June's Top Contributors


1. Joy | 38 points

2. Kelly | 13 points

3. Jewlz | 10 points

Stay connected


Welcome to Always Connected! Here, you can check out daily postings of site news and browse through the latest advertisements. However, there's a whole lot more to AC than just staying informed. Read interesting articles, get interviewed, and learn about special site events.

The goal of AC is simple. It's a community-driven site that aims to bring owners and visitors together in one place. I hope that you take part in this project. Whether you're posting news from around the community, writing an article about your favourite button-making techniques, creating a poster, or just providing feedback, I hope to hear from you soon!

- Turnip

Latest news

Sep.13.2014 / Too quiet?
+ 1 news

Aug.25.2014 / Check it out
+ 2 news

Aug.22.2014 / What's new?
+ 1 news

Aug.19.2014 / What's an auror?
+ 2 text ads

Aug.18.2014 / I am Groot.
+ 1 text ad

Aug.17.2014 / Lots of new stuff!
+ 1 The Ones To Watch
+ 1 text ad
+ 4 news (special thanks to Kelly for sending a bunch in!)

Aug.14.2014 / Oh, Blue Jays...
+ 1 news

Aug.12.2014 / Time flies by...
+ Check out my new interview with Anna, the owner of Java!
+ The poster ads have been updated and some have been removed due to inactivity or closed sites.
+ 2 text ads
+ 1 The Ones To Watch
+ Be sure to send in any items you think should be featured next month. It could be anything from buttons and layouts, to fonts and reviews.
+ Vote in the visitor poll as well if you haven't done so already.
+ Lastly, post your comments on AC's visitor message board. Suggest new ideas, comment on someone else's post, and more.

Jul.30.2014 / See you in August!
+ Nothing new to report, but the dates have changed for the site event and news item from yesterday. Be sure to check it out!

Jul.28.2014 / A six hour plane ride...
+ 3 news
+ 1 poster ad
+ 1 special site event
+ Some strange issues with blocked words in some new postings for today so I had to edit it a bit. If you want to know more about, check out the FAQ, "Why was my news post edited?"

Jul.28.2014 / A six hour plane ride...
+ 3 news
+ The Top Contributor, Monthly Features, or the Visitor poll will not be updated this month. Regular updates for these AC extras will resume Sept. 1.

Jul.27.2014 / A yellow jersey
+ 1 news
+ Just a quick reminder. I'll be on vacation from July 31 to August 12. If you have any site news/events you want to post early, be sure to send it in before.


At a glance


Current events & top news!


August 17 / Visit Schedule, a directory that also shows you request status updates! July 6 / TLB and OE are back! July 6 / The Shelf is back. List your site today!

Bulletin Board | Post a message?


During Sept-Apr, AC will only be updated if there's something new sent in. Don't worry though! I check everyday for neomails.
- Posted by Turnip

Staff members, don't forget that you can check your status here. Be sure to send in at least 1 item per month!
- Posted by Turnip

About the site:


- Opened on August 30, 2012
- Staff members: 5 | Apply today!

Send in news, get interviewed, and so much more!


Get involved, stay connected! Here, you can learn more about how you can share your news, advertise your site, get interviewed, and much more! Be sure to read through the guidelines and make sure you copy the correct form. As always, I'm always available if you have any questions.

Important note! Because of the neomail glitch, please do not include full links (ex. http://www.neopets.com/userlookup.phtml?user=polyanthus). Instead, write the "short" form, like this: /userlookup.phtml?user=polyanthus or /~petname.

Site news

News


Have you posted some news? Why not grab this button!



Advertisements

Ad (text)



Ad (poster)




Special events

Site events




Get interviewed

Interview (text)



Interview (poster)




Submit an article

Article (text)



Article (poster)




special features

The Ones To Watch



A Site To See



Monthly Features



Monthly Contributors


Every time you send something in to AC, whether it's posting some news or letting me know about something that needs editing, your name will get posted on the list below and you'll earn points based on what you sent in. At the end of the month, the visitor(s) with the most points will be named the Top Contributor for that month! Here's a table of the point system (note: Some items have an "owner" and "non-owner" beside it. This just means whether or not you own the site you're sending items in for. Generally, you'll earn more points if you're not the owner of a site. This is to encourage visitors to search for things).

