Your welcome message reperesents your server, you want it to be accessible, and easy for players to read and use.
Using Space Wisely
When making a welcome message focus on its objective. What purpose does the welcome message I am making need to serve? Most good welcome messages serve the purpose of telling players information about the server such as:
The Rules/Standards and what is expected of the player. When doing this, don’t say things like “The rules are the same as every other server.” This is inaccurate as diffrent servers have different rules, and it is confusing.
Information that tells about the server
Sometimes links to things such as staff contacts, websites, server voting on blockheadsfans . com, world threads in #multiplayer on this forum, etc.
Sometimes some pictures of the server
Most stuff that doesn’t fall under any of the things shown above is likely useless and just clutters your welcome message. Supprising or not, unnecessary clutter has become more and more common in welcome messages in various different forms.
Admin Chats & Shiplists (More common in roleplay servers), maybe even lists of staff members if you have about 30+ of them just counting admins…
Your favorite memes, gifs, youtube videos about everything but your server, and widgets that don’t seem to serve any useful purpose to anybody…
Maybe you should consider putting them under a spoiler or simply leave them out. Remmeber, this is a WELCOME MESSAGE… not a blog or website.
Another thing that is a really big problem with common wms today is readability. When you make your welcome message, your rules and information should be easy for people to read. If nobody can read whats on your wm, that kinda defeats the whole purpose of it… it may as well just be blank. Most people are not patient enough to sit there and try to figure out what it says, they will just hit done and play. Thats what they are there for. So make it easy to read!
Some bad practices of styling your welcome message text:
Putting such fancy text that that we cannot read at first glance. (A web development site has said that sans-serif fonts are easier to read on screens)
W3Schools Serfif & Sans-Serif Reference
Puting a new color at every next word or line
<Marquee>HTML tag and having it move too fast or move too much text at once. This is a waste of time and makes it harder to read.
Making the background of your welcome message back without modifying the text color under the “Show More” button, and the footer. We cannot read black on top of black!
Making your text to small… or to big for that matter. If it is to small, we have to get our magnifiers out just to read what you put. If it is to big, we have to scroll through an infinate mass of words that throw us off track.
Scrambling your text together (No Line Breaks). This is often the result of not knowing HTML. If this is the case, I suggest you try to learn some from web development tutorial sites, from resources on these forums, or ask a trusted friend who knows some HTML to help you.
Putting bad color combinations together… (I don’t understand why this is even a common problem). Please, please… Don’t make your rules in bright yellow on top of a white background… I don’t know if the owner even reads the rules or what, but I don’t know how anyone could possibly read it.
VISUAL AID (Don’t Cheat By Zooming In)
VISUAL AID (Don’t Cheat By Zooming In)
Another Important thing is speed. You want your welcome message to load quickly. Most players won’t wait 5 seconds for a welcome message to fully load (if they wait at all). So we want it to load fast.
Clutter and Unnecessary Content Slows Load Time
Uh oh… My glittery animated background, with all my rainbow glittery animated text, and videos, and photos, and widgets are making my welcome message load so sloooooowwwww…! Well imagine how the players with terribly slow internet or an older device feel about this. They might not even be able to read it without waiting for an eternity for it to load. Thats why you want to cut back on cluttering your welcome message with things that are not necessary to your server. (See part on Using Space Wisely above)
To keep things moving at a quick pace, try to avoid the following:
Having to many pictures. Don’t use pictures with text on them for all of your rules and information. Use a CSS Background image or color with plain text instead. (Make sure the text stands out enough to read it!)
Not having to many and/or unnecessary widgets and gadgets. Sure that calculator is pretty cool… But what does it have to do with your server? How many people do you think are going to use your calculator? If nobody uses it its a waste of space and just loads slower.
Don’t have tons of animations. This will really slow down your wm. Having tons of movement, and text that shines every 2 seconds will keep people with slow devices and poor connection from reading your wm.
Health & Safety Of Readers
This is something not many, if any people think about. I doubt there are many people with this who play The Blockheads, but it is still a good thing to think about. There is a medical condition called epilepsy. This causes peope to have seizures when they are eposed to things such as bright and rapidly flashing light. Be careful about what content is on your welcome message.
I hope you have learned some on how to make a better Welcome Message. 1.7 is almost here, so why not try to work on improving our wms for this new start?