the atlas.

You may have heard that an Atlas could be a collection of maps, or maybe you have heard him as Atlas, he who was punished to bear the weight of the heavens. But surely, this is the first time you will hear of the Atlas of the faerie's compass.

The Atlas section of TFC used to be a place only for site making tips and owner advices, but due to Adzs' excessive time in hand (and not to mention a craving to do something), expansion of the atlas was put into action. The Atlas can be considered as the 'extras section' of TFC. It was put on another petpage as to not add 'clutter' and page loading time when opening The Faerie Compass. All questions will be happily answered by Adzs. Please don't hesitate to say what's on your mind.

Click on the navigation to your right to browse through the Atlas. A mini description of what that section offers is written below the section link. I'm always open for suggestions and ideas on what you want to see here at the Atlas, just neomail.

Oh, and try clicking on the map links on the top banner. Snazzy linkages, eh?

Happy Browsing!
From Adzs

Have an idea in mind of what you want to see at the Atlas? Then feel free to neomail me your suggestions!


table of contents.

Site Tips and Owner Advices
- A written tip-offs page for every site category. Includes real owner written advices and category 'seals' for graphical purposes.

FAQ
- Some repetitive questions are answered here regarding TFC (atlas included). Feel free to neomail me a question if you don't see it here.

TFC Section Explanations
- Explanations on TFC's sections.

Site History
- Just a brief summary of The Faerie Compass in its past.

Tutorials
- Tutorials I've (or others who submitted) made to serve as extra knowledge upon varied areas of coding.

Graphics
- Currently status banners only right now but I'll be working on adding more to that.

to do list
- A list of coming soon and things Adzs needs to start working on.

Credits
- In dedication to those who have been a great help in putting the Atlas together.

tfc to do list. go back?

tfc mainpage stuff:

- Go through all the links and site descriptions, fix grammar errors and rephrase site blurbs!
- Reach 2000 sites and 2500 after that...
- Go through all the rankings and check each...
- Mark the filter affected/inactive/on hiatus sites!! - Fix the premades section and add appropriate categories (petpage layout, petlookups, userlookups, guild layouts, etc.)

Observatory stuff:

- Finish the guide to general guides!!!?!
- Guide to game guides?.

atlas section stuff:

- Make more Tutorials! (maybe graphic/layout related, etc.)
- Finish the archives.

Think of more things to fix and do! XD

Feel free to suggest something!

tfc site explanations. go back?

This is the TFC site explanations section! For easier loading time on the main page, these explanations have been transferred here. This is mostly for the newer visitors of TFC who'd like to get more acquainted with it.

The Atlas is a part of TFC that is similar to an extras section. It contains some brief tutorials, a FAQ, site history, site owners' tips and suggestions, and some others. I'm always open for suggestions on what you want to see next.

Neopian Times Article links are currently not working; I do not plan on removing them since the content and knowledge they offer are still intact and therefore still very helpful. A good solution to this (thanks to Cass at TGL) is to click on the NT article link and copy paste the title of the article into the search engine of The NT.

The Observatory, which can be found here, is the guides section of TFC. It was transferred to another page due to an excessive amount of characters on the original page.

The Site of the Week can be chosen by me or suggested by others. The chosen site could be based from helpfulness/great content or recommendations from others as a shout out to sites that they think deserves some recognition. Feel free to suggest a site! It can be found at the Voice Box section.

The 6 buttons on top of each category are the rankings from the left (1st) to the right (6th). They are subject to change.

The Voice Box also contains TFC's sitely news section. The Voice Box accepts all news on any site, all you have to do is neomail me with your site URL and words of advertisements! (Credits of this idea goes to Soroptimist!)

graphics. go back?

Feel free to use these banners anywhere as long as there is a visible credit that either links back to TFC or here.

hiatus banners:


under construction banners:


revamp banners:


icons:

Non text icons can be used as icon bases, just remember to link back!


faq. go back?

Will you make me a petpage layout?
I am honored really that you like the layouts I make, but I just don't really make layouts for others except for my guild and close friends.

Will you join my competition?
It actually depends on my mood. XD Sometimes I'd join if you ask but sometimes I'd rather not. Me and my mood swings... -sigh-

Will you vote in my competition?
Note the questions, Will you vote in my competition not Will you vote for me in my competition. I almost always vote in competitions when asked, but I don't vote for a person's site when asked. When I vote, I vote using my own opinion.

Where do you get the images for your graphics?
I get them from Background Bonanza. You can't copy the swf version so I just 'print screen' it.

Will you appraise my site / is it ready for rankings?
I'd love to, just ask. Sometimes I don't frequently check the rankings for each category so I may be behind on those things. If your site is rightful for rankings, then I'll update!

Can I review your site?
Like joining competitions, it depends on my mood. :D

Can my site be recommended?
If it fits the criteria for recommended sites, it will. ;) And occasionally, when I conduct listings sprees, I get things mixed up and by mistake copied the wrong star image url. I apologize for that. -.- Feel free to notify me about it!

How do you make your layouts appear to have many pages?
That's the exact reason I made this tutorial! (And this to go along with it) :D Anyways, extra knowledge is always good, right? If you don't understand something, feel free to neomail me.