AC Point System


Item sent in
# of points earned
Owner: News, Special Events (text)
2 points
Non-owner: News, Special Events (text)
3 points
Advertisements (text)
1 point
Advertisement (poster)
2 points
Interviews (text)
3 points
Interviews (poster)
4 points
Articles (text)
5 points
Articles (poster)
6 points
General Site Editing (ex. affiliate sweep, spelling/grammar, outdated/broken links)
1 point
A Site To See or Monthly Features
1 point
The Ones To Watch (owner)
1 point
The Ones To Watch (non-owner)
2 points
Participating on the Visitor Message Board or posting a comment on a text article
1 point

June


Name Points
Joy
38 points
Weapon
2 points
Simba
2 points
Kaylee
2 points
Anna
6 points
Monkey
2 points
Cynthia
3 points
Jennifer
2 points
Jewlz
10 points
Bonnie
1 point
Kayla
2 points
Jenny
1 point
Kelly
13 points
Amira
1 point
Rebecca
1 point



recipients for top contributor!

/ July: None / June: Kelly / May: Joy / March: Joy, Jenny / February: Joy / January: Hyda / December: Hyda / November: None / October: Kelly, Kiko / September: Edith / August: Edith, Eve, PF / July 2013: PF / June 2013: Edith, PF / May 2013: PF, Rika / April 2013: PF


F.A.Q.


Have a question you want to ask?

poster guidelines


General guidelines... Information to include...

Posting


What sort of "site news" don't you accept?
We don't accept "regular" site news, like "I added 10 icons. Come check them out!" For posters, image mapping and uploading content at this site takes a bit more effort so the news should be a bit more substantial. If a graphics site added a completely new section, like pixels, then that's fine to post. Things like site name changes, URL changes, and open requests are perfectly fine.

Why was my news post edited?
I don't edit your news post unless there are issues with spelling and/or grammar, or there's an issue with a blocked word. At times, Neopet's coding filters may block certain words so I'll have to change it to something else. The filters are a bit strange. For example, sometimes a word may be blocked in the news section, but it works fine in other areas of AC. Overall, I'll do my best to keep the integrity and overall meaning of your post.

What types of "articles" are not accepted?
As long as it relates somehow to the site community at large, then it's fine. For example, you could write about your favourite button sites, what new sites you enjoy visiting, a special feature about site owners you admire, and so on.

However, please do not write an overly negative article (such as one criticizing other site owners, even if you're not naming them in your writing). The atmosphere at AC is meant to be welcoming to all site owners and visitors. It is not the forum for personal rants or grievances.

What's the difference between poster ads and normal text-based ads?
Poster ads are much more colourful, fun, and creative. The whole purpose of this site was to be a site version of the notice board.

Should I post an advertisement in the regular ad section, or the Ones To Watch?
If your site is new, it's better to post in The Ones to Watch because thank section is specifically for new petpages. If your site is relatively older and more established, then post in the regular ad section.

Can I post news/advertisements for a guild?
In general, I will decline the news/ad for guilds since AC was meant for the site community, rather than the guild community. However, I highly recommend you visit Alliance, which is similar to this site but exclusively for guilds.

If I'm the writer of a text article, can I post a comment on someone else's comment?
Absolutely! If you want to comment on something a visitor said about your article, feel free!

Why was my form (news, ad, etc.) not posted?
See "What types of "articles" are not accepted?" above for more details. In general, very few posts are rejected. The only situation where something will not be posted include: stolen or lack of credit at a site, irrelevant information (ex. posting news about open requests if it's going to close in a few hours anyway), or repeated information (ex. someone's already posted similar news about that site). In the case where the site's owner sends in news themselves, their news will be posted, rather than a random visitor's.

special features


How ofter is A Site To See updated?
The feature is updated whenever the next "roster" is full. As soon as I receive 6 high-quality, well established sites, I'll get working on the next poster. That being said, this is an area of the site that's not likely to be updated frequently.

What types of sites should I send in to A Site To See?
Because ASTO is not a feature of new sites (like The Ones To Watch), sites must be well established. In many cases, the site should be at least one month old (this is only a rough guideline; if the site has a lot of content already, then feel free to send it in).

