Wholeheartedly agree, with the caveat that it isn't just DaniWeb that's getting screwed.

UGH! I'm so frustrated :(

I'm redoing the look of DaniWeb's bottom toolbar and I want to get some design ideas. I did a Google search for "css bottom toolbar" and the first SIX results on the page are Stack Overflow!! It would be fine if it was the first one and then the others were sub-links within that first item, but Stack Overflow is literally half of the page of results for me. I know how to do it, I'm just looking for design ideas. UGH!! So frustrating :(


P.S. I was searching for "css bottom toolbar" because I'm looking for bottom toolbar design ideas that can be accomplished with advanced CSS techniques only (no images).


These should get you started.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_23793346.html Keeping a DIV at the bottom of a page
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_27665460.html (Tells how to keep the toolbar floating but isn't necessarily about a bottom toolbar)
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_25046702.html CSS Floating footer for Joomla CMS website
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_20906450.html Dynamic HTML Footers
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_28074268.html DIV CSS problems with placing a footer at bottom of page
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q_24651819.html Top and Bottom Toolbars Make Page Incredibly Slow

Yeah, yeah... I'm a shill... laughing


After visiting daniweb for the first time and seeing the toolbars at the top and bottom taking a huge amount of space on the screen, along with 30% of the screen devoted to an advertisement and social networking links, and hardly any room for content... no wonder people go for StackOverflow.

The content is right there, right at the top, no nonsense crap. The site I'm currently typing on is horribly designed. That's enough to turn off many people.

Thank you for your feedback. One of the changes that I'm going to make today is for the header and footer to no longer be fixed on small vertical resolutions. Our right sidebar is only slighly larger than StackOverflow's. I'm not sure why this page doesn't, but most pages here have related threads taking up most of the sidebar just like SO does. Not sure why there aren't any for this particular article :(


Frankly, I wouldn't change anything based on one comment from one fanboy; if you've had a gazillion complaints, fine -- but when EE did its relaunch a couple of years ago, we heard the same things about too much space that is unused along the sides and any number of other similar comments.

Three things are true:
1. Nobody likes change.
2. Haters hate.
3. You can't please everyone, so don't try.

I have another site I have to pay a lot of attention to, so I can't comment on things I like and don't like about daniweb.com -- but your reputation precedes you, and is justly deserved as a site where people who want help can get it. My interactions with your administrative staff goes beyond cordial into friendly -- something you will not find, unless you're part of the inner circle -- at that other site. In short, you're doing something right, and with respect, you should continue doing what you know is right.


Frankly, I wouldn't change anything based on one comment from one fanboy

No, no. I've been doing this long enough to know that it's a very delicate balance and if you poll 1,000 people for their opinion, you'll end up with 10,000 different opinions (because no one follows instructions and so when asked for one opinion they each give ten).

That being said, I always do take every piece of feedback and [constructive] criticism into consideration because I've found that for every one person that speaks up, there are 100,000 people with the same problems who will just immediately leave the site without saying anything.

There's another thread about the navigation menus taking up way too much space since they're fixed to the top and bottom of the browser window. I surveyed our audience via javascript for the average browser viewport size today (compared to screen resolution that Google Analytics gives you), and was surprised to find that it's actually much smaller than I thought. Therefore, as a result, I've decided to not have them in fixed positioning at smaller browser heights.

J7mbo actually also pointed out something interesting which I wouldn't have noticed if he hadn't spoken up about it. He said that after only visiting one page of the site (this one), it is a waste of space that the entire right sidebar is just being occupied with an ad and social widgets.

In actuality, there's supposed to be a list of related articles there (as there is for just about every other thread on the site). It didn't catch my attention that it was missing from here, and that's actually a bug that I'm going to go ahead and fix.

because no one follows instructions and so when asked for one opinion they each give ten

Can I quote you? (oh, and at least six of the opinions will be on things you haven't asked about...)

I do see the related articles now; since they've not been there, I didn't notice them missing. As to the space, we're set at about 1100 px wide; since we have the floating at the top and bottom, height isn't as relevant except for the standard "below the fold" stuff. Initially, I was very nervous about what I thought was excessive space on the right and left until I started looking at every site I visited on a regular basis... and found that all but one is fixed width. I've since stopped using that one site regularly, but for reasons other than their page width...

