Xepher.Net Forums

Xepher.net => Hosting Q&A => Topic started by: Xepher on July 29, 2007, 12:17:07 pm

Title: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: Xepher on July 29, 2007, 12:17:07 pm
I'm going to revamp the newsbox system. It's going be becomes a single, image-based device. There won't be all the various text and such, but just a "Xepher.net" header and then an image. That image will rotate... mostly it will show banners/ads for other sites here. Those will be images supplied by people for their own site. Basically, the typical banner/link exchange thing, but for xepher.net. When people mouse over the ad, they'll get a little menu popup that'll let them see more and visit the site. Mixed in with those will be occasional ads for xepher.net itself, both of the "host your site here" and the "donate to support us" types.

Starting with the server move, the donation model is changing back to entirely voluntary, and the newsbox likewise becomes optional. Everyone can take donations or not take donations as they see fit. I hope that if you get a fair amount, that you consider passing some on to me, but there's no longer that 25% required as in the current model. Likewise, the newsbox will become totally voluntary. It's going to mostly server as a link exchange anyway, since no one ever paid attention to the actual "news" in it. The "support xepher.net" ads/banners that I'll mix in with it will go to direct xepher.net donations. This will be clearly labeled as such, so if you happen to take donations yourself on your site, your users won't be confused about where/what is what.

There's a poll on this post (above) that's asking what layout you would prefer for the new newsbox. It will not be configurable in ANY way, as it will be nearly all image. I think that makes for better eye-catching, as text-only blurbs don't really do much to advertise comics or artwork. Anyway, vote and let me know.
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: fesworks on July 29, 2007, 03:54:00 pm
The option of both would be cool, but seeing how my current pages set-ups are designed for a more vertical box, I have to go with vertical.

but the option of both would be awesome.
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: dragyn on July 29, 2007, 04:25:16 pm
There's no option that quite matches my opinion.  Either way's fine for me, as I've been planning to rework parts of my sites, anyway.
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: jekkal on September 24, 2007, 04:23:00 am
I think my latest redesign would prefer a little banner at the bottom.

btw, since you said 'as of the server move'... you still want the 25% from before that point? I think I'm sitting on $5 of yours.
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: Xepher on September 24, 2007, 09:22:44 pm
Since I'm changing it, I'm not gonna nitpick about the small details here at the end. 5 dollars? Don't worry about it.

The news(banner)box will have a horizontal and a vertical-ish option. The banner/horizontal format one is 500x100 pixels. The vertical/box one is 200x300. (That's WxH.) This "news"box is going to be mostly a banner exchange type program between xepher.net sites really, though banners for xepher.net itself will be mixed in there as well. If you want to participate, you can use either (or both) box formats on your site. Under your account settings, you'll be able to upload a banner in both formats, so your ad can get rotated through all sites, no matter which box they use. I'll also be using the horizontal banners for the new site directory, and the front page of xepher.net itself will feature both the banner and box. For now both will use a single/static image per site (well, one for each box format), but eventually I plan to let you have 3-5 images that will "play" in succession, kinda like an animated gif, but using full color PNG or JPG images, and without the danger of any "flashy" annoying things, as the animation speed will be be fixed.
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: Databits on September 25, 2007, 06:36:38 am
Use both types?
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: fesworks on September 25, 2007, 07:57:38 am
what I think Xepher means is this:

The old newsbox is out completely.

Donation cuts are out completely.

Both sizes will be available for use, but not required.

You can use both if you want. On the same page even.

Upload your custom sized ads/banners for YOUR site, to be used on these newsboxes.

If you don't display either newsbox, then your ads/banners, will not be included in the rotation. (it's how banner exchanges work).

It would be best and ideal to have at least one of these newsboxed on your site, preferably on a "Main Traffic" page. Also, it'd be best to upload banners for your own site, for each newsbox size... but you don't have to do any of it.

I think this is all correct....
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: griever on September 25, 2007, 08:10:11 am
In addition to the vertical banner, I had also planned on creating a small "Donate to Xepher.net" button (probably 88x31)...I dunno if you would want this, Xepher, but what about having a user pool of buttons that people can add to/pick from?  That way, those that don't want to have the banner, but still want to be somewhat promotional can either use a premade or make their own?
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: Xepher on September 25, 2007, 06:07:51 pm
Fes: Yes, that all sounds correct. I'll be writing up a clearer explanation of all the changes (donation and otherwise) that are occurring with the move. It'll be part of the email sent to everyone informing them when the new server is online.

Griever: Yeah, the way donations are changing, I'll be taking donations directly for xepher.net (not for/from users or any split of such like now) so I'll always appreciate any donations nudged my way. If you want me to make a couple of smaller buttons I'd be happy too, though you can feel free to create your own, to perhaps fit in better with your site. I'm not sure any official "pool" of buttons is needed, but if you want to share, post yours in a forum thread and more people can add theirs if/when they want.
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: Xepher on December 15, 2007, 09:38:56 am
I've tweaked a bit of code in the newsbox... I hadn't realized that it was a bit choppy on the image fades, since I load stuff so much, all the images were always cached for me. I've added a few bits to preload the next image, so hopefully there won't be any image swapping as it fades in. I did it while drunk at 3:30 on a saturday morning though, so let me know if I broke other stuff along the way. :-)
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: Munerift on December 19, 2007, 05:50:45 pm
I have to say that it was a pleasant surprise to come back to. Now I just need to find the time to switch the banner to the horizontal orientation... I really like it!  :-* Great job Xeph!
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: Xepher on December 20, 2007, 01:25:09 am
Mune: Yeah, I replaced the old newsbox code with a filler that basically inserts the javascript code for the box shape. You can pull out ALL the old code, and just put in the (relatively tiny) snippet listed on the <url=http://xepher.net/help.php>help page.</url> As noted there, this is client-side javascript, which can go in any page type, not just php. Also: Welcome Back! :-)
Title: Re: Newsbox Redesign
Post by: Munerift on December 26, 2007, 04:50:22 pm
Ooooo..! So I can return back to my beloved HTML? :D w00t