When I was promoted to officer, El casually dropped her thoughts that I would be a good person to get the kin site looking... better. I don't really agree that I'm the right person for the job, but I have made some observations and felt I should share them as someone who has worked in editing and graphics layout for a literary journal.
#1: There is a lot of TEXT that greets a person when they arrive on the site, and for a lot of people that is a strong deterrent. There's no obvious place to look first because the only text that's enlarged is the kin name banner across the top. Without any defined headers, and with the different segments/widgets of the site having identical icons and text that matches the in-line content... it all blurs together. If the in-line or content text is a 12 point font, the header for it should be at least 16 or 18 to offset and make it easier for people to find the content they want.
#2: The forum is cluttered with very old posts. Someone with admin rights should archive anything more than a year old unless it is a guide of some kind. Archived posts are still searchable, and there should be a way to mark older posts with tags for easier searching (depending on the host site).
#3: Nobody uses the Kinship News widget on the landing page. This should be updated weekly, even if it just mirrors the in-game Message of the Day with info about what the kin is doing on any given day of the week. It can very easily direct people to discussions in the kin forums that need input (like the Kin Party one, or SLOTRO planning, or raid progression). Use this widget the way it's supposed to be used, and you also increase the kin traffic to the site when they know they can glance here to know what's going on instead of wading through all the text.
#4: Does anyone ever register anymore? It seems most of the newer people I speak to in-game or on Discord don't use the website or were never asked to register on it. It might be good to set up a publicly accessible page on the kin site dedicated to welcoming new people, with information listed out for them. That way when new people are recruited, we can just give them the URL to that page and they'll have everything they need (excepting, perhaps, the Vent info).
#5: Integration with Discord and the Facebook page should happen. Younger players use forums less (especially ones that look old, seldom-used, and outdated) than us older folks did 20-30+ years ago. Most of the players probably don't know there's a kin website, Facebook group, and Discord server.
#6: Why does the kin page not have an SSL certificate? If people are paying to help support the page, it would be a good idea to make sure we aren't putting their information at risk.
#7: Several of the widgets/features on the site are broken or do not work reliably. I imagine this is not so much something we can fix as something we need to work around since the widgets are through a host (I'm assuming guildlauncher, like what I use for my teeny-tiny kin on Arkenstone... I just never had money to make it anything but basic). But we should not promote broken widgets or rely on them, as that diminishes the quality and reliability of the page.
TL;DR version: Website presentation is outdated and cluttered. Helpful features not being used. People not encouraged to use the site. Poor ease of access for newcomers/younger plaeyrs. Broken things need scrapping/circumventing. I don't know what the admin dashboard looks like for the site, but I imagine it hasn't had much TLC in a while. I can try to help, but I'm just one person!
Discord is wide-open for a revamp, Birle. It was SLotRO-centric, but that doesn't have to be strictly observed. I attempted to coax Cordovan to use it, but he was hesitant for being off-kin to assume admin rights. Regardless there are channels there for that too. El now has discord/phone and might be more open to using it.
Oh, and you're admin as well. I think Finnok is as well, but if not, either you or I could fix that.
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