I'm still playing around with trying to find the optimal balance, but currently DaniWeb is fluid width (100% width) anywhere between 1024 pixels and 1280 pixels. Smaller than that, and there's a horizontal scrollbar. Larger than that, and it becomes a fixed width of 1280. That seems to be the sweet spot for us, but every site and audience are different.

Exactly. I'm not so presumptuous as to suggest you do anything differently; you're doing an outstanding job in my book.

Now the changes have been made, that's a lot better! No huge, looming purple bar at the top all the time is definitely a good thing. I'll just delete the bottom bar node in Chrome ;)

Edit: Thought I would add that I really like the image grabbing on the profile page for the user's website!

As for the "fanboy" comment - sure. I'm a person who gives good, sound answers on StackOverflow, I've helped a lot of people, and I put the time and effort in to make newbies' lives easier with no thought of reward (well, maybe rep points :P). I'm a big fan of SO, having gained so much from it (and now giving back to the community) over the years. Think and judge how you like, my head is held high on that one.

Want myself and others like me who put the effort in on other websites like Daniweb? Attract us. Make us want to go there.

The problem is that the StackExchange system that's used by all the Q&A sites like StackOverflow, ServerFault, SuperUser etc has been repeatedly refined over many years by many devs - it can't be beat! Thinking ONLY from a logical perspective now, and with no feeling or opinion, I would rather put my valuable time into a site that has been refined and perfected design and functionality-wise.

The unfortunate truth is that SO has really nabbed the top spots in Google (no idea how, clever buggers), and they have more evil minions working on this all the time. So Daniweb can't really compete there, it's a lost cause without huge expense. The design is a matter of opinion, but the functionality and "call to action" (# of clicks to get to desired location/action) is pretty damned awesome - from a design perspective (I'm not a designer) over on SO.

Being a huge fan of open-source and equality in all things, it's a shame - but the StackExchange community has pushed to the top spot and they're there to stay for the forseeable future.

The thing you CAN differentiate yourself on (which I see from yourself (admin) already, but not the other guy) is being friendly to those people who post what the SO elitists consider "silly questions". These get closed all the time, and annoy a lot of people.

You'll win at being friendly, open and inviting, so keep doing that :)

commented: interesting comments, and you are right - we are probably *the* most friendly community out there, it comes naturally :) +11
commented: Thank you for the feedback!! :) +15

I'll just delete the bottom bar node in Chrome ;)

I had initially removed the bottom toolbar as well, but almost instantaneously started receiving complaints from community members, so I put it back for all but the smallest browser height.

Thinking ONLY from a logical perspective now, and with no feeling or opinion, I would rather put my valuable time into a site that has been refined and perfected design and functionality-wise.

I don't think that's a fair statement to make because DaniWeb is eleven years old, has over a million registered members, and IMHO I prefer our design to StackOverflow's, as do many of our community members. In fact, the majority of our recent regulars (i.e. those who became regulars here after SO was already dominating) aren't a fan of SO's design. I think it's all in one's taste.

but the functionality and "call to action" (# of clicks to get to desired location/action) is pretty damned awesome - from a design perspective (I'm not a designer) over on SO.

"Call to action" is actually the name given to individual design elements that have been specifically designed to draw the eye's attention to them. For example, any given web page can have a multitude of links and buttons and widgets and this and that. It can be very overwhelming for the end-user to have too many choices of where to go or where to click. A "call to action" button is the one single design element that is designed to stick out amongst all the rest and take you to the ultimate goal for the webmaster (i.e. on an e-commerce button, it would be the "add to cart" button or the "check out" button.) Here on DaniWeb, all of our call to actions are yellow, and they are the only yellow design elements on any page throughout the site.

StackOverflow didn't just get the top spots in Google ... they got all the spots in Google for just about every programming-related term. You can see my frustration a few posts back in this thread that it's one thing for a single domain to always own the #1 placement, but I think it's a bad user experience as a searcher for any single domain to own the entire first page of Google results for a generic search query (i.e. not a query on the domain's name). I'm not going to get into this one ... venture capitalists who work with Google, etc. It's all a little bit fishy.

