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Sprucing up your Main Page: Introducing the Hero Image

Ducksoup February 27, 2015 User blog:Ducksoup

Hi Wikians! Ducksoup here!

In 2012, we launched a feature called Special:Promote, which allowed admins to use text and images to promote their community on Wikia.com. It quickly gained popularity - who doesn’t want to promote their community? - but as it became more widely used and its content was pulled into more features, it exceeded its original scale and experienced performance issues. What does that mean? Frankly, it actually became so popular that it couldn't handle usage anymore, which is a rather good problem to have.

It got so stressful on the back end that we had to shut it down last August and start work on a replacement. This is still only a beta product, but say hello to the Hero image!

HeroImageStarWars

Example Hero image on Star Wars Fanpedia Wiki

While designing and building this - the official replacement for Special:Promote - we considered how much time and effort Wikians put into their main pages and all the CSS and templates that go into making them. So we decided to build this tool to help both new and existing users create attractive, professional main pages for their communities.

From a functionality standpoint - and even in this beta phase! - we designed the Hero module to be as user-friendly as we could make it. Admins simply need to click "Update Cover Image," choose an image from their computer, then click "Publish." Similarly, the headline and sub-headline can be edited by clicking the purple pencil icon to its right, typing what you'd like, and clicking "Publish."

We should stress: this is a beta product, and we want your feedback on it. Leave your ideas, bugs, joy, trials, and tribulations in the comments here or via Special:Contact. I'll keep this blog up-to-date with bug fixes, design updates, and any other communication. Without being too specific: this is one part of a bigger project! We’re working in steps to give you the best tools we can for your main pages. Stay tuned.

Head into Labs now and give it a whirl on your community, and please let us know how you feel about it in the comments below!

Edit 3/18/15: due to popular demand, we've switched the navigation from the "New" style back to the "Old" style. You can now edit is just as you edit it normally. 

Edit 3/26/15: we listened to your feedback and removed the "Headline" directly below the Hero image. Thoughts? 

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