www.lmaowtf.com Image sharing website (Yeah I know It's not an original idea).
Hi, I'm new to site point. I really like responsive and resourceful community. That's why I'm asking for feedback for my website.
I am a novice php programmer. I bought the domain (lmaowtf.com) so I decided to start a project that kind of matched the name. This is the first idea I came up with. It is my first fully functional php/mysql service. I was inspired by fatpita.net mostly, but I wanted to make a website where users add their own content like imgur.com or 9gag.com. My main focus (besides coding my first functional php/mysql website) was for it to be simple and flexible. Users click the image on the main page and get another random image. They can also browse all the images in the database, or browse by the users who uploaded pictures, or browse by tags attached to the picture. I think my favorite part is the tagcloud. I would have to have an enormous tagcloud with hundreds of tags that show which series are more popular and whatnot. Right now there are only three tags, but if there were more I'd dedicate a whole page to tags.
Please review the following:
I kind of started and finished this website in a hurry so I know the css and html is really messy and more clunky than it should be. However, I did try my best to make it a somewhat flexible design. I know there probably might be Internet Explorer issues.
Security. Because of my small knowledge of php/mysql, my main worry is that there might be security holes. If anyone can spot flaws in one of the pages that a user can take advantage of please tell me. I tried to prevent sql injection as much as possible but I might have missed something. My biggest fear is getting hacked. I know it might be highly possible right now.
The design. I wanted to try to keep it simple so the one picture stands out on the main page. I like the navigation bar but i'm open to suggestions. The tag cloud is really the main part of it (even though theres only 3 tags right now). I reallly don't know what needs work. If anyone has a problem with anything please tell me.
- Adsense. I really struggled to think of good spots to put ads. I don't want to annoy users with big bulk ads and i dont want to distract from the focus picture. I put 1 ad on the bottom right (it randomly swaps out with the facebook like plugin). I put a second ad at the very bottom of the content <div>.
Basically, if anyone has suggestions whether it be with the design, the coding, or ANYTHING. I'm very very open to your opinions. I know an image sharing website like this isn't very original. I don't expect it to be competition for imgur or fatpita or 9gag. If it's possible for this website to someday drive even 100 people a day to it. That would make this a HUGE success in my eyes. Remember, this was just a random project I started about 2 weeks ago. This is the only website I've ever made that has a purpose for its users. Before I've only made portfolios. (like my portfolio website www.jeremypreed.com but you dont have to look at that.)
Thanks for any response! Sorry for making my post so long.
The Star Wars sticker is really funny (it's actually an AT AT Walker, I think, and not from Star Wars, but it would be geeky of me to know the difference
I am not your target user, probably, and I can't help with coding. However, I have a couple of impressions, for what they're worth.
First, especially as you get started, I wouldn't require people to log in. It takes away from the immediacy of participating. If people will hesitate before they create a log-in account to buy something like chocolate, I'm guessing many more will turn away before creating a log-in so they can vote or comment on a pic. I realize the log-ins are a nice data point for the webmaster, but I think you would draw more people in if you let them click freely.
Second, when the first picture was a video, I thought it was an ad at first. I don't find the right sidebar ad distracting, and so far the bottom one isn't, but if you got more comments below a picture it might be. Maybe you can add a bit more space between the ad on the bottom and your content (pic comments).
Again, not your target user, so maybe they would be instantly connected to this idea, but without your descriptive post to introduce the site, I would be a little lost if I landed here. I get it with the domain name, but some text explaining the purpose (i.e., it's fun to be random!) on an about page might help. Along those lines, I think I would make a huge effort to encourage everyone I know to add bizarre photos, because what keeps people on your site is wondering what they will see next. If it only takes 10 seconds to see all the pictures, they're done.
So far, the content doesn't quite match the domain name, either. I know you're wanting users to add their own stuff, but it's important to create a culture that you're trying to encourage, rather than let them create it for you. (I know it's in beta--sorry--just getting ahead a little here).
Maybe another idea for content, besides pics, would be to let users add text/photos that fit different categories, along the lines of Awkward Family Photos. You would need to start with enough content to flesh out your categories, but it would be really fun to come back and see what people had added to something like Dumb Stuff My Dog Does or What Were They Thinking or Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse or whatever.
