Thinking about making a home page for your software? I look at a LOT of developer home pages and these a few things things I like to see:
- Stable Hosting - put it on website that's going to stick around (Google Sites, SourceForge, Softpedia, etc). I spend a lot of my time trying to track down locations for sites that have gone offline, so seeing an established site is always a bonus.
- Donations pointed to a consistent location. Folks are only going to click on this once -- don't make them wait. Sourceforge is great with this: super simple and hosted on very robust servers. I also like Amazon Wishlists, since I already buy so much from them and already have them on speed dial.
- Simple design with clear, easy-to-use interface. You don't need to be a freeware and web developer to make an easy to read and understand site (Google Sites does this reasonably well). Blogs are okay but sometimes not very searchable or well-listed. If you do, put important links are also on the sidebar (list of software, resources, help, contact, etc).
- Screenshots - usually only need a few to demonstrate the interface and some of the menus.
- Video - nice, but keep it short and simple so people with weak net connections won't flinch at the download. I like videos hosted on YouTube and embedded, just because other players often won't buffer well.
Two programs I've used to create simple demonstrations include:
- LICEcap (makes animated GIFs)
- AuthorPoint Lite Free. AuthorPoint will convert a PowerPoint (or LibreOffice file exported to PowerPoint format). Don't use use any unique transitions as it doesn't support them well.
- Contact - easy is good. Email is fine, but its always easier to make suggestions or point out a problem with an anonymous posting tool.
- License - clear, direct licenses are good. Also, I dislike "no redistribution" licenses as your work is more likely to disappear if your site goes offline.
What do you like to see on a developer site?