Sites should contain high-quality content, and enough of it to provide a large variety to visitors (for example, if you're featuring a premade layout site, it should have over 10 different layouts).

What are some of the guidelines for the Monthly Feature?
- The content you feature must be current. For example, if you're sending in a feature for the month of April, then the content must have been made during the month of March.
- You can send in a maximum of two items made by that particular site or person. For example, two buttons made by Site A and two buttons made by Site B is fine. 3 buttons by Site A is not.
- Your "blurb" about the featured item must be somewhat relevant. Please try to stay away from explanations like "I featured this because it looks cute!". Instead, focus on why you chose that particular piece of content, what makes it high-quality, and why the visitor should care about it.

More about the site


What's the purpose of this site?
It's sort of a mix between your regular "advertising" site and a magazine. The purpose of this site is to create a hub where site owners (and non-site owners) can get updated on their favourite sites.

How often will this site by updated?
Daily. At the very least, it'll be updated once per day, usually around 7:00 AM NST. During the school year, this will probably change to once a day, around 3:00 PM NST. The bulk of this site is based in the "news" section, so I will always make sure that it gets posted. Other features, like those in the "extras", are meant to be more of a monthly or bi-weekly "magazine" rather than a daily project.

Can I be your affiliate?
Feel free to visit the sitely page and send me a neomail! Since this is a site based on the community at large, I'm not looking for a specific site type. Sites with high-quality content will be considered. All I ask is that you do not have any stolen content at your site, and that you're not completely brand new (i.e. the site should have some content).



Image Map Image Map Image Map


What's new?


Stay connected! Here, you'll find news from all of your favourite sites. If you have something you want to share with everyone else, click here. Not only can you post news for your own site, but you can send in a form for news you find at other sites as well!



news for today

Site owner: Cynthia
Posted by: Kelly
Date: Sep.13 / 6:05 PM NST
Type of site: UCs UFA database
News: Secret Garden has a new layout and is now on indefinite hiatus.


older news

Site owner: Jewlz
Posted by: Jewlz
Date: Aug.25 / 5:10 PM NST
Type of site: Graphic requests
News: New site layout + requests open.
Site owner: Jewlz
Posted by: Jewlz
Date: Aug.25 / 5:10 PM NST
Type of site: Premade graphics
News: A tutorial section has been added.
Site owner: Turnip
Posted by: Turnip
Date: Aug.22 / 6:20 AM NST
Type of site: Graphics/requests
News: Banner requests are open!
Site owner: Meredith
Posted by: Kelly
Date: Aug.17 / 7:10 AM NST
Type of site: Button Requests
News: Glow has a new layout and requests are now open
Site owner: Nienke
Posted by: Kelly
Date: Aug.17 / 7:10 AM NST
Type of site: Tutorials
News: Lore has been updated with five different tutorials for graphic layouts and buttons
Site owner: Nienke
Posted by: Kelly
Date: Aug.17 / 7:10 AM NST
Type of site: Resources
News: Details had a new layout!
Site owner: Turnip
Posted by: Turnip
Date: Aug.17 / 7:10 AM NST
Type of site: Button requests
News: Requests are now open.
Site owner: Kayla
Posted by: Kayla
Date: Aug.14 / 6:20 AM NST
Type of site: Site Community
News: Asura has been completely wiped and it started off on a clean slate. All site owners that wish to list or re-list their sites, please fill out the form and send it in. I finally have my schedule planned around work and college, so Asura will be 100% active once again. It's good to be back.
Site owner: Jewlz & Hayley
Posted by: Jewlz
Date: Aug.1 / 12:00 PM NST
Type of site: Edible Adoptables
News: Crumble will hit its 6 month anniversary on August 1st. Visit us for lots of new changes and surprises!
Site owner: Jewlz
Posted by: Jewlz
Date: Jul.29 / 12:00 PM NST
Type of site: Tutorial site
News: Jewlz has opened a new tutorial site! Right now, it features a guild layout guide with more to come.
Site owner: Jennifer
Posted by: Jennifer
Date: Jul.29 / 12:00 PM NST
Type of site: Competition Site
News: Dusk is a new competition site that recently opened it's doors to the public and is currently holding button, icon, and site of the month contests. Be a part of the fun and enter a competition today! Dusk is also looking for affiliates and listers, so please feel free to contact me if you're interested.
Site owner: Anna
Posted by: Anna
Date: Jul.28 / 8:00 AM NST
Type of site: Review
News: Java has officially opened to the public. We're currently looking for affiliates. Also, requests are currently open! Come request sow so you don't miss out.
Site owner: Fly & Simple
Posted by: Joy
Date: Jul.28 / 8:00 AM NST
Type of site: premade layouts
News: Tones of new layout styles and extra features added!
Site owner: Joy
Posted by: Joy
Date: Jul.28 / 8:00 AM NST
Type of site: adoption agency
News: Ray of Light has revamped and has added tons of new things! List your pet now and be a friendly zapper and lister.
Site owner: Cynthia & Cynthia
Posted by: Alex
Date: Jul.27 / 1:58 PM NST
Type of site: adoption agency
News: Secret Garden has a new layout, and some content has been revamped.
Site owner: Monkey
Posted by: Monkey
Date: Jul.24 / 3:40 PM NST
Type of site: Graphic Request
News: Anthem, a new graphic request site, has officially opened! We're also looking for listers & affiliates, if interested please feel free to send me a message. Thank you very much. ~Monkey
Site owner: Bonnie
Posted by: Joy
Date: Jul.22 / 6:20 PM NST
Type of site: button request
News: Site open! Requests are open as well!
Java