Is there a form needed to be listed? I can't seem to find one.
No forms, just be sure to add your link and a description (if you want). :)

tutorials. go back?

Page within a Page
A brief guide on the layout I use mostly on my pages, giving the appearance of various pages within one petpage.

Basic Image Mapping
A brief guide on basic image maps. Only covers the rectangle/square shape.

Bullets Tutorial Tutorial by Shingie aka shinning123!
How to make image bullets so that people don't have to use the image code every single time they want a bullet to appear.

Have a tutorial or guide that you want to share? Then feel free to neomail me and I shall put it up here at the Atlas. =)

bullets tutorial. go back?

A Brief overview: If you are a person who just love that kind of bulleted list organization, then do keep reading. Most people are familiar with the bullet code (the li stuff), this code will allow you to manipulate that plain text bullets into image bullets provided by many graphic resource sites. It is a very effective character saver (especially for directories too!) I'll have to incorporate that into TFC soon as well... Anyways, on to Shingie! :

You are probably familiar with the background-position property. What most people don't utilize is that you can control the location of the background image in pixels or percentage.

When applying percentages or pixels, imagine your element to be like an x,y coordinate plane. In the code above, the first property would make the image move 20 pixels to the left and 50 pixels down; for the second example, it would move 20% left and 50% down.

A useful application is when you want to use image bullets in your petpage. While you can use the list (li) element, the problem is that depending on the browser used, there is already a built-in spacing either by margin or padding. I haven't found a way to make it cooperate in IE using (li), so I normally use the paragraph (p) element; it's perfect because it's already a block element by default.

The CSS



The HTML

The end result looks like:



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas eget enim eget mauris porta molestie. Praesent bibendum libero quis ligula volutpat pharetra. Cras sodales ornare magna, id adipiscing nisi imperdiet id.

Pellentesque nisi tortor, ornare sed sagittis vel, fringilla lobortis neque. Integer arcu tellus, gravida et consectetur laoreet, bibendum sit amet tellus. Maecenas eleifend fringilla elit.

Nam dictum, purus vitae semper rhoncus, orci felis vulputate odio, vel interdum nisi augue et ipsum. Donec nisi justo, dignissim at aliquam non, tincidunt vitae velit. Integer scelerisque pretium convallis. Donec sapien magna, pretium vel eleifend eu, condimentum ut quam.


Bullets from Foomanshu

image map tutorial. go back?

If you scroll back up to the top of the page, you'll see parts of the header where it links to other pages or parts of the page. That's called an image map. It's commonly used in guilds to link to their website, chat board, and the join link and also in malls, to link different parts of their shop; and also very commonly used for petpages. )

This is just some basic knowledge for those who'd like to try out using them for a navigation. So I'll be using this image:

First you need to name your map, I named mine 'linked'. This is the code you put outside your style tags. You do not have to put anything in the style tags for image maps:

area shape="rect - You start out your map code with this. You're specifying the shape of the image you want to link so the coordinates will flow with it.
href="/ - put in where you want to link that part of your image to.

coords="0,0,0,0 - don't worry because those zeroes will be filled out with numbers. It'll specify which part of the image will link to a certain place. To get the coordinates you'd need to use Paint.

Now that we've found our coordinates, it's time to put them in. They will go respectively in the places of the zeroes. Which means the top left coordinates first then the bottom right coordinates. Once the coordinates are put in, the code will now look like this:

The final step is to add the use map command to the image code directly. You have to add the usemap="#MAPNAMEHERE to the image code like so (and add a border="0 command so no blue boder around the image will appear):

Outside of the text area it will look like this:

And if you click it, it will take you to the neopian map and pet central! :D

page within a page tutorial. go back?

Have you ever wondered why other petpage layout seem to have different pages within a page? Well they don't! That is just one of clever tricks of Coding! Now for the page within a page trick, it gets a little bit more complicated. I'm not sure if this is what other site makers use, but this is what I used for my layouts. The trick is scrolling div boxes. Here is the basic code for div boxes:

Once filled with text it will look like this:

text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here text here

What we're gonna do is put more div boxes inside the original div box code and change the original div box's code's overflow from auto to hidden. For this example, I'll be putting in three. So the code will now look like this (I placed breaks (br) to separate them more from each other):

The outcome will be like this:

div box one

The overflow is set to hidden, that's why you can't see the other two div boxes.





div box two




div box three

Of course to navigate through your various pages, you'll need to put in page anchors once again. So I will be putting in a link in every div box that will link to the other two. For example in div box one, I'll be putting in a link for div box two and three. For div box two, I'll be putting a link for div box one and three and so on. And I'll also be putting in a link out side that will link to all three. The code and outcome will be like so:

The outcome will be like this (I've put it in a table like the layout of the atlas. The navigation on the side, the content on the other side.):

link to div box one
link to div box two
link to div box three

notice! If the layout messes up when you click on the links taking you to the other div boxes, just click on any link from the side bar navigation.

about adzs and the faerie compass. go back?

