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Ross
04-10-2002, 03:21 PM
Today, I was checking out another Scout site, when I thought I had seen a similar design somewhere else. I think this was the 3rd time this had happened.

There was one time which stuck in my mind, as the Scouting site had TOTALLY copied Scoutbase's new look! On several occassions, I have found a Scout site to be like Yahoo, or one time even madblast.com!

I know people feel good when they create a website - but if you copy another site's design, is that really making a website? :twisted: People who create websites have to be dedicated enough to update it regularly and to make their OWN design, not copy someone else's. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

Ross

Bloory
04-10-2002, 03:54 PM
I agree that it must be disheartening to have one's site copied, but also that imitation is the best part of flattery.

One the other hand, similar sites can be easier to navigate and to understand the content. Content is king, afterall.

Just my 2p worth...

Richard
13-10-2002, 03:00 PM
At the end of the day as, Jonathan is right content is king.

Scoutbase has always been copyied in some way by people, at the end of the day, people see it as a standard.

Their most recent designs have made a big improvement, though I strongly hate the front page. Needs major work!!! :shock: :shock:

29-10-2002, 08:41 AM
Imitating the style of scoutbase can help to give a corporate image - If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

02-11-2002, 09:59 PM
why would anyone copy scoutbase?????

it must be one of the most poorly put together sites around - it has loads of excellent content i'll admit, but navigation is as hard as could be imagined and most files are hopelessly out of date!

Steve Hulka
26-11-2002, 08:46 PM
There was one time which stuck in my mind, as the Scouting site had TOTALLY copied Scoutbase's new look!

I don't suppose you mean mine, www.296.org.uk ?

If so, I will point out that I was on the lookout for a new design at the time, and was impressed with the layout and navigation used on Scoutbase.

However, the site engineering and methods used to recreate that look is all my own work - and done in a totally different way from SBUK.

I hope you like it, because I don't plan on altering it any time soon.

If you'd like to see some of my more (ahem) original designs, check out my other work at www.rivelinscouts.org.uk and www.rivelinexplorers.org.uk!

Steve

Ross
26-11-2002, 08:57 PM
Steve

I have to admit that YOUR navagtion is MUCH MUCH simpler than SBUK. On the other hand, I do not think it was your site I was referring to on my 1st post. I think it was one that was hosted by geocities (sorry for saying that word).

All 3 of your sites are good, after having a good look at them. Well done!

Ross

09-01-2003, 08:44 PM
I here so many people go on about scoutbase, yes it has alot of info, but you need to know hoe to use a compass and 10 figure grid refrence to find any of it.

You never know what's been updated and what's been there since BP was around

P.S

Hi to everyone

Ross
09-01-2003, 10:08 PM
You are totally true. The should put an info pack together for just navigating their site, and the last time I checked it still had the 'drab' front page, as it has always had. The new design is better looking, but very hard to navigate, and it has taken VERY long for all the site to be updated. Before I used PostNuke, I could update all my 200+ pages in one day with a new design. They have got about 2000 pages, so if my maths is correct, that should be 5 days....

Ross

Chris
10-01-2003, 01:18 PM
What is PostNuke :?:

Matt
10-01-2003, 01:35 PM
Postnuke is a content management system - basically it's a bunch of pre-written scripts which you then use to add news etc.

Have a look at http://www.postnuke.com for more details

Ross
10-01-2003, 04:30 PM
It is a great script. You can get people to submit news, links and even polls! You can add modules, scripts made by other, to your system, like a guestbook, and it is all powered by MySQL Databases - perfect for use on Escouts accounts.

If anyone wants any help on installing PostNuke, just e-mail me.

Ross

Richard
13-01-2003, 12:10 PM
Yes Postnuke is the bees knees.

Other examples:

http://www.midlothianscouts.com

http://www.midlothian.org

I wouldnt write do a site using anything else now!

hants
25-02-2003, 07:50 PM
Hi,

I'm trying to use PostNuke on our site but having installed it correctly I don't really know what to do next. The site seems to work fine but how do I go about making the site good like the examples above. Any tips / help is gratefully appreciated.