Site owner: Anna
Posted by: Anna
Date: Jul.22 / 6:20 PM NST
Type of site: Anna
News: Anna is working on opening her new review site and is looking for 4 sites to practice her rubrics on. Please neomail her for more information.

Site owner: Turnip
Posted by: Turnip
Date: Jul.13 / 6:00 PM NST
Type of site: button requests
News: Requests are open. I'll be taking the first 5.
Site owner: Ashe
Posted by: Joy
Date: Jul.12 / 12:00 PM NST
Type of site: adoptables
News: Bisou is on hiatus.
Site owner: Jewlz & Hayley
Posted by: Joy
Date: Jul.11 / 9:23 AM NST
Type of site: adoptables
News: Hayley has added juices in the adoptables!
Site owner: Jewlz & Hayley
Posted by: Joy
Date: Jul.7 / 1:27 PM NST
Type of site: adoptables
News: New content added! Bubbleteas and Cakepops! Requests are open for wands, petit fours and custom adoptables.
Site owner: Turnip
Posted by: Turnip
Date: Jul.6 / 12:40 PM NST
Type of site: graphics, request, premades
News: Banner and icon requests are open! I'll be accepting the first five.
Site owner: Turnip
Posted by: Turnip
Date: Jul.6 / 12:40 PM NST
Type of site: Button requests
News: Button requests are open! I'll be accepting the first five.


Special site events


Are you going to be hosting a special event at your site? A special layout giveaway, a holiday-themed treasure hunt, or anything else, you can inform visitors that something special's going down at your petpage! Click here to post a new event!

Site owner: Jewlz & Hayley
Name of event: Make a Wish
Date: August 1st
More about the event: Crumble has hit its 6 month anniversary! As a special event, we have made a collection of adoptables for people to "make a wish" on, and they will turn into something special. Come join the tea party to make your wish.


Site advertisements


Want to get more visitors to your site or do you just want to spread the word about a new petpage? Post an advertisement here for visitors to check out! Click here to post an ad for your own site, or a site you thinks needs more spotlight.


Site owner: Rebecca
Posted by: Rebecca
Date: Aug 19
Type of site: Customization
Chimerrie is a customization site that offers a wide array of premade customizations as well as custom requests for your extra special pets!

Site owner: Amira
Posted by: Amira
Date: Aug 19
Type of site: Link Directory
Prism is a fairly new Link Directory and we need some more links. So is your site new and do you need some extra advertising? Send in a listing request for Prism today!

Site owner: Cynthia
Posted by: Cynthia
Date: Aug 18
Type of site: adoption agency
Secret Garden is an adoption agency dedicated to listing all of the UCs that are up for adoption. Come visit us today! We're always updated.