Thanks for the great feedback. I think I agree with everything you say.
Register/Login: I'll consider giving guests the ability to login (that'll take a bunch of revisions in various code though). My original plan was to give people the ability to login/register with facebook. I know that feature makes the decision much easier. (That's how I registered for sitepoint) but I haven't completely figured out how to do it yet. It involves developing a facebook app first. I'll definitely consider giving guests the ability to post after I figure out the best way to go about that.
Ads: I'll add space like you mention.
Content: Once again I agree. I should look into finding some funny content to get the site started. I just don't want to completely steal content so it'll take a while.
As for your last idea: Wow. I didn't think of anything like that, but I like it. Kind of like how most blogs that style work, or how on REDDIT some people post stories. It wouldn't take much effort for me to give users the ability to add a long description to images. I don't think this site is much competition to imgur or fatpita, but that would also set it apart from them. Only blog sites have features like that right now I think. Good idea I really like it.
Thanks again for the speedy feedback.
Hi, my first review here..
1. lmaowtf is a good site, but if I were you, I will additionally give it more advantages than just a photo sharing sites.
2. Url, I am a bit curious about your url, but I prefer to use seo permalink url.
3. Tagging, I better to use the navigation on top bar, not at the right of the page. Since it will make it looks pro.
4. Adsense? Are you sure you are going to put Adsense on a site like this? Think again.. Since there are so many publishers got their adsense banned for photo site reasons. Else, if you allow a user to register to post a photo, how about p0rn? >> Adsense?.
5. I am sorry to say, but really, you seems to be a great coder, but you better to set your plan before you deploy the web. (for example: what ads you will use, content, traffics from , etc.)
I don't know if i agree with top navigation looking more professional idea but is a possibility. As for the seo permalink, I think you mean urls that have titles in them rather than numbers? I'll add that to my list of suggestions however I have no idea how to code something like that. I guess I could do a .htaccess url rewrite but not sure how that would work with user generated image titles. I'll research that idea as a possibility also.
I am very interested in your adsense comment. I didn't know adsense had a history of banning image sharing website owners. Why is that? Every image posted must be reviewed before it go live, so there wont be a problem with porn. If it posted porn i'd be banned from my web host anyway.
Thanks for the feedback.
Ya Jeremy, I am sure since some of my friends got banned for that reason.
A simple htaccess and php will fix the urls. I prefer to get it from the image title, all users should give it a description and name before they post it.
If there's a review before posted, so good moderation is the key (and some also think it as a matter).
Thanks knolegg for the tips and review. Since the critiques i've made these changes
-clean urls for most pages. try it: http://www.lmaowtf.com/user/Jeremy or http://www.lmaowtf.com/tag/avengers or http://www.lmaowtf.com/browse/10/new/1 or http://www.lmaowtf.com/login , register, account, notifications etc... i added so many cleaner looking URLS. there's almost no page that has .php or .htm at the end soon i'll have pages such as http://www.lmaowtf.com/this-is-the-title-of-the-image
the pages used to be login.php register.php browse.php?user=jeremy&page=1 bla bla and lots of long urls like that
-learned some new ad programs to use other than adsense cuz i'm shared i'll get banned
-added register w/ facebook info (& made a facebook app for it)-- although its not a one click registration. i did it the best i could with my own knowledge
New questions & Ideas:
- I want to try to improve the content but i'm scared of people stealing from other sites and getting me in trouble. LEGAL QUESTION: If under each unoriginal picture there was a caption that said "Source: funnyordie.com (or whatever site the pics from)" Would that save the content from being kind of illegal since I cited the source? I'm using the same logic I use for writing research papers. I'm hoping this idea would also save adsense from considering banning me (i dont know what reasons your friends got banned knoleggs)
- I also added a forum, hoping that will help start a community or at least give the site a better SEO value. Will that help? Or is it only blogs that get better seo?
Thanks for the feedback once again, and i'd appreciate any more feedback anyone has to give to the new ideas and changes.
ps if the sites down when you review it, it's because the server was under a attack and is refreshing.
I would still think you need permission to show it.
