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Darkcoin.io Website overhaul

Discussion in 'Dash Core Team' started by fernando, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. fernando

    fernando Powered by Dash
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    Some of us have discussed a few times that the website needed an overhaul and a more practical management system. At this moment there is very little relevant content and almost no updates. Having it in Github is great, but for some reason it is not working as we all would desire.

    Some mentioned Wordpress as the ideal platform, but discussion hadn't got further because it was mentioned that DRKLord was working in a new website using other software. I have asked him and he isn't, so there must have been some kind of misunderstanding.

    I have asked eduffield and he's agreed to make some changes:
    • From Github to Wordpress, as long as we are able to create a nice theme.
    • Engage more people to maintain and update the website. If we use Wordpress the non-developers can do much more and devs can concentrate on coding Darkcoin.
    • Structure of a few static pages plus a blog for announcements/big news (they would still appear on the forums, but we need them also on the website for people who won't go further).
    • Start ASAP to try to have it ready in a very low numbers of weeks. We would work on a test domain and move to darkcoin.io when ready.

    I see three lines of work:
    1. Setup the install and start working on the theme. It can start now. mattmct, you have a ton of experience with this, are you in? also, Minotaur, you've been working with your designer in the aesthetics of almost everything we have, so I think you should be involved too if you are ok
    2. Determine the structure of content. It can start now. Please comment with your ideas for the static pages.
    3. Produce the content. This must wait until we decide on B, but we have great writers around, so I'm confident this one will be easy to fulfill :)

    Many of you have been very vocal about the problems of the website. Please step in and share your ideas and skills so we can move this forward. I know I have seen comments about the website from eltito InternetApe vertoe Icebucket flare TsuyokuNaritai acidburn AlexGR raze tungfa and a few more, so there should be a lot of comments!!

    In order to avoid discussing everything without end, I think that everybody should try to contribute ideas during the next 3-4 days and then we'll prepare a more detailed plan on Tuesday.

    EDIT: the test site is at http://www.nufluxmedia.com/
     
    #1 fernando, Jul 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2014
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  2. tungfa

    tungfa Administrator
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    i think this is a great idea

    BUT as long as our Def team does not get distracted by the tasks they have at hand !!! (RC4 the code and such)

    i agree the webpage now is a bit all over the shop
    - we need a section for all links + social media (to interconnect everything)
    - a clearer seperation between the important stuff
    DRK general
    Development updates
    Masternodes
    News
    and the rest (which is important too but does not have to be so dominant)
    international things
    merchants
    general questions
    ...>>

    a 100% solid email system has to be in place that development updates and Wallet update requests really get emailed to everybody who is signed up.

    am on the run and might have some better ideas later
    ...>>>
     
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  3. vertoe

    vertoe Three of Nine

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    Willing to help setup site, structure and content.
     
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  4. acidburn

    acidburn Active Member

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    I'm willing to lend a hand too.

    Apologies for the confused, I've taken up on myself to write a new site for drklord which ... If you look at his vision for the site covers a lot of stuff. (See the posting in website "wanted .net asp developer). However, I've had little time to spend on it since I'm getting married in the next 3 weeks.
     
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  5. raze

    raze King of the Morlocks
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    I assume you both are talking about this: https://darkcointalk.org/threads/seeking-asp-dotnet-web-designer-s-artist-s.1637/?
    If so, wouldn't this essentially replace the official website? It seems there's some confusion as to whether it's actually being developed.
     
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  6. vertoe

    vertoe Three of Nine

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    Cool.

    I suggest we basicly create a small minimal working website with all the important news and information and the stuff acidburn and DRKLord are working on can be added step by step. Is that possible?
     
  7. fernando

    fernando Powered by Dash
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    I believe that other website is a separate project they are working on the side. They are investing money and I understand it is intended to be a business, just like blockchain.info is. I'm eager for their launch because it would be awesome for Darkcoin to have something like that working, but I think that it won't substitute the official site. Moreover, from their comments I think it is not gonna happen soon (btw acidburn big congrats on the wedding!), so I would go ahead with an official site as complete as we are capable.
     
