If you do that, then, when your site gets popular, you will be able to place your own ads (Google Adsense) in order to make money. That way, you won't have a website cluttered with too many ads.

  3. xaravis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2005
    If I'm allowed to advertise (just taking your advice right? ;)), I have a site that attempts to take some of the technology of Star Wars and explain how it could work in the real life (see my signature). I guess it's not exactly what you were talking about in #2, but it's similar.
    I'll admit the interface needs some work, and I haven't written any articles in a while, but just thought I'd throw it out there.
  4. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    If you'd like, you can post a thread about it, in order to provide updates and such. :)
  5. xaravis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Heh, that was the first thing I did when I put it up (May 25 of last year). :D You can see it here, but it got locked, so I can't post any updates.
  6. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Well, since you are the threads creator, you can unlock it. Simply go to the thread, click edit message, and you will see a box on the side with three check boxes. Two will probably be checked. Uncheck the second on that says "Locked" and then click edit message. ;)
  7. xaravis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Thanks, didn't realize I could do that! :oops:
  8. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
  9. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
    This is all really great info to have - there are so many sites that don't last because they've all been done or don't have a firm foundation. Good discussion material! :)
  10. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Very well thought out. I agree completely.
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