Note this typo on the home page (missing "n"):
This is an image sharing project
The home page could do with some more explanation. It's an image sharing project ... and? How is it different from Flickr, for example? All you really do is ask people to sign up, but that's a big barrier for people to cross, so you need to help them over. What will they get out of it (in return for sharing personal information that you may use to annoy them with)? Where are the examples of how the site works and how fun it will be to use?
Just some leading questions there.
Your critique gives brings up interesting thoughts. Before you viewed it there wasn't a home page, it would just load http://lmaowtf.com/?p=4 and you click the image to get another random picture. From my analytics i noticed people would end up looking at pretty much all 6 of the pics in the database just about. I think now that i have the homepage people are more confused about what to do.
I like the homepage cuz it shows the current most important images, but i think it I like the site being self explanatory more. I'm not sure whether I should get rid of the home page or not.
Also, I dont want to have to explain what to do on the front page. (I don't even have enough patience to read that.) I want people to just click and click and click and click without thinking or being told what to do on their first visit.
Thanks ralph. You've brought new light to this project. (also, i strapped that source idea)
Heh heh, fair enough. Perhaps a younger audience would be inclined to do that, but I personally wouldn't.
I like the warning: use as directed, but I think your instructions could be encapsulated in a phrase just above the central picture box, like "Click Here; Have Fun" or "Click Here, LYAO" or something.
I like the idea of the different statistics, but until you add content, it doesn't read like, "wow, you've got a lot of vision for this" (even though you do). Instead, it looks like "why do you need all these categories for six pictures?" I would save that code and re-apply it when you've added more than 30 pics. If you keep the boxes of four pics for now, I would definitely link the pic screenshots to the actual pictures, too--I kept trying to click on the sky before I figured out that I had to click on "beautiful" to make the link work.
You can't take images without permission and post them, even if you credit the source. Can you strong-arm a group of friends and have a contest to get things going? Choose a theme that lots of people would already have lots of pictures of, like "Weird Stuff My Cat Does" or "How My Dog is Secretly Planning to Take Over the World" or "My Strangest Outfit." Let site visitors vote on the winner. Let the prize be thunderous imaginary applause and acknowledgment on your site. Then have a new contest ready and waiting as soon as the first one expires.
Another idea for content, which is a little different because it won't get you pictures (but it could start participation) is to have a contest where you post a picture with an empty speech bubble, and users submit captions. This would be sort of like a mini version of what the Cracked writers do in the middle of their articles, except you would have to provide an interesting photo to make it work.
-I like that. I actually got a better idea i want to try now, but i won't say anything just in case it fails.
-I'll scrap the stats until actually get content. its just static text, no code behind it anyway right now.
-sorry about the images on the homepage not being links themselves, i very lazily coded that.
-i don't know if i'll give direct links to the images. im thinking of making the mobile version work like that, but i kind of really mainly want ppl to be exposed to the ads. haha i know that's probably not a good buisness plan and ppl will dislike it cuz of that, but if anyone cares enough they can just right click it and "save as" the image or copy the link to share it. make them do the extra work.
-i strongly agree with needing content and i like your ideas. thanks alot of the ideas. i thought about offering a gift card reward for top rated image or something. BUT BUT BUT for right now theres a few features like better admin user management and things like privacy policies and tos that i want to get out the way before i do any real advertising. right now i only have like 25mb free on my host. i'm waiting until i perfect as many things as i can before i go all out trying to get content.
heres my plan:
i'm planning that once i get everything how i want it i'll do as you suggest and have contests and incentives and entice people as much as possible.
then my hopes are people will share stuff on facebook and twitter and get other people to like and share pictures to more people to get more potential uploaders and visitors to click on ads.
then like i said before i want as many people to click click click click and click through pictures until their eyes hurt and they mistake ads for pictures.
@ralph.m yeah i agree it might be a younger audience that i'm looking for, but whatever that audience is i want to find it and redesign the site to appeal to them as much as possible. I don't know about you, but i'll go on imgur just to see one picture that catches my eye then 15 minutes later I will have looked at 15 different cat pictures that i wasnt planning to look at.
maybe my plan really isnt that special or anything but i felt like typing all that out for my own sake at least.
thanks again for the ideas J, thanks for the feedback ralph.m. all the badges by your name give me the impression that i should really really trust your opinions.
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