Regardless, I know we can't beat StackOverflow at their own game. They are amazing at being a Q&A site. That's what they were designed to do and that's what they do amazing at. But no matter how hard they still want to say they are, they aren't a true community.

That's what we are. We've always been a community for the past eleven years, and we will continue to be one. Where StackOverflow can't compete is being an inviting group of people who share interests having back and forth open-ended conversations and discussions.

Plus, I think we're doing pretty darn good for ourselves considering that the cards are stacked against us when it comes to Google. With over a million members, a greater percentage of our overall visitors are joining than StackOverflow's ........ so just imagine where we would be if we did have Google on our side.


We know how Stack gets the top spots. Every day, there's more evidence that shows up. Stack didn't earn it; they kissed a lot of ass, and Google's monkeys are susceptible to flattery.

You have eleven years and a million members. We have seventeen and four million. We both have loyal communities where there's more to life than trashing newbies and downvoting anyone who isn't part of the in-crowd. And both you and we are profitable -- which is more than can be said for Stack -- despite the best efforts of Stack and Google combined.

The only way they got where they are -- and stay where they are -- is because Stack had to get Google to trash everyone else for Stack's benefit. Personally, I can't wait until Matt Cutts convinces Google to buy Stack, because it will be one more failed acquisition.

They do. As does/did Adobe. The icon in the Stack tag is the giveaway.

Hi Jason,

Welcome to DaniWeb!! :) As far as I am aware, the icon in the Stack tag is reserved for if you want to pay to sponsor that tag.


Correct. So Google, Adobe, Faceborg are paying Stack...I was responding to one of msanches' posts, seem to have gotten turned around :)

I'm not sure who's paying who, but clearly StackOverflow spent a great deal of their venture capital money on hiring business and marketing people to make some very strategic alliances.

Yep. Their Meals and Entertainment deductions must be amazing.

I'm not so sure the purpose of Matt Cutt's tweet was to encourage everyone with a website to tell him that their own site deserves to rank higher :)


Truthfully, I'm not so sure either -- but on the other hand, what can it hurt? Google needs to be called out on the issues raised in this thread -- and he asked.


It might not have been the purpose, but it will inevitably be the result :)

Ah, yes, the Law of Unintended Consequences. I've made a living for years because of it... It's a comfort that even someone with Mr Cutts' cachet is susceptible to it... grin

If you politely block SO IP # then they can't use DaniWeb's content for their own gain.

What SO are doing borders on plagiarism. Perhaps they pay Google more, Google favours their links. But it's DaniWeb's content. Daniweb has a right to benefit from it, not SO.

I would just redirect SO referrals back to SO or to www.google.com. After a month or two, I think your traffic will go back up again.

Just came across my first daniweb google hit.

Searched on "Coldfusion wamp" past year. 8th link on page.

I would just redirect SO referrals back to SO or to www.google.com. After a month or two, I think your traffic will go back up again.

You may only want to do that for the crawler bots, so you can still keep the human traffic that clicks through to your site.

Click-throughs that find the answer here rather than SO will be naturally more likely to encourage users to return to your site in the future, whereas the bots may attribute the content here to the link source site for ranking.

Of course you could also lose crawler traffic this way as well, though I imagine daniweb is crawled sufficiently often on its own.

There's no SO bot traffic. It's just people finding the answer here and linking to it on SO. :)

My chief objection to Google's new method is that it is less functional.

I sympathise with the plight of Daniweb in competing with unworthy giants, but that is the way of the world, I fear.

I can type any quote that I can find on several different websites (yes, accurately) into the search field on Google. And though it be well-known (popular Shakespeare or The Bible), Google will return that there are no results: I can find the results myself -- without line-breaks or any other problem that used to confound primitive engines -- yet Google, which found the same strings easily a few years ago now finds nothing. They simply offer combinations of similar terms not in the search.

To my mind, this is not a search engine: This is purposely undermining the operation of a once-valuable tool.

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