July 2000 - ??? | Founder & only developer
SonicOnline.fr is a website i've created in july 2000 when I was a student and a big fan of Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast. Because of the big community wandering around the site, and my interests in web technology, I still work on it. The last big update occurs in late november 2013 with a total refine of the website from the ground up. In fact, I've developed my own PHP Framework with social features. Let's take a tour of the main features I've developed.
HTML 5 & responsive design
Today a lot of people use their smartphones and tablets to go to the internet and I wanted the website to be accessible for that audience. So there's no use of flash, for the videos I use the Youtube player and for the local video files I'm using my own HTML 5 video player. It the same thing for the podcasts you can listen to with my own HTML5 audio player.
Responsive design is a new trend in web design and it consist in adapting the website layout to the screen display resolution. So the website will have a different layout on a smartphone, a tablet and a computer, but with the same content. How does it work? The css is simply different depending on the output resolution.
I wanted to give the users their own space to express they love to Sonic. So they have a page they can visualy customize by uploading their own avatar image and top banner. They can also manage their own game collection to show which games they have played, the one they have finished or only owned. It shows the user rating and reviews too.
Moreover the user profile shows lots of stats: how many good reviews comparing to the bad, how many messages posted in the board, etc.
I've added a "like" system similar to Facebook. The idea is to push in the light the best content made by the users or the team of the website. When a new visitor end up on your website through a Google search, it's very important to show him
very quickly the best content you can offer . It's like the first 15 min of a video game ;) The like system is one of the tool you can use for that.
The community is very important for a website, especially the regular user that can talk about your website around. And you know how much a board message system is very important. On SonicOnline I've build my own message board system, mainly to learn how to do it. But I also take the opportunity to build a message board I would like to post messages on. So I made a simple and easy to use message board with all the main features you can see on the most advanced professional message board: you can "like" posts and topics, you can multi quotes users's posts, you can preview your post, see the last new messages easily and add topics in your favorites (if you are logged in).
Private message system
I've also developed a private message system, so you can send a message directly to one or several users. Moreover, you can see in the notification menu all the received messages.
Adding badges on a website is a new trend but you have to do it wisely. It can boost the user participation on your website, but it can also ruin it if it's done badly.
So, badges are good for encouraging your user to discover all the features of your website. It's also great for increasing the activities of your users.
But, as I said, it can have bas side effects if your badges change the regular user behavior. Badges should encourage your user to interact more and create more content on your website, not to do things only to get badges. What's important is the quality of the user content not the quantity. When the quantity is important too but not to the detriment of the quality.
Some badges can be obtained multiple times to always having an interest for high level users.
There's a notification system that shows all the important things a user has to know: When you get a badge, when one of your contant has been liked, when someone quote one of your message in the board, when you have receive a private message.
Perhaps the most important thing is the admin where the guys from the website's team publish news, articles and more. It has to be the more seamless possible if you want your team to have fun adding content into the site.
I also worked hard in the making of a very easy to use gallery system where you can upload multiple images at a time, on multiple galleries, with drag'n'drop feature and previews.