Ideal Software Archive Website

How to build the ideal website for software archives. View from developer.

Advantages for developers

Why developers come to your archive? What do they want to find?

They wish to make their software popular!

  • Be open! Easy and quick submitting is the best way to attract the developers.
  • Do not ask for money from the developers for submitting. Sell software, sell advertising, and sell deep reviews - that's your source of income. And never demand for the back link!
  • Use Portable Application Description (PAD)! PAD is an unlimited resource of the up-to-date information about software titles. Read and display to visitors as much information as possible taking it from the developer's PAD: the version history (recent changes), brief and full description in several languages, keywords, the application logo, etc.
  • Use the categories structure from PAD. Do not create a self-made tree of categories at first levels - the program branch should be readable from PAD automatically.
  • But! Expand the PAD categories to the deep. The term File Management is extremely wide, it encompasses thousands of titles. Refine it and offer this option to the submitter.
  • Sell the advertising as an option - and remove the "Google adsense" and "Sponsored link" from paid pages. If I pay for advertising, I do not want to see the competitor's URLs on my page!
  • Advantages for visitors

    Why people come to your archive? What do they want to find?

    They wish to find, learn, and discuss the software covering their needs!

  • Let your first page be easy: easy to open, to read and to understand. I want more white space. I want scalable fonts. I want a big search field, evident categories tree, last updates, news and postings.
  • Let your archive be searchable. Search - that's the way to find what you need. Browsing by categories is hard and slow - each branch of categories tree includes dozens of pages. Only first rows are accessible, others are "dead weight". Few popular titles have an amazing downloads count - others have nothing. It's no good! Submitted software - this is a pure capital. It should not waste. Turn it ON - let this wealth do its work! Use the standard categories with detailed sub-branches. Use search queries. Build complex search functions, with pictorial rendition of results. Visitors are shocked when they type the "dvd player" in the search field and get 183 titles. It's a wrong way! I want to see the advanced search with checkable categories, including and excluding keywords, with filters by file size, price, and date. I want to see the visible result statistics for huge results instead of a full results list. Use the experience of data visualization techniques - like business statisticians or strategy game developers do!
  • Visitors want to see reviews, opinions, ratings, and discussions. And they also want to write it. Each software title should be something like a forum topic: a field for discussion, a place for communication. Use the forum moderator's experience - visitors love the avatars, posting statistics, cross-postings and quoting. We want to participate in a show - not just viewing rough facts!
  • Visitors want to be up-to-date! Provide the RSS or e-mail notifications for each software, category or discussion.
  • This is a feedback to software archive owners from the developer who is visiting the 5-10 software sites per day, and really has something to say. Use these tips and grow your site to the most powerful shooter on the Internet market. Good luck!

    About the author

    Software developer and vendor with 10 years experience. Visit for contact information.

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