Making a Fansite
So, you've been on this website a while and you're curious how to make your own fansite. That's fantastic! Throughout this article I will detail everything you need to know before and when you create your fansite.
Step one: Why?
The first step is of course, to understand why you want to make a fansite. You don't need to justify this to anyone, nor do you need to explain it to anyone, but you should have a clear reason as to why you want to do this.
If you're thinking of making a fansite to become famous or have the most popular site, unfortunately you're about 15 years too late. All of the big-shot, most popular fansites that are still alive have been around since 2002-2005 at the earliest and 2012 at the latest.
If it's because you're inspired, if it's passion, if it's to have a personal abode, if it's to explore and learn html and php, or if it's just for fun, those are all good reasons. I want you to remember the reason why you're doing this, and keep that reason close.
Step Two: Topic
So you've decided you want a fansite for sure... now what is it about? If you're here, the obvious answer is, well, Pokemon. Pokemon was and still is very popular, even if fansites have fallen to the wayside. But think further - Pokemon is the overall topic, but what specifically? Are you an artist, a writer, a spriter, or a theorist? Do you have a favourite pokemon you think doesn't get enough love? Or maybe you want to make a blog documenting your nuzlocke journeys. All of those are good ideas.
The only thing that isn't the best idea when thinking of a pokemon fansite is a news site. When you think of pokemon news sites, Serebii or Bulbapedia are usually the first thought. There's no need to reinvent the wheel, and there's no real space for it anymore. If this was 2004, this would be a different story. Unlike the ideas listed in the previous paragraph, news sites are the only "not great" idea. Of course, I can't stop you if you want to make a site like that, but do be aware it is a lot of effort for a niche that is already filled.
Or, maybe you don't want your site to be Pokemon. Well, there are literal endless topics you can cover. This site is a good example - Pokemon and Pokemon fansites are the *main* topic, but I have pages and articles dedicated to League of Legends, MLP, House Plants, Birds, and my personal pets. Your site can be about *anything*, and don't feel pressured to stay in one topic!
Step Three: Design
While this site is styled to be reminiscent of 2008-2012-era layouts, your site doesn't have to be. Most modern websites are more rigid, larger, and expand based on the size of the content as opposed to a block with a scrollbar, like this site's old layout. (cough cough) Of course, if you want a layout like this, I have many linked both in the Fansite archive, and a few stock layouts in my Layouts page.
If you're completely new to HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), I recommend looking on youtube for easy, quick guides and referencing non-image dependent layouts can help a lot more as they are not hyper-specific on positioning.
Design is very fluid, and can be anything. In the Html tips page, I detail a lot of advice as well as explain hover buttons, div layouts, styleswitchers, and the rainbow links used on this site.
Have fun with design. It can look ugly, it can look polished, it can look beautiful, it's all up to your personal taste. HTML is *wildly* customizable and has *endless* possibilities with code.
Step Four: Content
Content is tricky. Everyone wants to make original, entertaining, and unique content. The key to making content isn't to fret over if it's "truly original" or entertaining enough, the key is simply to enjoy what you make. If you love your content, if you love your site, it will show beyond the quality or quanity of stuff you have on your site.
Write that article, draw up that OC, write some fanfiction, rant and rave about your favourite and least favourite things. Be You, be yourself- your site is yours, not anyone else's.