(Let me apologize since this is a somewhat subjective question, but it is one which Let me acquire some applying for grants.)

So, a wide open source project I am focusing on is focusing on redecorating its website. This type of got me thinking: the facts that individuals search for within an free site? So I am asking that question to everyone:

  1. If you are searching for a wide open-source tool to behave, exactly what do you search for on the candidate's website?
  2. Possibly more to the point, exactly what do you anticipate To not see on its website?
  3. What exactly are some good examples of excellent free websites that deliver what you want in # 1 and do not provide the things in number two?

Another factor to notice: Since there is no "right" response to this, I am a bit reluctant to simply accept just one answer. But I'd like to reward the individual which i feel provides the best solution. Thus, Let me observe that the solution which i choose as "correct" will not always function as the correct answer.

For me personally, the tool does not need to be free. If I am searching for a bit of software to behave, i quickly will consider commercial and free programs. However the primary a few things i search for online are:

1. Screenshots

Possibly the most crucial factor for me personally would be to observe how a course looks before I understand everything it will. When the interface is obvious helping me get the job done in hands, then the chances are I'll provide the program an attempt. If your website doesn't have screenshots then I am a lot not as likely to download, considering that there's lots of adware and spyware on the web.

Whether it's a game title, then presentation is equally as important, otherwise much more. If a game title looks good through the screenshots, it'll probably be downloaded.

2. Feature list

Even when it's only a few sentences around the primary page, I love to see an application's primary features. No thorough listing of exactly what the developer thought was awesome, but six approximately key selling points.

3. Recent news records

Among the key things is to possess a website that's up-to-date regularly. Software almost always has bugs as well as missing features, and it is discouraging to determine an internet site that's three years old and it has only had a number of minor fixes. Even when nothing continues to be completed to the program, it's nice to possess developer reviews of why that's, as opposed to the periodic update each year.

4. Support Forums

An energetic community is a superb advertisement for just about any software program. If there is a large userbase behind any project then it is simpler to determine the feedback, bugs, featuring that'll be put in future releases.

5. Documentation

Among the elements that's missing from many projects is documentation. Yes, guess what happens your program does, but do your customers? No. When I have downloaded this program I have to understand how to utilize it! Documentation isn't any good when it is outdated, so it must be up-to-date regularly.

OpenTTD.org is a superb illustration of what it is done. There is a large, active community, documentation (wiki), screenshots, along with a news page. You may also donate for them if you want (I do not think about this a crucial part of the website - but it's an essential one nevertheless). Also, it is a great game that's advanced significantly, and new releases are regular.

The suggestions above are essential factors for any project website, enabling you to replace forum by e-mail lists or and IRC funnel or perhaps a decent wiki.

However, things i find important is:

  1. Frequent updates: keep the customers informed about progress, inform them the project continues to be alive.
  2. Allow it to be have an attractive appearance: Don't result in the site seem like it had been made before 2000 by some kid who just found that there's this awesome <marquee> tag which makes things move. Build your site have an attractive appearance.

Screencasts always get my attention. Plug ins as well as an active community,generally, keeping it.