Site owner: Jenny
Posted by: Kelly
Date: Aug 17
Type of site: Status Directory
Scheduled is a brand new status directory, run by the lovely Jenny of Craft. So please take the time to list your site (if applicable) and help her build her new site up.

Site owner: Weapon
Posted by: Weapon
Date: Aug 12
Type of site: Event Guide
The month of August includes events like the Discovery of Brightvale (11th), Usukicon (20th) and Mutant Day (25th). Check out The Expanded Calendar for more information and a full listing of all the Neopian events you can expect this month!

Site owner: Turnip
Posted by: Turnip
Date: Aug 12
Type of site: Guides and tutorial directory
Looking for button, layout, or general design guides? Check out The Tutorial Place! With in-depth guides and a directory linking you to awesome tutorials on other petpages, TTP is here to help you.



Articles


What's on your mind? In this section, you can write about anything site-related. Talk about your own inspiration for starting your site, your favourite banners, your banner-making technique, anything! To submit an article, click here.

The newest articles are listed near the top of the menu to the left. However, below you can find all articles that have been written.

Share your thoughts! At the bottom of each article, you can click the "comment" link and post your opinions on the article. Do you agree? Disagree? Did you think the article was well written?


Quoted!

Here are some short quotes from all of the articles available so far:

29. Why Start A Site?

Hannah: "There will be coding problems, low review scores, content stealers and more, but people still start sites: why?"
28. Ridiculous Requests

PF: "If you own a request site - maybe a button request site, or an adoptables site - then you've probably gotten some ridiculous requests before."
27. Unique Sites

PF: "There are sites full of variety and style, but the ones listed below are truly one of a kind."
26. Animation Counts!

Hannah: "Being creative can really help you towards a sophisticated button style that's distinct and different from everyone else."
25. What Happened?

Hannah: "Why aren't sites staying open? More importantly, how can we keep the site community active?"
24. Making Mistakes

Becky: "Don't be afraid to try out new things nobody's ever seen before or reinvent an old idea!"
23. How To: Affiliates

Becky: "Affiliates can be a great way to advertise your site and reach different audiences. "
22. My site making journey

Alice: "So, my journey was a long and amazing one, and I had never ever stopped it when I closed down a site."
21. Site Roadblocks

Becky: "Sitemaking should be something you love to do, not something you feel like you have to do – otherwise, it's not fun."
20. Taking Things Seriously

NIna: "Take sitemaking seriously. Learn to treat it as a craft of high-value."
19. Have Fun Being Professional

Turnip: "Uh oh, does your site use correct spelling and grammar and are you speaking to your visitors in a friendly tone?"
18. Why do we do what we do?

Rika: "I think one of the saddest things about sites closing is when the site-maker leaves on such a bitter and sad note."
17. The Fearful Shadow of Copying

Weapon: "...I think it's possible to worry about copying a little too much. "
16. On Professionalism

Rika: "Professionalism, as how I saw it back then and continue to see it now, was just another word for common courtesy."
15. Appreciating You!

A special article written by members of the site community.
14. Taking it Personally: How to Handle a Low Review Score

Nina: "If you keep pushing ahead and work on improving your site, good things will come to you."
13. A "mom and pop" site

Jenny: "...there's has to be more that can be done to make requesting more personal, to humanize the whole process."
12. Wasting Time - How It Corrupts the Site Community

Kate: "Consider this the next time you request something: am I going to waste both my time and theirs?"
11. The Site Making Era: (Remembering the Past, Looking Towards the Future)

Sunny: "It was a time of trials, errors, and discoveries."
10. Appreciating the Site Owners

Nina: "Site owners spend hours upon hours maintaining their site, or in some cases multiple sites, and never charge a single penny."
9. A Word on Originality

Lola: "So, what is originality? First and foremost, originality comes from you, and you alone."
8. What do review scores mean - really?