A little bit bout' the owner:
Hello, I am Adzs. A neopian in dire need to start saving and stop spending neopoints. I prefer my age not known but yes I am in my teens. =D I hold a great interest in Greek/Roman mythology so I take the time to familiarize myself with the various gods/goddesses(small 'g'), centaurs, cyclops, underworlds, olympus, titans, and more. Same goes with astronomy. I think stars, galaxies, planets, black wholes, UFOs, space, and simply the entire cosmos is somewhat mind-boggling. Don't you think? o.o Well that will be it for my opening it seems. Anyways, if you see a girl with a pack of gummy bears and Edith Hamilton's mythology book in hand walking down a street, it could be me. B) Chances are slim but there is a chance.

The Faerie Compass:
It was a crisp autumn night, XD TFC started out the in the month of August, year 2008. Like Cass said, 4 years ago. :D So what prompted a kid like me to start a directory without any knowledge about CSS, graphic making, or general neopian knowledge? (I was a newbie then. :D) It was a link directory called The Water Library, owned by imaginangel. I was never close with the owner, but I was really amazed back then of her directory. So the kid started her own directory and decided to call it The Faerie Compass. Turns out she wasn't the only one who decided to officially open August 24-25 ish! That's when I met Cass, the ever so amazing site maker and renowned owner of The Soroptimist Directory. I was new to the world of site making and she had experience off site, I would never have made it out all alone you see. B) We became sister sites, and she became one of my closest friends on Neo. Of course, a special thanks goes to my fellow minions at The Master Plan, who supported me all the way as well. :)

So through a course of deep self study of CSS and a little graphic making practice, things started evolving. I eventually learned coding using divs and positioning, and I incorporated what I learned in new layouts. A lot of things happened site owing wise and so time, time, a lot of time passed by and one day, I lost interest. You could call it a rash and impulsive decision on my part, but it felt good in a way to just relax. (That which led to my long hiatus-like break from neo).

I wasn't on a complete hiatus however, I was just not going online that much compared to back then when I was very active. :) Until one time when I got active again, but I focused on improving my account (getting avatars, earning neopoints, and familiarizing myself with the neopian world entirely). So indeed that account focused phase went on for 1 and a half years (since the other half year was when I was inactive). What the reason was behind my going back to the site making world is a mystery, since I'm not sure that I clearly remember. (*headdesk*) There was this yearning of course, but I was never really sure.

Regardless of that anyway, I'm really happy I re-opened. I've re discovered the old ways and found out the new ways of site making. I've met a lot of new people, re-met the others I knew from before and now saw the complete evolution of sites today as compared to the past. That feeling that site owners feel, 'excitement' and 'urges'. You know what I'm saying? It feels good, like reliving the past in a whole new world. ;)

the gallery walk.

Thank you so much for everything guys, I really appreciate what you have given me. I'm glad I could help in any way, and I do hope this site making experience will always be a happy memory for all of us. ^___^

TFC Gifts:

TFC Gift Buttons:

Old TFC Buttons:

Awards:



site guides. go back?

Adoptables & Pixels | teleport.
Adoptables and pixels is the category dedicated to providing you with various neopets related, non neopets related, and much more themed pixels hand drawn by our very talented pixel makers. They can offer a range of goodies from pixels to vectors, scribbles and resources, and much more like the little guy at the top of this category.

tip-offs:
I'm not a very experienced pixel maker though I did try running that kind of site some years ago. It didn't go very far. So instead of going through those times, I'll instead just list some brief tips. Part of a pixel site owner's encounters will be:

  • Pixel quantity - There is no point in visiting a pixel site if the visitor doesn't have anything to choose from. Part of a good pixel site is the availability of the pixels/adoptables. Instead of settling on just the one pixel category, expand it! Add some resources, icon/banner bases, counter backgrounds, vectors, bullets and more. Keep your visitors coming by giving them something new.
  • Pixel quality & uniqueness - To be able to go far with your pixel site, you have to make your pixels stand out. Some pixel site I've seen has these "specialties" as they call it. It signifies that that something can only be found on their site, meaning they attract more visitors since their site is the only place that offers them. Think of something special that only your site can offer.
  • Program availabilities - This can be categorized under Pixel quality as well. If you only have MS paint to work with and maybe others will have paint shop pro, it will be clear that the first person's resource will be limited to only those that you can do in paint, while the other has much to choose from. It can be coloring, shading, sketching, animation, etc. Of course I'm not saying that you won't be able to do good in just paint, various pixel makers do their work in paint entirely and their works have come out greatly. I'm just saying that you'll be able to do much more and different kinds of effects if you have access to such programs.

By Lola | Pirouette

I've been through so much with my pixel site. It's really just a re-opening of Sweetness, which was my first pixel site and second site ever. Pirouette is a site that I absolutely adore, as I find pixelling to be so relaxing and fun! If I could offer any pixel-maker advice, I would tell them a few things. First and foremost, be original! If you see a cool, unique pixel at one site, don't make a copy of it! Come up with something cooler and more original - think about it: would you want a good reaction from someone when they see your creative work, or do you want people to lose respect for you when they see your carbon-copy of another site's idea? Second, never give up. I've never believed in the saying "practice makes perfect", but practice does lead to improvement. One day, your pixels will be absolutely fabulous and high-quality, and people will swarm to your site daily to see what's new. (:

By Sticky | Sticky's Goodies

This actually pertains to all sites, but: Sitemaking is not a chore. If it ceases to make you happy, or takes from your real life, don't be afraid to stop. You shouldn't keep a site open solely to please others. Making others happy is great, but don't forget to love yourself a bit too.