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  8. raze

    raze King of the Morlocks
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    I think Infinitecoin has one of the best websites in cryptos--very professional looking and well-organized. May be good for a little inspiration on how to tackle a redesign.
     
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  9. mattmct

    mattmct Member

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    Yes very much in! Happy to install wordpress on a test area and set it up, etc ,I have a few servers I could use.

    I'd like to clear up something straight away. The current website HAS been created / generated by wordpress. It's just the pages have been generated by wordpress, and then manually SAVED as a static .html file removing all wordpress editing options and other functions.

    It uses a theme called Flati, as can be seen here. http://themeforest.net/item/flati-r...90890?WT.ac=portfolio_item&WT.z_author=josweb (check out live preview)

    Source: https://www.darkcoin.io/css/theme.css

    If we're happy with the design of the site, which I believe most people are, including eduffield , my plan of action would be to install wordpress. Install Flati theme, use the existing style sheet, which would bring over the colour scheme, replace graphics, and then rebuild the site from there. (Get it to the stage it is now, but once again powered by wordpres)

    We can then edit the structure of the site, make new categories etc. All this can then be done with ease using wordpress and menu manager etc. We can add a news / blog section to keep people upto date.

    We can then go further and add latest tweets to main page if desired. As mentioned before, wordress creates RSS feeds for the site over all, and also per category. So if we had a news section, or a development section, people can follow this via the feed. Plugins can also automatically push each new post to social media such as twitter and facebook, linking back to the original source (blog post), allowing one original source allows us to edit the news in one place if needed.

    How does this sound? I'm experienced with wordpress, setup, backend, running etc, but not against handing over the design control to others. Another great aspect is that once the content has been built, a new theme can be switched over in a simple click. Alowing redesigns to be much easier.

    The great things about wordpress if it has 5 levels of uses, with different power. We can create accounts that let people create and edit, but nothing will be posted unless approved by a higher level. They can save as draft but not publish. This will be very useful.

    I can start next week if okay with everyone?

    P.s side note. I suspect / hope the original wordpress databases will still be on the server, if so this will make my job much easier. I just need a mysql dump of it.
     
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  10. raze

    raze King of the Morlocks
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    Personally, I'd like to see a new theme. I'm not a big fan of the giant sliders/fonts/graphics with a lot of wasted space rather than content. Most crypto websites seem to follow a similar theme and I'd rather see something that makes us stand out from the crowd a bit more.

    Also, I e-mailed the design company that did the Infinitecoin website. I don't know if we'd actually want to go this route, I'm just curious as to whether it might be worthwhile to get it professionally designed.
     
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  11. vertoe

    vertoe Three of Nine

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    I agree. I'm a fan of the bitcoin site: https://bitcoin.org/
    Or if you prefer eye-candy: http://bitshares-x.info/ (you really can't click the wrong link or even miss it on that page)
     
  12. raze

    raze King of the Morlocks
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    bitcoin.org: I like the fairly intuitive organization and more efficient use of space, but aesthetically it's pretty boring.
    bitshares-x.info: A bit over-designed. A lot of flash, but lacking substance and overly simplistic.

    There should be a balance between style, functionality, and intuitiveness. I think that's why I like the IFC website because I think it manages that balance well.
     
  13. Minotaur

    Minotaur Well-known Member
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    I am in to support anyway I can. Will be out for the weekend but happy to catch up on Monday.
     
  14. fernando

    fernando Powered by Dash
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    Glad you are all in and thanks for the comments!!!

    I agree with some of you about the need for new aesthetics. The current one is quite nice, but it has some problems. It gives too much importance to the image in the homepage and it would be difficult to align with the other Darkcoin properties (social media, the new wallet...). At this moment I think we have a lot of content and information to publish, so I would lean towards a more informative website than a beautiful one... Obviously, the ideal would be to have both!