Rika: "Scores should indicate a site's potential, and here's an example why."
6. Request Etiquette

Pin: "As a requester, you should have politeness and etiquette when requesting from sites."
5. The "Site Genre" Personality Quiz

Turnip: "What site type does your personality line up with? Let's find out!"
4. Link Directories

Pin: "It's a common misconception in the site community, especially to new site owners, that owning a link directory is easy."
3. Stealing in the Site Community

Pin: "How do you avoid the whole community keeping their eyes on you and your every action? Stop stealing and start learning how to fish. "
2. Making Your Site Fresh

Turnip: "With the revamps almost complete, I figured 'hey, why not write an article about how I like to revamp my sites?'"
1. A Great Button Site

Turnip: "Button request sites in the past were notorious for providing a lack of service, and I think that's why Winslow's site is so refreshing."

Why Start A Site?

Date: March 16th, 2013
Written by: Hannah

If you are going to start a site, you have to know what exactly you're getting into. There will be coding problems, low review scores, content stealers and more, but people still start sites: why? This article is going to explain exactly that.

You're doing something you love to do. If you don't enjoy doing what your site offers, I would recommend closing it. Don't make banners if you don't want to make them! Held back frustration will only make you feel worse. Don't worry about closing your site: sites close all the time. But if you're going to start a site, do something that you want to do and like to do.

You can find out more about yourself. This is a bit mental but through creating my sites, I feel like I found out more about myself! Before, I didn't really like writing, but when I received my first review, I thought, huh. This sounds kind of fun! So I started my own review site: and I loved it! What a surprise that was.

You're creating something special for others. When you start a site, you aren't doing it for you. By offering a service to the site community, you have a role- a purpose. Doesn't that make you feel great? That feeling that you are performing a service to help someone. Remember, by creating a site, you make others smile!

It all sounds pretty good, right? But remember, making a site has risks. There are always people who aren't so great out there that will ruin your day. But guess what? If you know what you're getting into, it doesn't seem that hard, and you can avoid these situations too. Keep on reading!

People will steal your content. Whether it's coding, graphics or a button border, people will steal your work. Remember, people make mistakes! Always give them a second chance by sending them a polite neomail asking them to a) take it down, or b) give you credit. Most people will apologize and do what you ask. If they act rudely, you have every right to report them.

There may be disappointing requesters. Some people just aren't lucky with requesters. Some requesters will give you a very hard time: being picky, being rude, not using your advice/graphics/etc... it happens a lot! Make rules that are clear and firm: you must use your request, or please do not be too picky, I will try my best to fulfill your needs! This should filter out frustrating requesters.

You may not find time to update. That's totally okay! If you are worried about being inactive, take a look below: I have made a list of site types and what to expect from them.

Premade graphics
Premade graphic sites require frequent updates (to keep a wide selection of content for visitors) and you will need to fulfill the community's understanding of 'high quality content'.

Premade layouts
Updates can come a little bit slower, but you shouldn't go too long without updating. Fresh, new layouts every few weeks is a reasonable time frame.

Writing sites
Writing should have no spelling or grammar errors. Updates can be less frequent, but activity is still necessary. Interactive writing sites are great!

Review sites
You need to complete reviews in a reasonable time frame (1 week or so) and frequent updates are necessary.

Directories
Updates should come daily, and you need to advertise a lot! Directories are a lot harder than they look.

Community
Community sites like Buzz and Always Connected need to be updated daily: if you will not be available for some time, be sure to say that in your updates!

Graphic request sites
Frequent updates mean an active, running graphic request site. Graphics include icons, banners, and glitters.

Button request sites
Button request sites are usually updated even more frequently than normal graphic request sites: most sites make buttons in batches.

Layout request sites
Because layouts take much longer (to design and code) layout request sites don't have to be updated as often. However, if you don't update, people assume you're inactive!

Thank you for reading, and I hope this article helped better your understanding on why to start a site and what to expect when you do. Don't worry.. the site community isn't as scary as it sounds! ;)

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS! / COMMENT?

This is an amazingly accurate article. Go Hannah!
- Summer / Mar.20.2014

Ridiculous Requests

Date: February 18th, 2013
Written by: PF

If you own a request site - maybe a button request site, or an adoptables site - then you've probably gotten some ridiculous requests before. A ridiculous request is just what it sounds like - a request that is just plain weird, maybe even totally atrocious. Unfortunately, these types of requests happen quite frequently - so to help lower those numbers, I've created a list of tips for the requester and site owner. These are only suggestions and are my opinion, so you don't have to follow any of them - but trying won't hurt, right?