By Adrienne | Flamboyance

If you feel your site isn't as high quality as you like, try re-making a section such as all your pixels or icons. The experience you gain from each time means the new set will be much better quality than the last. It's an easy way improve the content of your site. =)

In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.



Button Requests | teleport.
Button requests, of course, are sites where you can request a button for your own site! It may seem ironic that somebody else would have to make a button for your own site, but the idea is actually very nice and convenient. See, not all people are blessed with the gift of button making (myself included), so the people who do have those skills chose to start their own sites with that purpose exactly.

tip-offs:
Ahh, button requests. I am absolutely no good at creating buttons. XD As you can see, all the buttons in my link back section were all made by the great people who could. Since I won't be doing a full blown tutorial on button making, some tips:

  • Fonts - I think fonts are really one important aspect to consider when making buttons. Without the right one, it really wouldn't turn out very nicely. See, most button site's fonts are called bitmap or pixel fonts. They're especially made to be small, and they're better that way. You can easily download these fonts from other websites, just search them on google. :)
  • Styles - Button sites nowadays, compared to the older days, have different kinds of styles. May it be animation, borders, or a combination of both. Rarely now do I see a site without at least a button with animation and a different kind of border instead of a plain rectangle. It really does make a difference, people are to request more buttons from your site if you have a variety to choose from.
  • Programs - Having the right programs will affect the quality of your button as well. To be able to make buttons with animation and different kinds of style, you're gonna need something other than paint. Luckily, there is a program called GIMP which is completely free and downloadable from the internet. Search engines are your best friends.

By Pip | Trapped Fairytales

My advice for all those future button-makers is to be original and innovative in what you do. Don't play it safe with your buttons, and take a risk and make them different than other fellow button makers. Originality is key!

By Viky | Impulse

I suppose the best advice I could give about making buttons is to take your time. You have to think about what you want your site to be, where you want it to go. You have to take time to grow and learn. No one becomes a pro in a day. If you look at the portfolios of button makers, you can see how styles and techniques are constantly changing. There's always some way you can improve, and it takes a long time to find out what works for you. I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though it's a long process you just have to keep going.

In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.



Coding Guides | teleport.
Ahhh, coding guides... Where would we be without them today? These coding geniuses especially created these particular sites for us to learn more about the magical –and very confusing- aspects of CSS. One who wishes to create a site would not be complete without scanning through one of these guides at least a couple of times.

tip-offs:
I really wouldn't call myself one of those coding savvys, what I do know is the basics. So here are my tip-offs for you (may it be if you want to learn how to code or other things):

  • Flexibility - No I am not talking about bending. XD What I mean for flexibility is to keep updated. (Especially since Neopets undergoes so much filter changes it's just crazy!) Determination is key if you really are intent on helping people by keeping up your coding guide. Like so many talented coders out there, including the premades makers, they go to update their codes no matter how many layouts they have and no matter how tedious the job.
  • Determination - I personally think there are no skills/prerequisites needed to learn CSS. It just takes yes, determination and time. Eventually you will learn and get the hang of coding if you constantly encounter it on a timely basis. No one is ever born with the natural ability to code, people actually learn these things from perseverance and effort. Coding savvys and premades makers don't just magic up their codes from nowhere, they learned it from experience. And believe me, everyone has had mistakes.

    Like that saying goes "Failure is just another word for experience." :D Hehe, I did not make that quote. c:

Better yet, follow the professional coder's advices. B)

By Dark | CSS | Guide

Mm, I'm not really sure. I guess my best advice for coding sites is to expect filter changes and keep checking your codes often since there are quieter filter changes that TNT does to parts of the site. Also be open to advice in improving your guide. I saw someone try to start a coding guide on the boards recently and they were completely close minded to any advice. They couldn't even acknowledge some basic mistakes they made.

In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.



Competitions | teleport.
The site making world would not be complete right now without our competition sites. These sites are specially designed for SOTM (site of the month), BOTM (button of the month), GOTM (graphic of the month), and many other OTMs they can think of. It's a site where you can show your talents as a graphic or site maker, and where you can determine another site's level as well.

tip-offs:
I personally have never encountered competition sites before and only when I reopened myself to the world of site making. But since we're all here, enjoy these brief rants:

  • Varieties - Right now I rarely see competition sites who focuses solely on one kind of competition. And that's good, since the more the merrier. Some have competitions that I've never thought would be, but they did it. :) The standard/what's most common for competition sites would probably be Site of the month (SOTM). In fact, a competition site would probably not be complete if that wasn't there. I've visited a site once with so many OTMs, but of course, you should know your limits. Too many could be too had to maintain since there would be so many neomails that would come your way.
  • Determination - Determination is a key to all sites but I'm putting them specially for some. ;D Determination is a key for running a competition site. See, if you're newly starting a comp site, chances are not much people will enter your competitions. First take the time to advertise your site and improve it (for recommendation in directories, for affiliates, etc.), along these lines people will start knowing of your site. But then maybe not many people will enter enough for a certain competition, I've seen many competition sites do this before and I don't think it's bothersome at all, for me it kinda shows determination. You can take the time to send an appropriate neomail to some site owners and ask them if they'd like to participate. Believe me, most people say yes and you've just got yourself a participant!

