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Smallsite Design

2:Who will want Smallsite Design?

Smallsite Design is for those solo operators, and small publicity units, who don't have the time, nor the expertise, to do more than just add content and sell their services. But, it can also scale to handle multi-lingual online help.

Specifically, Smallsite Design is designed for:

  1. a.Writers to focus on what they do best.
  2. b.Small clubs and regional media outlets that have one editor and a few part-time or volunteer writers that each focus on an area of interest.
  3. c.Individuals and organisations that need to provide multi-lingual online help for their products.

Writers ^

Smallsite Design is for writers who want to build a quality body of knowledge, rather than a blog of daily writings that disappear into an archive almost immediately.

Smallsite Design will support writers by:

  1. a.Using a structured editor for articles.
  2. b.Managing the whole article life-cycle, including works-in-progress and drafts.
  3. c.Supporting private viewing of drafts by selected reviewers.
  4. d.Providing specialised structured article types for glossaries, procedures, questionnaires, policies and contact.
  5. e.Providing categories, by which related articles are grouped, and automatically providing list pages for each.
  6. f.Supporting multiple subsites, each with their own home page, navigation and Atom feed.
  7. g.Allowing people to make a gratuitous payment if they really like an article.

Note that, because of other design decisions, the practical upper limit for the number of pages for each Smallsite Design setup is in the hundreds, which is the expected upper limit for the target user base.

If your output is expected to be prodigious, you could run a main Smallsite Design setup on a domain, with another on each of several subdomains, each covering a sub area of interest.

There are two special article types that may help alleviate the amount of baggage:

  1. a.Opinion -- a collection of relatively short comments on topical happenings or thoughts, in reverse chronological order.
  2. b.Upcoming -- a collection of event or happenings of interest occurring in the near future, in forward chronological order.

The idea is that you would add to these, and purge out older ones, or if they are suitable for ongoing display, convert them into a full article. One of each, along with a glossary, is allowed per site or subsite, so readers only see what is relevant to their area of interest.

Small publicity units ^

Publicity units for small clubs or councils may have only one editor, but a few part-time or volunteer writers servicing areas of interest.

Smallsite Design will support such operations by allowing:

  1. a.Multiple sub-sites, each with their own home page and navigation.
  2. b.Up to two tiers of management, with a manager being able to do anything, and writers whose scope of editing is either a subsite, category, or individual articles.

Here, the emphasis is on small, as larger operations need collaboration and workflow management, subscriptions and other facilities.

Online help ^

Providing multi-lingual online help is another use for which the simplicty of Smallsite Design can make implementation quite straightforward.

Given the small-site focus of Smallsite Design, massive online help may seem a bit odd to be catering for. The answer is simple, Smallsite Design needs its own online help, so why not allow the product to do that as well, by using an architecture that uses the product to its best advantage.

In reality, online help in Smallsite Design is just a particular scenario for using its multilingual facilities.

Smallsite Design runs in multilingual mode, by using a standard site for the principal language, running as the master, with a special sub-site of it for each additional language.

Note that rather than plain languages per se, Smallsite Design uses locales, which are a language identifier, followed by optional script, such as for Latin or Cyrillic, and location identifiers. This allows for locality-specific variations in spelling, grammar and examples, such as for US and UK english. These have a standard format, like ar for arabic, en-us for English in the United States, or zh-hant-hk for Chinese in Hant script, as used in Hong Kong.

The basic process for using Smallsite Design for online help is:

  1. 1.A user of your program clicks on a help link, in the form of:,
    redirecting to the site root for the principal locale.
  2. 2.If there is a version of the topic for that locale, it is loaded into the user's browser, otherwise it redirects to the same topic id on a locale subsite designated for fallthrough for that failed locale.
  3. 3.The process continues until a locale in the chain has the topic, ending at the site root for any language without a fallthrough.
  4. 4.If there is no topic, the root site will display the error.

Try out the help demo.

The advantages are of this simple arrangement are:

  1. a.Each language can be provided and managed by independent translators.
  2. b.The system on which it all runs can be provisioned and managed by minimal support staff.
  3. c.Help for a language can be progressively built up, one topic at a time, knowing that there is a fallback path until ready.

Note that the fallthrough only occurs on a topic-by-topic basis. All the links on a substitute version's page still point to the original language versions of other pages.

Online help is where the simplicity of the Smallsite Design can achieve enough scale to provide a big solution. However, for online help for really large programs, which may require thousands of topics, perhaps use a subdomain per program module, as per

No advertising ^

While allowing ads on a site is the current way many choose to make money from their site, there are several downsides to that approach.

Ads tend to:

  1. a.Be visually disruptive to readers of your article.
  2. b.Persuade your readers to abandon your site.
  3. c.Open your visitors to being tracked across the web.
  4. d.Result in the quality of articles tending towards merely being minimally-written click-bait to attract visitors to look at ads.

Conversely, by not allowing embedded ads, and especially for those who value what they write, Smallsite Design is:

  1. a.Avoiding distractions for your readers.
  2. b.Eliminating avenues for tracking by third-parties.
  3. c.Giving you the impetus to write the best articles you can, for which people are willing to part with their money on-the-spot, just because you provided something worthwhile for them.

Preventing tracking is also why all media must be hosted on the site, and no third-party inserts are allowed. If you want to have a discussion thread for an article, you can bidirectionaly link to your own associated Discus or LinkedIn post page.

Related articles ^

Related sites ^

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English (Australia) [en-au]

English (United Kingdom) [en-gb]

English (United States) [en-us]