For the requester:
  • Don't be picky about little details. Remember, all graphics/layouts on Neo are done for free, so you should be grateful for that! Many people spend hours making things just for you, so you shouldn't be too commanding of them - let them do what they think is best, and try not to bother them too much. I'm pretty sure a button maker will get frustrated if you make them redo an animation five times - once is enough, and maybe twice. But re-doing something more than three times isn't good!
  • Being too specific and making the graphic look cluttered. This is a graphic maker's nightmare. How will something look good if there are a billion things on it? Try to keep your options low but reasonable - that way it'll be easier for them to make the graphic, and I bet it'll look so much better too.
  • Read all the rules - don't skim! This is also a huge pet peeve of all site-makers - not reading the rules. It'll only take a few minutes, and reading them will make it both easier on you and the site owner - that way you'll have fewer questions, and won't request something that isn't allowed. It'll also let you know what's wrong and what's right, so your request won't be ridiculous.
  • Manners. Be nice to whomever is making you the graphic! Remember, they're taking time out of their day to do a free service for you. If you're very rude, then you may be blocked, and probably won't be able to request from them again - that will also get you a bad reputation. A please and thank you is common sense, and reading the rules also counts as being polite. Have a nice attitude too!
  • Too random. Try to make things flow in the graphic. It won't look good if you want a blue panda on a pink floral background, with a scary font. Try to stick to a theme, or something that will be easy to work with. It'll look much more pleasing that way, and it makes it easier for the graphic maker too!
  • Learn to make things yourself. This tip is definitely optional - not everyone has GIMP, Photoshop, or something to make graphics with. But if you're able to get something, why not try? After all, practice makes perfect. You'll know exactly what to make since it's in your mind - it might not turn out the way you want it to, but you'll get better, eventually. There's also no need to follow the above tips - after all, you're working with yourself, so you'll know what's best! Impulse's Tutorial and A Button Collection are my favorite button tutorials. You can also check out The Tutorial Place for a variety of guides - banners, icons, layouts, and more! Opaque has great icon tutorials (that can also be applied to other graphics), and Bisou has an adoptable tutorial.
  • Don't make it too complicated. Don't request a button with three animations, or a layout that changes graphics on every anchor you click. Imagine how long it will take to make - the site-owner will eventually get tired. Plus, it's a free service - they don't have to learn how to code a whole way just because you want it!

For the graphic maker:
  • Pick and choose. This is frowned upon by some people as it might look biased, but it still works. For example, Prime uses pick and choose - all the layouts Maddie made are for site owners who are kind and respectful, and who follow the rules. A handful of her layouts are still being used, probably because she chose established and dedicated sites, not one that'll close the next day.
  • Don't provide a fully custom choice - or have an alternate request choice. The first part is a bit iffy, but then again, we can't control what's on anyone else's site - plus, they're doing it on their own will. More freedom allows you to make the button more easily and finish it more quickly, and it'll look better since you make the decisions, and you know what's best! Plus, this may be more enjoyable to some since it doesn't provide a specific guideline. An example is One's nebula buttons, and Turnip's semi-custom petpages.
  • Own a premades site instead. This way, you won't have to deal with requests at all - you can work at your own pace and however you want. You can also provide suggestions and pick and choose which ones you want to do!
  • Be clear. Use good grammar so that the requester will know what you're trying to say - this tip goes for the requester, too! It'll make it easier for the both of you, and if you're clear on rules, then maybe you'll get less weird requests.

This is the end of another lengthy article. I hope this helped you in some way - let's see those ridiculous request numbers dwindle!

-PF

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS! / COMMENT?

Great tips! One I would add for requesters is to make sure that the amount of text you want on your button isn't too much. I've had button requests for sites with four or more words in their site names (or site names with just a ton of characters). Requesters should keep an open mind and be prepared to get their site name abbreviated if it's way too long.
- Turnip / Feb.17.2014

Unique Sites

Date: February 17th, 2013
Written by: PF

If you keep up with the site-making community, by now you've probably seen pretty much every type of site - a link directory, a premade layout site, a review site, and so on. Every single site is unique, but have you ever seen a cupcake adoptable site before? Or maybe a site full of color schemes? There's even a site that helps you find friends! There are sites full of variety and style, but the ones listed below are truly one of a kind.