Remember, you have to make people come to you. :)

By Alice | Dreamer

Hm. My advice would be to take on a site if you know you have the time and ability to handle and maintain it. A site is 10% content, 90% effort when it comes to any site. To Competition sites especially, even if things get slow there will always be ups and downs, you just have to look on the bright side and advertise as much as you can!

By Kelly | Kaleidoscopic

As a new competition site owner, I know how difficult it is to get your site out there and on the path to wherever you may want to go with your site. Right now, I mainly have to go out and find site owners to participate, but I hope that, soon enough, people will come to me! And, as we all already know, you have to throw your own twist into things! Don't do what everyone else does, otherwise you won't get recognized. Make it your own. That will keep your visitors coming back and it'll keep you interested in maintaining your site!

In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.



Fonts | teleport.
Fonts are the different styles that Neopian use for when they post at the Neoboards. It is a way to individualize yourself against all the other thousands of Neopians who play this site as well. Although it may seems very tricky to make your own given the few character spaces you are given, I can guarantee it will make your day to see the outcome of the font you made yourself. Under this section are guides on how to make one, and premade fonts for you to use as well.

tip-offs:
I would consider myself an average neopian therefore I make average fonts. But however, I will keep the tip-offs coming! XD:

  • Style - There are different kinds of fonts now in the modern. :) There are text fonts and there are picture fonts (pokes take a look section). In font sites, there can be categories like templates and neoboard pens too, but the two earlier mentioned are the main. Picture fonts are harder to create (but there are generators though at sites like SunnyNeo) because they require various br commands and they can get ridiculously long, some maybe even require a neoboard pen. Text fonts are simply a text, the most commonly used, but they can be made awesomely (XD) with the right ingredients.
  • Font Face - the command in the prefrences is "fontf=FONTFACEHERE". There are various types of font faces that can be used in neoboard fonts. (The most common are -like petpages- georgia, arial, tahoma, times, monospace and courier.) Other fonts that you may have seen on the boards that appears like it's cursive or some other style, it means that font is downloaded onto their and your computer. They are not recommended though, especially if you like getting your font rated because not all people may have that font on their computer so they may not be able to see it.
  • Font Size & Color - If I could give you advice, don't use neon colours too often. They are sometimes hard and too bright for the eyes. Pastel colors are good, they're soothing and can be easily matched up with other colors. In font preferences I never really have gone beyond the size 4 (1, 2, 3, 4), in fact I rarely use for unless for some eally automatically tiny font. For your neoHTML, don't try to go beyond 2. (Unless the font you're using is you know, very very small.)
  • Symbols - Fonts nowadays cannot be complete with different symbols and letters. Good symbol sites can be found here. Their size and color can also be changed, and with a series of BRs you can make these symbols into a shape. Here is a more in depth tutorial for you.

By Zach | Hydraulic

- Even if you don't like your own fonts, Don't give up on font making. It's quite fun making fonts, but no one makes good fonts from the beginning. It takes trial and error, and practice to make a good font. I personally don't like all my fonts, but In my opinion, I have improved a lot from when I first started font making.

- Don't be afraid to ask other font makers for help, or even read a font guide, such as Revitalize (/~Ophelyya) if you need help. Most font makers themselves have probably made fonts they didn't like at all, I'm sure they'll understand if you ask for help!

- It's always good to have good resources when making fonts, such as a Symbols Page (/~blauenc), a font guide (/~Ophelyya), and an eyedropper (SunnyNeo Eyedropper) so you can match your font with an avatar's colors.

By Sharad | The Treat Box

When making a font, always think and do something never done before. People love to see new things. Practice makes perfect!

In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.



Graphics | teleport.
How do I differentiate graphic sites from premades you ask? This is just me but I put a site under premades if the site only contains layouts (guild, userlookup, petpage, gallery, etc.). I put a site under graphics if the site only provides graphics (may it be banners or icons), or if they have graphics along with layouts. That is what they're here for; the very talented graphic makers graces us with excellent works that I have really never seen back in my day. C:

tip-offs:
These are all from my graphic making experiences of course. I have not gotten very far into the diverse techniques sadly. TT-TT:

  • Programs - You cannot make a different styled graphic with only MS Paint. (Even though Paint isn't used much in here, it is still very useful in many other ways. c:) Adobe is awesome, but it actually has to be paid for. A great alternative is GIMP. [Looking for program tutorials?] It is absolutely free and downloadable from the net! Very awesome indeed. B) Anyways, programs can provide many different ways of adding effects to your picture. Endless ways and techniques are present, there are many sites out there that provide great tutorials on what you can do to a simple image. Programs also provide a means for you to animate your picture. (Especially for buttons.)
  • Resources - If you are looking for resources, there are many who provides them. These can range from backgrounds to brushes, stock images to textures, vectors to gradients, and many more. Resources are essential for any graphic. They always add that extra something when you can't put your mind to what it is exactly. You can still make grahics without using them of course, but it's always good to add some other effects. :) Another note: resources should be credited to their owners.
  • Learn - Knowledge of different graphic styles and techniques will not just come to you. Sometimes people can learn some skills of their own by free lancing in image editing programs. But it won't very often happen, and if it may it can be hard. Some sites are especially designed and offers good image editing tutorials and techniques. After studying and following their steps, in time and effort you'll be able to inculcate those techniques within yourself. That is something that you'll take with you even into the future.