    I'm sure there will be more comments and ideas, but to start moving this forward I suggest to advance in the three lines of work that I introduced in the first post:

    1- mattmct, please create a clean install in a test server. I'm trying to obtain a copy of the original databases but I have nothing yet. Give me a couple of days more before trying to reconstruct them yourself. Regarding the theme, do you think you can customize Flati to reduce the slider and make it a bit cleaner. In fact, I think it was different before we changed the colors and included the new logo, but it can just be a blurry memory :) If you think it won't work we should go for a new one. I think this will be the case, but I thought it was worth asking.

    1b- In case we need a new theme, we all should look for a few and then we can vote. Anything will need to be customized to align it with the other Darkcoin properties, but starting with a good theme is key. I would go only for premium themes because most of the free ones are very bad or too common. We may not have the budget to hire everything, but if we need to pay for a theme, I'm absolutely sure that we can raise some donations. If someone has some useful information or skill for this, please talk now!!

    2- Discuss structure. We can do this while we decide on the theme. In fact, some of the decisions could affect the theme. I think the structure should be adapted for the individual user but have some special parts for certain groups.

    Here is a proposal, please criticize without pity. It shamelessly borrows from the comments above, from some of the proposed websites and from a few more:

    -A few static pages, some with subpages:
    • Home. It should let us feature 1-3 things in the center. Below that some basic info and links/summaries to content in rest of the website. We should be able to include here things like tweets or last news.
    • Learning (Introduction?)
      • What is Darkcoin
        • How to buy Darkcoin
        • How to use Darkcoin/install wallet
        • How to mine Darkcoin
      • What is Darksend
      • What are masternodes
        • FAQ. For the most obvious ones not covered above. For the rest there's the wiki
    • Downloads
    • Exchanges
    • Merchants
      • Advantages of accepting Darkcoin
      • Sucess cases. I think a directory of merchants would be difficult to maintain and there is already one here. Also, it could feel like an endorsement and we need to be careful with that. A few examples of merchants with their testimonial could be great
      • Resources. All kind of materials they need
    • Developers. We should start thinking about the ecosystem around Darkcoin. Right now it is small, but it will grow and they need to have a place where they can find whatever they look for
      • Some high level explanations
      • Technical documentation
      • Links to code in Github
    • Press. We need to develop a super easy to understand press kit. Journalists won't bother to investigate, we need to make their job easy
    • Team/Contact. Explanation of who does what, so not every email goes to Evan.
    • Get involved/Community
      • Links to forums and social media
      • Posts for things Darkcoin may need at any given moment
      • Events. We don't have any yet, but I think we should put the tools in place so people start meeting. A meetup embed could be enough for the moment.
    -A blog. Several categories:
    • Development announcements. I know we already have this at darkcointalk, but I think we should also have it the website for more mainstream people who won't check the forums.
    • Other announcements. Idem
    • In the news. For the really noteworthy Darkcoin mentions in the press
    3- Let's wait to have part 2 decided before starting to write. There is already a lot of great content around, so I don't think we need to rush it.
     
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  15. tungfa

    tungfa Administrator
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  16. raze

    raze King of the Morlocks
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  17. fernando

    fernando Powered by Dash
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    That is quite nice and it has something I completely forgot to mention, it is multilingual.

    I'm not sure how this theme implements it, but we need to start planning for a multilingual site. We don't need to tackle this now, but if something needs to be done to be able to do it in the future, we should do it now. A few years ago I did a bilingual site with wp and what I did is two installs in two subdirectories. They were linked to the other one with the name of the language on top. There was a redirect that sent the visitor to one or another depending on the language of the browser. It was dirty because I had to maintain two separate installations, but it worked fine.
    mattmct or someone else, do you have any experience on this?
     
    #17 fernando, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  18. raze

    raze King of the Morlocks
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    Suggestions for structuring. Trying to keep it as simple and intuitive as possible. This is just a basic page layout. Obviously there would be a bit of cross-linking between different pages.

