The Purpose of a Website
The purpose of any website is to inform. That is, and will always be the case. The most successful sites are very specific.
However, "to inform" could be interchanged with "purpose," so to give a more specific answer of what the purpose of a website is, it's purely about attention. A website has to provide in demand content, it has to grab attention with it's layout and wording, and it has to keep consumers returning through long-term tactics such as giveaway, sales, subscriptions, etc.
What is the Purpose of Don't Laugh, People?
I have always considered Don't Laugh, People to be an extension of myself and other like-minded individuals who author posts here. I have wanted to promote DLP as being a less-specific entity, because no human in our possible audience is specific to one medium. However, as I have begun researching more and more, I would like to do something here that would reshape the identity of Don't Laugh, People. Instead of just bunching everything together into one giant blog of endless thought-stream, I am currently looking into creating specific branches to the DLP tree for a variety of subjects and topics. In other words, I am looking to do what we have always done, but in a broader variety with more specific ways to locate the content.
How Can You Make Your Website More Successful?
Currently, I am looking at the possibility of changing servers/hosting, and maybe even my source. Blogger has been a terrific catalyst for me in discovering what exactly I would like to do with Don't Laugh, People, but being a blog is not what I want to be, specifically. I want so much more out of DLP, and being restrained and shackled by the blog label, or Google & Blogger's user-unfriendly tools, has only made me realize even more how much more we are capable of. I have reached audiences I never imagined I could reach, I have promoted through Twitter which I have seen grow well-enough, but I recognize the potential for unlimited growth is even more alluring. While I know I have a lot of work ahead of me in order to get to the point I need, and that it can not be a sudden change, I am very excited about the possible future of Don't Laugh, People as a brand, a community, and an extension of more than just myself.
I will be enduring in the current format for now. But many changes will be coming, and in due time, the site will be more than just a blog, it will be the brand that I envisaged.
A Layout That Attracts Viewers' Attention
The other day I embarked on a mission to find a layout for Don't Laugh, People. I used to know people who would help design logos, templates, layouts, and even design the entire site for free, or at the very least, on a friendly discount. Prices for web-design work and assistance have skyrocketed over the years, with most designers asking upward of 4 figures before the decimal point, and some even asking for 5 figures before the decimal point. Granted, some of those asking for the highest amounts do more than just design your layout. They do logos, they do near groundwork coding, they add something unique to just your site, and they do promotion to help attract an audience to your site, and their work.
If you have the money, it is worth every penny to pay up and get all of the benefits of a professional designer. Blogger, as I mentioned above, is very user-unfriendly in this regard, so dealing with their sub-par templates is about as good as it gets unless you can work around the HTML and CSS. Or you can do as I did, download a program (even free trial versions work fine and not all of them watermark over your finished result). With these programs, you can do far more than most sites allow you on their own with stock, or even paid product. If you decide to invest money into these programs, you can make your own professional-LOOKING website. The more time you invest in studying, and doing the work, the better the result will be, but you have to put in the time.
I have settled at the moment, for just keeping a simplified template on the site, but I am working diligently on creating a new layout and design for DLP. After I gave fellow-writer Enigma a hard time the other day over her request that I do the research, I have heeded her advice and have been studying what designs, colorways, and layouts work the best around the net for respective purposes. While I've found it's still highly content-driven, there are things in general that make these sites successful that I would be ill-advised to not incorporate in my own attempt at designing the site.
I just wanted to take this time to update my audience on what I am doing with Don't Laugh, People right now, what I am working on doing currently for the immediate future, and what I hope to do for the foreseeable future. I want to thank my audience for sticking with us in the high and low points on the blog, points which reflect the highs and lows in my own life. I have a focus, I have a vision, and I promise you of these things--I just hope it is not too much to ask that you take me on my word and hope you keep sticking with us while we try to step up even further. Thank you!