Gareth

Ross
25-02-2003, 08:23 PM
Can you give me the URL to check it out first - then I'll give you my reccommendations.

Ross

Graham
25-02-2003, 08:44 PM
POSTNUKE --- What can I say its absoutley fab, just looking at some of the other postnuke sites mentioned just going to say what I think:

http://www.midlothianscouts.com
nice site good win xp style theme, good use of modules (good guestbook)
http://www.midlothian.org
good site nice lot of content.

Ross
25-02-2003, 08:47 PM
Glad you like it. I think it is a brilliant program - a complete website solution, that can be used by NEARLY everyone..!

Ross

Graham
25-02-2003, 09:16 PM
If you want a similiar thing to postnuke, not completely the same but very similiar is postnuke:www.postnuke.co.uk and geeklog (search geeklog on www.sourceforge.net), geeklog I found very hard to install so I gave up if you suceed please tell me.

Ross
25-02-2003, 09:21 PM
I'll maybe leave it till later ;)

Ross

Chris
26-02-2003, 11:29 AM
Richard,

What program was used for the calander and the stats in the web page you posted?

FSNet
05-03-2003, 08:22 AM
My website was a copy of another one from up in Scotland, there again it was the same webdesigner. But he gave me the site, I learnt the code and the main outline etc has now changed. Without that first framework I would not have got to this stage now. A help in hand from a fellow scouter, now that's what it is all about.

07-03-2003, 02:09 PM
Hi. On the subject of site design: Compare http://www.bassett-ventures.org.uk with http://www.rmdesigns.co.uk. Same colours, similar layout, but as has said before: different content. Content is king. You'll find with most websites, they derive from a whole range of others.

If you see a website you like the look of, take the aesthetic of it and craft it around your subject matter.

And on the subject of SBUK and 296th Sheffield Scout Group - there is no such document that states 'all websites should look like SBUK from now on'. Thats obsurd! As I said before - take an idea and mould it into your own. No one can copyright creativity :)

Steve Hulka
08-03-2003, 12:26 PM
G'day Guest...

As editor of www.296.org.uk, I am fully aware that there is no obligation to copy SBUK - the site had gone through three totally different incarnations since I first took up web writing with Notepad... I needed a layout that would allow for the increased content on the site, and SBUK's fitted the bill.

When I get bored with it, I'll probably redesign it from scratch, and it will be completely different! It keeps the parents guessing... :-)

Steve

Ross
08-03-2003, 01:59 PM
Steve,

I wouldn't want to redesign a site like yours (296.org.uk) as it has a brilliant navagation system and excellent content. The site is not tacky and full of rubbish scripts.

I don't know why you would want to do that!

Ross

hants
08-03-2003, 05:02 PM
The site is http://www.scouts-hants.org.uk/PostNuke Any recommendations are gratefully appreciated.

Kind Regards

Gareth

Graham
08-03-2003, 07:01 PM
Maybe change theme?

Steve Hulka
08-03-2003, 11:33 PM
Cheers Ross!

I don't have any plans to change it for a while - the next site to get a facelift will be www.rivelinscouts.org.uk.

I'm glad you like the site, I just wish I could get some help with the content from the Group... and get members and parents to use it more.

Bloory
08-03-2003, 11:47 PM
I'm glad you like the site, I just wish I could get some help with the content from the Group... and get members and parents to use it more.

It's the old chicken and egg situation. If you had more content people would use the site more and to get more content, people need to know lots of people are using the site :)

In a way this is where Midlothianscouts.com succeeds because it collects info from a lot of sources...

A group site I like a lot, with a good range of content is www.aspleyguisescouts.org.uk.

Ross
09-03-2003, 09:35 AM
Cheers Ross!

I don't have any plans to change it for a while - the next site to get a facelift will be www.rivelinscouts.org.uk.

I'm glad you like the site, I just wish I could get some help with the content from the Group... and get members and parents to use it more.

