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Site Spiffification


by pillsburydoughgirl

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Site Spotlight: a phrase that, to some, means a seemingly impossible goal. I wrote this guide with my experience to make that goal of site spotlight not only possible, but attainable, so read on and see just how well you can make a spotlight worthy site.

There are three main parts of making a good site: Topic, layout, and content. They are all equally important and none can be compromised.

Part 1) Topic

The first thing you need to do to make a page is to pick a topic for it. Not just any old topic, pick something abstract, something that will be interesting and, most importantly, appeal to the judges and to other Neopians. Three of the biggest used topics are: neopian worlds, pet colors, and information about the pet whose pet page the site resides on. While these topics might make you win, they aren’t very creative or thought out, especially when the site just talks about the pet. It’s not very interesting and it’s not really a spotlight topic, it’s more like having all your avatars displayed on your page, something that you’d never enter for site spotlight.

When picking a topic think about the following things:

-Your topic should be something that is interesting to you. If it’s not, you’ll get bored while making your site and you’ll never finish.

-You topic has to have a lot of information about it. So, even if you just loooove wocky gnomes, there won’t be enough information about wocky gnomes to make a good site. However, you could branch out and make a site about all gnomes, not just wocky gnomes. You can often find a lot of info on something random if there is a famous neopian character associated with it. For example, for my site spotlight I did darigan eyries. A lot of my content had to do with Lord Kass because he is a darigan eyrie. Without Lord Kass, I probably wouldn’t have had enough information to submit as a good site.

-Make sure your topic is completely Neopets related. For example, if you made a site about all stuffed animals in the world outside Neopets but also talked about Neopets stuff animals, you’d be disqualified because it doesn’t totally relate to Neopets.

-Make sure your topic hasn’t been done before. It would be very annoying if you made a totally amazing site about Terror Mountain only to find that someone already won site spotlight with a Terror Mountain site.

Part 2) Layout

So, now you have an interesting, Neopets related, original topic with a lot of information. It’s time to start developing your site. You’re going to have to be HTML savvy or start learning. I learned as I went along but I had someone to ask when I had problems. The Neopets HTML help is a great place to start.

Now, as you’re making your site, remember the following tips:

You should start out with a layout. A colorful background that relates to your topic will help a lot.

I have found that many spotlight sites have had the content in a text box with buttons linking to the different parts of the page. It keeps things organized and easy to navigate.

Be sure to make eye pleasing graphics and a title banner to make your site more interesting, appealing, and personalized.

Your layout and graphics must be your own. If you use a premade layout, you will be disqualified and maybe even warned for claiming someone else’s graphics as your own.

Part 3) Content

Now that you have a layout relating to your topic, it’s time to work on the content. As stated above, try to find a Neopets character relating to your topic. If you can find a character, there will often be items, Neopets graphics, backgrounds, and everything in between.

Try to find items relating to your topic. For example, if you were doing a pirate topic, you’d find all kinds of pirate items, put the pictures of the items on your page, and maybe do a little description of each one.

Try to find graphics, buddy icons, screensavers, etc, about your topic. Go to the bottom of the “Stuff” page to start your search.

To find other random things on your topics like games and Neopedia entries, type in your topic in the search bar to get all kinds of things to add to the content of your page.

Lastly, I’ve found that really good sites have some sort of hand drawn picture or graphic that only that page could have because it’s not a Neopets graphic. Try to find or make something like a drawing of your pet that sets your site apart from everyone else’s and makes it something really unique and special. For my site, I drew a picture of my eyrie and its crokabek, I wrote a poem about darigan eyries, I found darigan eyrie art from people all over the site, and I found darigan adoptables. Remember, though, if you’re using someone else’s work, be sure to credit them or you could be accused of stealing art work.

Make sure there are at least 10-12 well developed sections to your site. I had about nine sections and I was told to add more sections before resubmitting my site.

Once you’ve finished the layout and content of your page, I suggest you ask people to rate your page and give you suggestions on how you can improve it. Once you think your site is spotlight worthy, submit it and cross your fingers.

If you don’t win, don’t be discouraged. The first time I submitted my page; I was rejected and told that I needed to add content. I added a few more sections, resubmitted, and I won! So don’t give up. If you keep at it, I’m sure you can win.

As a final note, remember that this is one of the contests that you don’t get an item prize for, you just receive recognition. So, you should make a site because you enjoy it, not for the prize.

 
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