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Website improvements, rewrite
#1
Hey community,

This thread is mostly for the developers, especially of the PCSX2 Website.

I am a fan of the PCSX2 project and a web developer, mostly Back-End.
Well, I wasn't really satisfied with some layout stuff of the site, it doesn't look good on mobile, and the technical side also isn't that nice. And I had some freetime.. Laugh

Counting one and one together, I wanted to rebuild the site (well, front-end only for now) from scratch, in a cleaner technical way and with some layout improvements and opinionated changes on the way. I'm not a designer, so the design didn't change that much.

Not sure what to further say now.. ^^


GitHub repo: https://github.com/d4rkne55/PCSX2-website
Hosted version: http://privateprojects.w4f.eu/projects/PCSX2/

The live, hosted version should roughly be up to date.

This project is, as visible, not in a final state, still WIP, although I didn't continue for quite some time - stuff is missing, it's not responsive, only developed on a device with 1440x900 resolution (that's therefore also how it looks best currently). Oh, the background isn't intended to stay like that, it was just for me, as I found this saturated blue on the whole page rather hard to look at.


Notable layout changes:
  • the search is in the header, there's space left and it's faster to find
    not sure how the current 'implementation' is from a UX perspective, though.. Is it rather hard to see?

  • Breadcrumbs don't belong on the bottom of a page; that's nonsense IMO.. so it's at the top, below the header now
  • I'm in favor of removing the 'More Articles' section at the bottom above the pagination
  • ..as well as the 'Latest News' box at the bottom (the middle one)
  • I also think about moving the bottom boxes (eg. Links) to the header, if there's enough space



It would be nice if this can get implemented some day, when it's done.

So I would like to hear some thoughts, possible problems and/or ask me questions regarding this. Smile

Greetings,
Dennis
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#2
I like it. Tho you can move the widgets on the left like in the pic


[Image: 9Z6Enno.png]
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#3
Thanks. Smile Yeah, that could be done when I'm doing some things regarding responsive layout. The image is also way too big as of now, at least on my QHD (2560x1440) monitor..
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#4
I continued working on it today, article styling is now there. Smile Didn't commit it as I'm not that satisfied with it yet, though.. The avatar on the left of the article is bothering me; I can't find a way that it looks pleasing, the height disparity between the two article elements destroys it. I uploaded my current local state to the server, including a small script that, when pressing Alt + 2|3 (or 1 to reset), switches between two alternate versions of the avatar styling I had temporary. But it all looks bad, the initial state being the best of it probably.
A third version also came to my mind: Like version 2, being one white container, BUT that the text can float below the image. What about that?

Do you have other thoughts/ideas?
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#5
First, thanks for giving this a shot and for the free time you used up Smile

To be honest, I agree that the website needs a complete ground up rewrite. This website is using the same template from 7-8 years ago, when responsive stuff were high tech stuff Tongue That said, the main issue here is that you can't use an HTML/jquery system at this point, since you'd have to move all our articles and content to a new DB, and also program an advanced download system like the one we have now.

So IMO, the best way for a rewrite would be a new joomla template, where we could move all our content easily but redesign the frontend to be mobile friendly with some improvements.

I seriously doubt I'll ever have enough time to do all this, given that I'm flooded with real life work and all my free time goes into solving serious issues like updates to joomla,forum and wiki software, server updates and maintenance or other stuff like implementing SSL (which I hope to have completed today)

If you're up to it, it would be great to have a modern joomla template for PCSX2 Smile
[Image: newsig.jpg]
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#6
I didn't think Joomla is a full CMS, back-end and front-end.. Thought it's just kind of a WYSIWYG editor for the front-end. *Sigh..*
And why would you need to move all content to a new DB? I mean, can't you just swap out the markup and the styling inside the project with the new version? Then there would only be the articles left, which probably contain markup in the DB. But I guess that could be updated with a script and if not, I could try changing my styles in a way it looks similar with the old markup. Smile

Alternatively I could also recreate the back-end from scratch, doesn't seem to be large and/or complicated. But what about the download system? Could you go more into detail what is advanced, maybe per PM? I also don't recall it seeming advanced, but I also didn't pay much attention or did think about it when downloading PCSX2.^^

If you only want to go the way with a new Joomla template, I unfortunately can't really help :/ - zero experience with stuff like that, always doing projects myself, only using frameworks like Symfony, jQuery or normalize.css by Necolas (not a framework, just another example as a 3rd party dependency) and the like. I once tried Wordpress for a website for my neighbor, but didn't like it..

BTW, I also don't have that much freetime as of now, as you would probably notice when looking at the commit dates on GitHub.^^ But I guess that will get better, especially when I reinstall Linux again on my PC at home I can use more freetime for developing - currently staying away from Windows for development.^^

PS: I don't use jQuery for it, as I don't think it's that useful for the small scripts I made.
PPS: We also just now want to switch to HTTPS in the company I'm working.^^
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#7
Oh, regarding HTTPS: Your profile picture throws a mixed content warning, as it's coming from the site of the 'greek geek' Laugh - the subdomain bositman.pcsx2.net. You should either activate SSL on the subdomain or change the img src to https, when already SSL enabled. Smile
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#8
We're actively working on the mixed-content issues (It affects 100s of domains) and we're close to being able to deploy changes to production.

Regarding the website I'd prefer to use a well known CMS as opposed to a re-inventing the wheel especially considering the security aspect, I like the design though it definitely fixes some of those really bad design flaws.

I'm hoping to work on testing a new download system for the site however it's not highest of my priorities right now.
[Image: zRORpDo.png]
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#9
Regarding security: I understand your concern, but you don't need an CMS like Joomla to achieve that, Symfony is a well-known framework which should do fine regarding security. I'm just not into stuff like Joomla or Wordpress, it's not that nice to work with as a developer, at least I can say that about Wordpress, which from the first look seems to be even more adjustable than Joomla, have no experience though with Joomla..

But thanks regarding the design.^^

I would really like to have some insights into the current project, how it's set up, what you can do with Joomla and how it looks 'under the hood' etc. Probably per PM or TeamSpeak. Although I probably need a little bit more practice in speaking english. Laugh
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