I love the nav bar on that site. Can you post the code in the resources forum...please...?!

Back to the subject of getting people to use the site. I can count on one hand how many people in my Group who have actually visited my site. The SL, GSL, AGSL, 2 Scouts, 1 Explorer and I think, the CSL. If I could get everyone to log on and post news, it would be an excellent site full of content. I am getting a [sorry - bad word] off that the leaders/group council are not volunteering any information and I have to do it all.

Ross

Steve Hulka
09-03-2003, 03:31 PM
The scripting for the menu comes courtesy of Project Seven -

http://www.projectseven.com/tutorials/menuing/mcloser/index.htm

and is built using Dreamweaver behaviours and a Project Seven extension.

I would imagine that building it from scratch would be pretty tricky without Dreamweaver, but you're free to post the code if it helps. The javascript functions are in the file http://www.rivelinscouts.org.uk/scripts/basic.js - the first (very long) script is the link colour fader (only in IE5+), the remainder are the regular scripts for swapping/restoring images on mouseover, and the P7 extensions (Snap and AutoLayers) for manipulating the layers.

I really can't recommend Project Seven's material highly enough... though a lot of it (the higher end stuff) is aimed at the professional web designer who is paying for the resource packs.

Ross
09-03-2003, 04:41 PM
Thanks a lot for this.

Ross

marcus
10-03-2003, 11:15 AM
With a little tweking of the template files you can encourage phpBB to do the same sort of job with news pages. Just got to get the leaders in the group to post their news now. :D

Marcus

46th Rotherham Scout Group
http://www.brecks-scouts.org.uk

PS: Yes I will shrink the logo when I get home but the graphics package on the uni computer is rubbish

mattw
10-03-2003, 06:50 PM
I'm glad you like the site, I just wish I could get some help with the content from the Group... and get members and parents to use it more.

We had this problem at first, but slowly by keeping useful sections up to date like the programme (admittedly this has gone down the pan at the moment :( ) and events sections, people did start to use it. We started out only getting about 10 unique hits a day, now that is upto 30/40 a day. My advice is just to persist, thats what i've done and now, with the web address on all the stationery, outside of the hut etc etc the hits are climbing without effort.

Now im having the same trouble promoting the WAP site from scratch, but give it a couple of months and it should take off (i hope :? ).

One thing you can do to try and accelerate hits is add free content from other sites, this can look a bit tacky but sometimes games etc have helped us get the hits up.

hth

matt

Ross
10-03-2003, 07:34 PM
Yes, this does work. Especially games as this keeps young people on the site for longer. If you have the large Java type ones that take AGES to load, that is no good. Plain, simple, yet addictive games are key.

Ross

mattw
10-03-2003, 07:58 PM
that was what saved our site, simple flash games (many of which sadly never made the move when we transferred to escouts :-( ) from a variety of sources, a small number original, a most from around the net, and a few from other scout sites.

As most of our visits seem to come from people at school, where they block 'game' sites, this did send our hits through the roof for a while (they've since started monitoring and blocking our game sections, hence why they're not there anymore)

Weve only ever used java apps a couple of times - they tend to take ages to load whatever speed your connection is and, more importantly, i know nothing about how to use Java, whereas flash i can (just about) cope with.

Games are not the only way forward though - our messageboard, which is pretty shoddy tbh, is what currently drives all but a very very small number of hits to our site. My policy is to just keep adding loads and loads of stuff to see what people take a fancy to, and then getting rid of the clutter after a period of time :)

Matt

Bloory
10-03-2003, 10:13 PM
The only site "chucked off" Escouts in the Donhost days was a messageboard centric site - they used 3GB data trransfer in a month :eek:

mattw
10-03-2003, 10:28 PM
That is severe! Our board is currently not hosted on escouts but by the downtime loving boards2go.com (to everyone out there, dont sign up at this site - you'll have more downtime than uptime :( ).
This will change however when i put my new site up in the next few weeks. Currently we are using an embaressingly low 0.12 GB of bandwidth a month so im hoping it wont ever be a problem :-D

Matt

Ewan Scott
13-03-2003, 06:52 PM
Sometimes we need to sit back and ask what the webite is for. And indeed who has put it up. I've tried to kep ours simple. Our old one used frames and thought ehdesign was naff it was quick and it worked, and was easy to navigate. I'm doing the same with our new site - nothing too fancy, minimal graphics, etc..