There's no other site on Neopets like Kleur. Kleur (Dutch for 'color') stays true to its name - it offers hundreds of color palettes! With Kleur, you'll never be lost on color schemes again. There are many colors for you to choose from, such as pretty pinks from La Vie En Rose, or most of the main rainbow from Bright Is Just Right. The content is also highly organized - you can browse the palettes alphabetically, by color, or from the user submitted section - not to mention the many other categories! Last but not least, there's a handy notepad for you to record your favorite colors, as well as an adorable blue layout to look at.


Echelon is another one of a kind site - sure, there have been ranking sites after it opened, but Echelon is the only one again - it's still going strong! It's a great honor if you're ranked here, and people will know to check out your site since it's one of the top. Rankings isn't all Echelon offers, though - there are honorable mentions as well as a hall of fame for the (sadly) closed sites that we all loved. Even though Echelon isn't as active as it used to be, browsing through it will bring old memories and new beginnings!


Here it is, our lovely Always Connected! This is the hub of the site-making community - it provides everything from helpful articles to interesting interviews, and handy news to pretty posters. It's owned by Turnip herself, who has a whopping nine sites in total! Always Connected is the place to find new sites, or be on the first spot on a waiting list due to the updated news. This should be a definite bookmark, for sure!


I never really liked cupcakes until I saw these two sites - Beyond the Batter and All of the Cupcakes. Both are owned by super talented, kind, and sweet owners - Meghan owns BtB while Maryann owns AotC. The art is truly beautiful and unique, and it's a shame we can't reach through our screens and eat those pretty cupcakes. You can always request one though, so be on the lookout!


Do you know what a gijinka is? It wasn't a term used on Neopets often until Bisou came along. Bisou doesn't offer animal adopts, or human adopts either - instead, they're humanized animals! Ashe's art and site idea is just brilliant, and she completes requests in record time. Her art is high quality, and that's why the waiting list fills up quickly - if you didn't request in time, you can always use Bisou's very own chibi maker! Plus, the layout is bright and attractive, so what's to lose?


Buzz is also the first of its kind - it's the site I was talking about earlier, dedicated to making friends! At Buzz you can fill out a profile as well as look at other ones, and see if you have anything in common - maybe you'll wind up being best friends! If you're too shy to chat on the boards or join guilds, I suggest you give Buzz a try.


The last site on this article (I didn't mean to make so long) is Line Up. Line Up will make your stalking life so much easier - it lists every single active request site (as well as one specialty site) and provides many kinds of news - when a site has a new layout, recently completed requests, open/closed requests, etc. It's a minimalistic site with a cool theme, so this is another site you must bookmark!

So there you have it - a list of Neopia's most unique sites! Do you think you can make one yourself? Let your creative juices flow! Who knows what you'll come up with? Maybe these sites will inspire you. Writer's block is calling to me - maybe next time I see you, your site will be listed on here. Best of luck in your site-making journey!

~Sincerely, PF

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS! / COMMENT?

No comments yet!
- Username / Feb.17.2014

Animation Counts

Date: February 12th, 2013
Written by: Hannah

Animation in a button makes a huge difference in the button quality. If you have a great button with a not-so-great animation, that could be a problem. One thing to remember is: you don't have to animate a button. Below is an unanimated button by Rico at Euphoric. Is the button still high quality? Yes!

But if you do animate, there are two different ways to do it. The most common is go with the flow: go with commonly used, more well-known animations that are tried-and-true. Things like the shine and sparkle animation are seen a lot, as well as glow and appear/disappear. You can also make it special: create your own animations! Do the unbelievable. Make something that has never been seen before, something that will stand out.

Below I have listed several buttons that use creative animation. Remember, by being creative with your animation you are making your buttons different from others. These buttonmakers have done just that!

This button by Sandy is very simple and minimalistic. What spruces it up? The animation! By using a unique 'appear' animation that differs from the usual, you get a pretty button that stands out from the crowd.

When I look at this button by



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