    Home (includes Introduction w/ link to “Get Started”, direct wallet download links, and announcements)

    About
    - What is Darkcoin?
    - The Team
    - Documentation
    - FAQs

    Using Darkcoin
    - Get Started
    - Wallets
    - Mining (guides, pools)
    - Exchanges
    - Merchant Directory

    Resources
    - Block Explorers
    - Network Statistics
    - Masternodes
    - Merchants
    - Developers
    - Press
    - Media Kit

    Get Involved
    - Forum
    - Facebook
    - Google+
    - Reddit
    - GitHub
    - IRC
    - BitcoinTalk

    News

    Contact
     
  19. flare

    flare Administrator
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    SCNR :)
     
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  20. raze

    raze King of the Morlocks
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    I'll admit, I was tempted to leave it out. ;)
     
  21. stonehedge

    stonehedge Well-known Member
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    Hi,

    First post but hopefully more help than hindrance.

    Can some consideration be given to accessibility issues on the new wordpress site? Using meaningful alt text for images and providing a text based site map for example. There are a handful of fairly simply things you can do to make it easier for the sensory impaired to use a web site.

    I used to know a bit about accessible web design but that was a long time ago and I'm sure things have moved on a lot. Perhaps we have some experts in our midst?

    All the best,

    Dan
     
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  22. fernando

    fernando Powered by Dash
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    Hi Dan, thanks for pointing that out. I'll admit that I had not thought about this, but we'll do whatever is needed. If nobody here has knowledge, we'll ask Mr Google. As you say, I'm sure there are quite simple and standard practices that can make a huge difference for some people.
     
  23. stonehedge

    stonehedge Well-known Member
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    No problem, glad to be of possible assistance.

    When I learned about web accessibility in the late 90s the biggest thing was to make sure that you had an easy to find link to a text only site index allowing people to navigate using their screen readers with the minimum of inconvenience from images and menus. The other thing that was hammered into us was how important font choices are to dyslexics and colour contrasts are to the colour blind.

    I'd be proud to be able to say that Darkcoin is the most inclusive and accessible alt coin if it doesn't add too much work! ;)
     
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  24. mattmct

    mattmct Member

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    Hey guys, sorry for the delay. All sounds great to me, excited for this!
    Cheers for your work fernando , I like a good plan.

    I'll set up a fresh wordpress install over the next few days, I'd feel going with the existing Flati theme would be a good place to build the site up on, emulating the existing design. Making the slider smaller *shouldn't* be too much of a problem, hopefully just some CSS style hacks. We can then start working on the structure / pages. We cut put up some blank holding pages for pages which don't exist yet.

    We can also add in the latest tweets, and things like that. I wouldn't want to work on the theme TOO much if we're just going to change it. But that doesn't stop us from working on the page structure etc, as that will still be the same after a theme change.

    As for the usability / alt text on images etc, I'll make sure thats covered. Anyone with more knowledge I'm happy for them to jump in. I'm used to ALT txt for images due to SEO reasons.

    Regarding multilange there are many plugins available, some here. http://codex.wordpress.org/Multilingual_WordPress

    I'm sure some auto translate, others are more hard translated. At the very basic level, somewhere on the site we can have little flags / links that link to the google translated versions of the site.

    So should I start with the Flati theme (narrower slider, add tweets etc, new structure) or getting a new theme?

    Once it's setup, I can make some admin accounts, so elected others can build pages, structure etc.
     
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  25. raze

    raze King of the Morlocks
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    I'm not a huge fan of the current theme, but maybe that's just me.
     
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  26. flare

    flare Administrator
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    No, it's me too :)
     
  27. mattmct

    mattmct Member

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    Well in that case. lets find a better theme and put it to vote?
     
  28. fernando

    fernando Powered by Dash
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    Agree. I like the one raze proposed, but let's look for a few more options. Have any of you ever used any of the frameworks with child themes, such as Thesis or Genesis? I've always used 'normal' themes but I'm curious about them.
     
  29. mattmct

    mattmct Member

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    I'm sure we can find some., if not the one raze found. I've used Thesis beifly when it was new, can't say I loved it. But someone might have new experience on that than me.
     
  30. fernando

    fernando Powered by Dash
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    The problem with Thesis is that it has a referral program that pays a lot, so you never know if reviews are sincere. If you didn't have a great experience let's forget it.

    Anyway, let's propose themes in the next couple of days and we decide on Monday/Tuesday.
     
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