This article is part of an ongoing series of posts, there’s an index here.
Well, after a bit of work I got a rather nice-looking front end up for ChinWag.IM. I’m not going to digress into a “how to set up WordPress” article because there are, to be blunt, a metric shitload of those out there. I’d like to mention a couple of decisions about the site that I made when getting into this though.
First, a fully responsive theme was a definite from the start. There are some great-looking options in this area right now though, and it was pretty easy to find something suitable as well as free. Free has been a pretty strong theme throughout this project so far, all I’ve spent money on is hosting – and that’s a $10 per month virtual server.
I’m going to draw a line under the ChinWag development blog at this point and say “phase one complete”. I have a working XMPP server, it’s cost very little money, it’s got a nice-looking site and a web chat client or two for ease of use for users if they can’t install software.
What I do have as well is a near-endless supply of bad user experiences if you attempt to do anything other than look at the shiny surface, and this is my pile of source material for future ChinWag development posts, knocking off an issue here and there.
- There should be one single login form on the site that signs into all services
- The web client (currently Jappix) should match the look and feel of the main site
- Simple setup instructions should exist for all major client software, and maybe videos
- The registration process should retain secondary contact information for password recovery
- A compatibility assessment of clients for advanced features like voice and video calling
- Better guides for chat room creation, possibly also online user counts and active rooms
- One-click access for logged in users to join featured rooms
That’s just off the top of my head during a lunch break. I’m going to make a point of taking notes when things annoy me while using the system, and I’d love to hear your suggestions (and solutions if you have them).
Now go forth into the world, and set up your own servers, for your own communities. If you need help, give me a yell.