In this blog article, I'll be going through the process of how we actually designed this website. This won't be a tutorial, but as a story of how we designed this website and all the main hurdles we over came.
This is Guildwars2-Pets.coms story...
Once me (Ithican James) and Luke Erebus had the idea and determination to create this website, we went full speed ahead!
We bought a domain name"www.Guildwars2-Pets.com (Guildwars2pets.com was taken.)", got a website host and got stuck straight into it, we decided the first thing we should do is try to poke holes in our idea.
We figured that we would only fail if; we didn't see Guildwars2-Pets.com through to completion, we were not findable on the major search engines, not enough motivation and/or of course - if we didn't plan every detail perfectly. Now that we figured out that our idea was quite flawless, that the flaws in the idea were quite small, we started with the designing of the website.
We considered what we would like www.Guildwars2-Pets.com to look like, we wrote down all the ideas flowing from our creative young minds.
We started by throwing ideas out there about the design. As we were conversing, I realized that - why try to design a website from pure scratch. Why not visit already successful websites somewhat like our Guildwars2-Pets.com idea, analyze their design, then apply some of those ideas to our design, so we looked at a few sites.
Our greatest inspiration came from Petopia ( I admit, this site helped us out a lot), this site is just about as perfect as it gets. We decided on having the list of pets like Petopia, because it works brilliantly.
So we ordered the ranger pets in list pages like this: First we organized the ranger pet families into one page, under the categories; Amphibious Ranger Pets, Aquatic Ranger Pets and Terrestrial Ranger Pets.
(Note#: long ranger pet list ahead)
_Ranger Pets Listed in Hierarchical order_
Amphibious Ranger Pets
Aquatic Ranger Pets
[+] Armor Fishes
Terrestrial Ranger Pets
..after that, we made the sub pet family pages, ranger pet species:
:: Amphibious Ranger Pets ::
|_ Black Bear
|_ Brown Bear
|_ Polar Bear
|_ Carrion Devourer
|_ Lashtail Devourer
|_ Whiptail Devourer
|_ Ice Drake
|_ Marsh Drake
|_ Reef Drake
|_ River Drake
|_ Salamander Drake
|_ Jungle Stalker
|_ Snow Leopard
|_ Snow Lynx
|_ Alpine Wolf
|_ Fern Mastiff
|_ Hyena Krytan
|_ Drakehound Wolf
:: Aquatic Ranger Pets ::
[-] Armor Fishes
|_ Armor Fish
|_ Blue Jellyfish
|_ Red Jellyfish
|_ Rainbow Jellyfish
:: Terrestrial Ranger Pets ::
|_ White Raven
|_ Black Moa
|_ Blue Moa
|_ Golden Moa
|_ Red Moa
|_ White Moa
|_ Black Widow Spider
|_ Canyon Spider
|_ Forest Spider
|_ Jungle Spider
..and then again, once you click a certain ranger pet species, it will show up the pet with all is information, abilities, look all listed in one page.
After all that technical work, we started think about its look, a site like this should be simple: not packed with insane graphics, a clean look. We want our visitors to be able to view with ease without a barrage of distractions, we went with a clean white background to start off with (inspired by Google, lol). Now that we had the background main color and the displaying of pets sorted, we wanted to take on the website layout: Guildwars2-Pets.com had to be simple, so we went with a centered page layout for its foundation.
We decided to have a big Guildwars2-Pets.com banner at the top, then considered where to put the menu bar and ads (our ads are required to maintain the sites existence). We discussed for a few hours about how these should be laid out, we came to the conclusion of having the menu bar across the top of the page, under the header.
The ads would go on both sides and at the bottom of the page, we of course then needed a footer for all the law stuff (Privacy | Terms and Condition | Disclaimer, Copywrite and such.).
After that I compiled the websites layout, this took about two weeks for me to make. (A lot of trail and error, fixing, sorting, resizing and testing)
Everything was coming together!
We, slept, ate and continued to work hard. The graphics design was next to be completed, this took a lot of time.
Guildwars2-Pets.com had to have a natural feel, to match pets and rangers (a natural feel was needed to keep the pets happy ^^).
The website went through many phases of color changing of the text, text font, link color, content background, boarder color, menu button colors, menu list colors and much more. We decided to have our website based on five main colors: White, Black, Blues, Greens, Light Grays, and Gold.
Guildwars2-Pets.com at this point in time, we now had its layout sorted. I was now creating the graphics design side of things; the content sections boarder, the header design, menu bar design, pet icons, pet graphics and the other miscellaneous images. (This took another week) During that week, Luke collected up data in his head, and produced information for each pet, which I then created tables for the information to go in.
After that; I inserted all the images, fixed up the sizes of everything once again, then when we were both pleased with the websites look, I converted all the images into .jpg files (so everything loads much faster). The website was optimized, both loading wise and search engine wise.
(Note#:Trust me when say this, there was a lot more hardship than just all the incredibly abbreviated above text.)
The site was looking pretty snazzy at this point!
We did a few beta tests of the site, fixed up some errors and such. Next we inserted the ads and got them to work properly (they kept popping out of the screen at one stage lol)
We were nearing completion, starting to see our visitors stats raise on average. We then started making the menu bars pages, we hand wrote every one of them.
Heres a list of all the pages:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- About Us
- Blogs (including all the blog articals)
- Browse All Pets
- Ranger Pet Families
- 45 Ranger Pet Species Pages
- 12 Ranger Pet Family Pages
- Contact Us
So yeah, you could say a lot of work was put in ordered to write all the content out.
Next we added the pet spell information and images, after those we then started writing these blogs.
The goal of writing these blogs is for website optimization, to tell our story, latest ranger pet news .. and of course to express our opinions.
Note#: As this blog is about Guildwars2-Pets.coms creation and that we have not actually finished, I will though continue and tell you what is soon to come!
Note#: We are still currently creating the following. (Date: 11th / May / 2012)
Me and Luke Erebus will be setting up a Facebook and Twitter Page! This will enable us to add; follow us, like and share buttons, doing this will help us gain more visitors.
Heres how it works (hopefully); For every person that shares this website on Facebook, it hopefully will be shared by two more people, thus branching out.
So if you see any share button - pleeeease press it and share our website so we can gain world ranger pet domination XD.
(no seriously, it will be greatly appreciated in many more ways than you can imagine. If you follow, like and share www.Guildwars2-Pets.com, I will personally post a hug on your wall, followed by a love heart <3)
Also soon to come is... (drum roll) ..Our own forum! When it's setup, you will be able to talk to other rangers just like yourself about any pet questions! Oh and of course you'll be able to talk to me and Luke Erebus. We are normal chatty players. Don't think of us as some sort of men suits lol ..unless you picture men in suits like the guys in Men in Black. (We are more like a guy in front of a laptop with a cup of mountain due, lolling at newbs that fail at ganking us.)
"This has been "The Story of Guildwars2-Pets.coms Creation" now you know Guildwars2-Pets.coms story, it's story is our story - thank you sincerely for reading this article"