By Turnip | The Lunch Box

When creating TLB, I wanted the atmosphere to be welcoming for both new and returning visitors, so my advice would be to examine every part of a site. Even though the main emphasis should be on content, that doesn't mean other aspects should be ignored, like professionalism (spelling, toning, etc.), visitor convenience and the general aesthetics of the page.

By Tina | Dark Light

Over the years, I've learned that experimentation works well in all aspects of my site. Whether it be experimenting with new techniques for my graphics, new ways to organize content, or even new ways to handle my requests. Trying out new things always helps me figure out what works best for my site. If you're stuck on what to do with your site, just try something new and see how that goes. It might actually work out perfectly. If not, try something else until you find what works for you.

By Heidi | Zeal

Some advice I definitely have to give is to be original and creative. Originality is important in each site, or else why would a visitor visit yours over someone else's? Don't keep reading tutorials. Experiment with new effects. Change the settings of effects you already know. You never know what you might come up with! Pixel sites don't always have to pixel cakes. Button sites don't have to mimic each other's button effects. Graphic sites don't all have to offer video game and cupcake icons. Think of something creative and have fun with your site!

By Yume | Otaku

Knowing your limits is the biggest thing to take into consideration when you own a site, especially of a larger magnitude. Stress can become a big issue unless you keep some things in mind-

  • You aren't obligated to ANYONE to do anything. Don't feel like your being forced into something.
  • You can take a hiatus at anytime, just make sure people visiting your site know when you do.
  • If you need to vent then find someone who's willing to listen, rather than ranting in a blog. This can avoid people getting the wrong impression. I find the friends seem to understand better.

You can remove/change anything you want on your site, you have it because it makes you happy, if it stops making you happy, then do something about it.
A site owner's happiness can severely affect a site, in a negative or positive way. If you feel like stress is creeping up on you and you can't take it. Step back and take a breath, the oxygen is free.

In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.



Link Directories | teleport.
Under this category are Advertising Sites, Shop Directories, Gallery Directories, Premade Directories, and the general Link Directories. Some say directories are unoriginal, and very easy to make. Well if you look at it, it is easy to make but hard to maintain. And what way to make a directory not unoriginal? Think of a way to make it original! Directories are there to provide you links when you don't want to scour all over Neopia for. They make it so that it's quick and easy for us to go about.

tip-offs:
Again with my rantings! XD:

  • Originality - The first most important things for directories are originality and uniqueness, what makes it stand out from the hundreds of other directories out there. Due to the large number of directories, sometimes others that are just starting out are often passed by. Because truthfully, the major thing that directories offer are links, and since that is the case, most people will think why they would use a directory that is just starting out if they could use another one that offers way more links. There are tons of ideas just waiting to be discovered. You could make those ideas work for you or you could just be a directory like many others.
  • Determination - I said in the other section that determination is needed in every kind of site but I'm adding it to specific sites, right? ;) Whether it be determination to make your directory original, or determination to list many inks, or determination to add more helpful sections, you cannot just make a directory without determination. Maintaining a directory and keeping it up to date is one of the harder parts of it.
  • Interest - I was thinking of some things to add to tip-offs when I thought of this. To be able to be determined in maintaining a directory, you would need to be interested in what you have to do. Some two years ago I lost interest in maintaining The Faerie Compass, and even though there may be real life business to add, I couldn't say that it was just because of that and so I closed it. After some time I did regret it somehow, and I realized what I just needed was a break; some time off and I would be interested in it again. Have you read Cass's guide on getting out of an enthusiasm slump? (Press Ctrl + F and type in how to get out of an enthusiasm slump.)
  • And of course there are many more aspects to be considered like the convenience of the layout and number of links, but these are just the basics and it you would be better off to continue reading the long time site owner's advices. :)

By Cass | The Soroptimist Directory

Owning Soroptimist is much more than just running any old directory. I've run it so long, it's practically running in my blood. xD I don't just focus on the day-to-day aspects of a directory, though they are my favorite part. I try to expand Soroptimist to be a full-on site community experience, drawing the visitor in and hoping they stay entranced for a while. Every visitor, gift, piece of fanmail, recommendation, comment, neomail, and thumbs-up warms my heart, and after two and a half years I'm still not immune. People always tell me "Oh, you do so much work for Soroptimist and you deserve recognition!" when, really, the recognition for my work goes out to all of my visitors and supporters. Without them, well, I wouldn't work quite as hard to try to develop something that was less my creation than all of ours. Every visitor contributes a little something of themselves to the overall makeup of Soroptimist, officially cementing it in Neopia is a true communal venture. I may be the one hosting Soroptimist and keeping it going, but anyone who's ever sent in a neomail about it and participated in it is the real "ringmaster." And I'm eternally grateful to all of them.