However, whilst I'd like to have a really trick site I'm not that skilled. And I also know that not everyone has fast access.

Why do we have websites? Who are they aimed at? tech heads or people wanting to find out about Scouting?

As for copying, well, if it promotes Scouting and it helps others, does it really matter?

Ewan Scott

mattw
13-03-2003, 09:50 PM
Sometimes we need to sit back and ask what the webite is for

I agree with this in a way, but using our site as an example, just putting up stuff that you feel is 'what your site is for' can make it less useful than putting up more than is needed, if you get my drift.

I would consider our site to have three main purposes, to make programme/event information and dates available to members, to allow members to keep in contact, and to help let people from outside the group find out more about us (ie new parents etc). To keep people in the group going to the site and to make them use the messageboard, I have found it best to add games and weird features etc as an incentive. Whilst this isn't what the site's about, it does help keep people using it for the right reasons as well, at least in our opinion.

On top of this we're currently experimenting with getting a whole 'Mobile' section up and running, in an attempt to improve our communication by using text messages, as people in our group tend not to check their emails as often as would be ideal.

Matt

ps another good reason to have a site is so that when you attend county and national events you can feel more important and blag to other groups that you have a website and they don't. :)

marcus
14-03-2003, 10:32 AM
Yep, that works too :-D :-D

Adam
14-03-2003, 02:02 PM
Hey we didnt get chucked off!! Richard wouldnt have done that to us! At the time the site was using a crazy amount of bandwidth and a friend offered some space on his server. So while Richard was looking at ways to resolve the high usage the alternative hosting came up and it seemed like the perfect solution!
Bandwidth usage isnt as high now but its still between 1-2GB every month!!
feel free to pop past and take a look here (http://www.bishyboys.org.uk)

mattw
14-03-2003, 05:28 PM
The Bishy Boys site is pretty neat - I particularly like the flash chat app, that works really well IMO.

Still, to use 1-2 gig a month you must be getting a fair few hits, as i had assumed before seeing the site that it was using some bandwidth munching CGI forum or something - not PHPBB!

Bloory
14-03-2003, 06:04 PM
Adam, sorry for the confusion!

Adam
17-03-2003, 01:28 PM
no need to apologise!!
As for the fair few hits-i suppose it does normally 2500-3000 visitors a month!! and the busiest month saw over a quarter of a million hits which i thought was impressive!!

As for the Chat App its not been as successfull as id hoped-it looks really good but unfortunately the functionality isnt what it should be- if you leave it for a couple of minutes it stops updating with other messages, so basically no one uses it!! Another friend has put together a java based chat app that interacts with an IRC server but i just havent had the time to put it up yet, hopefully ill get that going soon, and more people will use it.

Richard
19-03-2003, 11:28 AM
Adam is right I didnt chuck his site off. The Bishyboys site is quite unique in Scottish Scouting as the only discussion forum, which by being the first is looked at by many people across Scotland.

Adam and co did take the initiative and led the way if you like here, with all the technical stuff and we all sortof followed on. In the worst case scenario, I would have made sure they were all set for alternative hosting.

The Donhost account wasnt as flexible as the hosting Escouts is now on and once you reached your 20gb limit of actual usage (not allocation) Donhost asked you if you wanted a dedicated server.

Fortunately Adam realised the limits Escouts has and found alternative hosting.

Before others were involved I did boot off 2 accounts, 1 of them got back on after making a valid case, the other one, wasnt a Scout as it turned out, they had just lied to get the space.

It's great that the guys continue to put the work into Escouts.