By Elle | Elle's Help Guide

For owning a directory or any site its alot of work and dedication. You have to want to do it, you can't just open a site on a whim. Its tons of work owning any type of site. If you don't update or ever had content why should any one visit if you don't have what they need. My advice is if you are going to open a directory, graphics site or any other site think hard about what you want to do and make sure u have enough to have a site worth being around. Don't just make a site for the point of having one have one cause you want to and because you enjoy it. Make sure you wil have enough time to make graphics or take request, list sites etc. And like i said do it for you.

By Weapon | Find A Laugh

Pertaining to Find A Laugh... Good question. Probably the one that springs to mind most eagerly is when I learnt the lesson of Not Biting Off More Than One Can Chew. Or at least, when I figured out where that line was. I always knew you weren't supposed to bite off more than you could chew, but I managed to do it anyway. Back in January '09 I had a certain feature on FAL that entailed me personally rating each page I listed, which wore my interest and positivity down until I stopped updating for six months. Which, overall, is quite a negative memory for me, but I think it was a very good lesson learnt because since then, whenever I'm considering a new feature for any of my sites, I remember to be self-aware and think about what things I can do easily, what things will take effort and what things I actually possess the stamina for.

In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.



Review Sites | teleport.
A review site aims to improve your site by pointing out in great detail (some) the good and bad sides of your site. Back in the days, review sites only offered standard reviews. But since the day I re-entered site making, big changes have changed the way review sites' criterias are made. These changes in the criteria may include: of course the standard, letter styles, brief summary, checklist style, visual, or maybe proofreading only.

tip-offs:
Along with TFC, I had run a review site before called 'Falling Onigiri_ . Haha, I don't know why but that name just suddenly came to me and it stuck. XD Some tips:

  • Diversity - Unlike before, review sites nowadays offers many different kinds of reviews. Instead of just having a standard one, it would be better for the people who want to get their sites reviewed to have some options.
  • Hidden Agendas - Although majority of review sites succeed in being really truthful in their reviews, I'm sad to say that it isn't the same for some others. It could be jealousy on another site's success, pure conniving hatred, or some other motive; but you can never really tell. I think it rarely happens, but if you've had a review that you know is far your site's standards (meaning if the reviewer is obviously trying to bring you down), then there's probably something else going on. You will know if this happens, but some review sites's reviews are just pure flattery as well, the opposite of the first. Although it may not happen frequently, it does happen at times. It can be considered as bias on the reviewer's part.
  • Time Management - Once you and your review site has been established, soon you'll find yourself swarmed with review requests. It really isn't a bad thing because that's what you're all about, but it can be stressful at times. You should know when to open or close your requests.
  • Or better yet, read on for some professional reviewers' advice!

By Rika | The Teahouse

My advice for any future or current review site owners is to know your limits. Writing reviews is hard work. To state the obvious, everyone has a life outside of Neopets, therefore I can understand that the pressure of finishing a review in time or with adequate depth can be quite overwhelming. Coming back to the point I want to make: know your limit. If school work or real life is difficult to handle on its own, close your requests. When you are free, open them. This applies to all sites as well, but it's definitely something you should keep in mind.

This is probably the first time I'm going to give the following advice (let's see how this goes) but know your strengths. The reason why we have a variety of review sites is because different reviewers see different things. That's why having a decent number of reviewers reviewing you can be beneficial. Why is it that two reviewers may give two piece of advice on the same thing or possibly advice that contradict each other? It's because different people think differently. My strength lies in how a layout looks but someone else's strength may be in how a layout works. So be aware of what you can critique with depth and don't be afraid to be very in-depth. Of course, remember to be rational and provide plenty of examples from the site itself to support your argument.

By Jackie | Imperfect Perfection

My advice would be to think of something original. I had a difficult time thinking of original ideas to add to my review site, but if you put enough effort and thought into it, you'll be able to create your own unique twist to your site!

By Delaney | Effervescent

One of the most important things I can tell you is "You cannot expect success right away." You just can't. If the only reason you are starting a site is because you want to be a part of that elite ranking group--don't even bother opening. Site-making isn't just for popularity/rankings. It's much more than that. I believe site-making is a hobby. It's supposed to be a fun way to spend time on Neo. Don't get caught up in rankings and such. Focus on your site. Don't worry about what THIS site or THAT site is doing. Do what you need to do; worry about yourself. Make YOUR site memorable and interesting. If you own a review site, put all your energy into reviewing. Don't end a review abruptly. That's very bad and very unprofessional. If you don't feeling like reviewing for a few days, don't. Take a break. If you keep reviewing when you don't feel like it, the reviews end up terrible. Take you time. And most importantly, don't give up! Just because your site isn't getting that many views or requests doesn't mean you have to close down. What did I tell you in the very beginning? you can't expect success right away. Go advertise at Soroptimist and the boards, get some affies, etc. And the better your content is, the more requests/views you'll get. The harder you try, the better it'll pay off.

In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.



Premades | teleport.
Premades are the sites owned by the very talented people who have mastered the art of codes. May it be for lookups, galleries, petpages, pet lookups, shops, or more, the premades section has it all. Beware of stealers though, one downside at being extremely good at coding is that other people will be very envious and start claiming the premade owner's coding as their own.

tip-offs:
I don't think I have what it takes to run a premades site, I mean I've thought about it a long time ago but I just didn't find myself suiting. Just thinking about what premades sites owners' do is just making me exhausted. -.- :

  • Up to date - Occasional blows to premades sites are filter changes. There comes a time when TNT stubbornly decides to change the way we could code our petpages, and it takes the toll on people who make layouts the most. Even though this happens, premades site owners still exert the effort to change their layouts and keep them within the filter's boundaries.
  • Compatibility - One to watch out for is the compatibility of your layouts in other people's browsers and screen resolutions. Although different browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, and others display the same major aspects of a page, sometimes it does not conform to other code commands and may display it differently than that of the other. A changed font or two isn't very important, but always try to check that the major parts of your layouts are working on other browsers. Screen resolutions matter as well since not all people have the same kind of computer, and since you can't really check it, it would be better if you keep your layouts at a standard size.
  • Variety - There must always be different styles or kinds of layouts for people to use in a premade site. A site that offers tons of beautifully styled layouts for different kinds of pages would far better than a site that offers just one kind or style of layout. It would always be good if the visitor has something to choose from.

By Alex | Trapeze

Since opening Trapeze about a year ago, I have learned SO much! It's difficult to put it all together, but I'll try! I think most importantly, I learned the commitment that is required - for making new content, replying to mails, fixing issues, helping people, switching layouts, networking, and countless other things! It is seriously a looot of work. As for advice... the most important advice I can give is always listen to your visitors! Their voice is most important & keeping them happy is ultimately the best thing you can do for your site!

By Nene | Sugary

As someone with experience with owning a premades site, here are some quick tips for aspiring premades site owners out there! (:

  • Check that your layouts display properly in all common browsers and screen sizes! I try to make sure that all my premades are compatible with Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer. Since 1024x768 seems to be the most common smallest screen size, I make all my layouts fit that size.
  • It's a good idea to have a variety of layouts types for visitors to choose from. For example, my site is focused on desserts-themed layouts, but I offer layouts of other themes too, since I know not EVERYONE would use "sugary" layouts.
  • People come to your premades site to get layouts, so the textarea to copy your code is a vital part of your site. Make sure that visitors can easily copy your layout codes. As a side note, having your textareas set to overflow-hidden is not a good idea.
  • Premades are like fashion. Most people change the layouts of their userlookups/petlookups/etc periodically. If you wish to please your visitors, try adding new layouts once in a while. Who doesn't love freshness and novelty?
  • Running a premades site can get demanding. You'd receive neomails about coding problems, deal with the occasional stealer, feel pressure to add new content, and suffer from the painful artists' block (I always suffer this lack of inspiration to make new layouts!). Thus, think carefully before opening a premades site. To own a successful one, you can't just throw a couple of your premade layouts on a petpage and leave it like that. It takes dedication and passion to run a good premades site!

By Zel | Add a Name Petpages

For doing petpage premades, there are a few tips you'll need to know to get started.

    1) Make sure your own layout is high quality. A low quality layout will automatically turn away your visitors. You should spend a lot of time on it, and you may want to change your layout every month or so to keep things fresh.

    2) As with the premade layouts, change up the design. Move around the images, the content box, the updates, and all of those areas. It's no fun if everything looks the same, and having different styles will make your premades unique.

    3) Always always test your new layouts and styles on your own first. You wouldn't want to later be flooded with neomails saying your user lookups don't work.

    4) Don't give up when the filters change! TNT will do this from time to time, but there are always kind neopians who come out with Filter Tips. Wait a week or so, and there should be a few filter tip sites out.

    By Sandy | Saranghae

    Well. I am honestly a very lazy person, so it takes me awhile to make stuff unless I have the perfect idea or I got inspired by at least one image. Owning a premades site may seem easy, and it is in a way. What makes it difficult is if your visitors will actually use your userlookups, petpages, etc. That means that they have to look nice. Uhm, I forgot where I'm going with this. Anyway, with each layout you make, make it your best! You want people to drool over it because it's just absolutely...fascinating! If you're lacking ideas, stop with what you're working and just do something else. Get back to it later, because who knows if something awesome will pop up into your head later on? If the layout you started is going off to a great start, awesome! Just because you're getting horrible ideas doesn't mean you should stop!
    All in all, keep working on whatever you're working on. If you're tired of working on that layout, start a new one! But DON'T delete the previous. It'd be a waste of your effort. And who knows? Something great can be made out of it later on! And that means that more people can see your beautiful work, and can also use it if offered on your premades site. n___________n

    In honor of each category I've made this seal. Feel free to display it on your site if you do own one belonging to this category. This signifies no officiality so I've put is as The Unofficial Seal.

Adoptables & Pixels

Button Requests

Coding

Competitions

Fonts

Graphics

link directories

Premades

Review Sites

go back?









the atlas credit section. go back?

The Atlas section was greatly inspired by Cass at The Reserve. Thank you for everything, Cass. ^___________^

To the viewers whom without them this would be of no worth at all.
I'd like to thank all my fellow site owners from all different categories for their kindness and cooperation in the owner's experiences and advice section.
Hybrid Genesis and Nienkju's Resources for textures and swimchick for stock images used in graphics.
Colourlovers for color schemes and ideas.
Both Adobe Photoshop and Imageready for graphics.
Neopets.com for images, and site hosting.

All other TFC content (except the sites listed of course XD) are by Adzs, xsnowstar101x.







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