We would like to thank the local libraries, schools, and universities for recommending students to visit us when doing research on any of our information topics.
It starts off simply; a few HTML pages, a few hyperlinks, some affiliate links. Your mother is proud of her clever son. Then you install a forum, some more content, maybe conider using a Content Management System (CMS).
Before you know it, you have a monter on your hands. This monter is eating up your time and energy and money.
Here are a few tricks I've learned to save you time and money with your web design.
1. Avoid Windows servers, if you can.
I'll admit I've never used one. I've had too much trouble with Windows on the PC, to risk it on my web site. Most geeks favour Unix. It's been around longer, and is more stable. Web hosts offering Unix variants like Linux have always been cheaper. They also seem to offer a wider range of toys. I need SSI (Server Side Includes), SSH (secure Telnet), 10 MySQL databases, Cpanel, PHPMyAdmin and a UK IP number. And you can get this for $15 a month.
If you're in business for yourself, conider Unix/Linux. If you want to be a full-time employee, conider Windows/Microsoft. Many businesses use it, as it's compatible with their office software, they like that a major company supports it, and they distrust something that's free.
2. Server Side Includes are the poor man's CMS.
Each web page can be 'stitched' together using Server Side Includes (SSI). You can 'call' a header and footer HTML file, using SSI, in each web page. That way, you can make site-wide changes in an instant. For example, you can add Google Adsense to the top or bottom of your site immediately.
Dreamweaver (http://www.macromedia.com) can display SSI pages correctly. This is another reason, one of many, for its popularity as a HTML editor.
3. Which CMS to use?
A Content Management System is very handy if you have a community-based website, or want to let others add content to your site. It must have a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) add-on. This means a novice can type in formatted HTML the same way he could a formatted Word document. He presses on-screen button to bold or underline words, and make hyperlinks.
Another keyword to look out for is HTMLArea. This means someone has made an addon to cause all 'textarea' form boxes to have word-processor-style button above them. This allows someone who doesn't know HTML to add it to your CMS. Saves YOU having to do it, and that is good [grin].
Many are free. I can't really recommend one at the moment, except perhaps Mambo (http://www.mamboserver.com). I've tried quite a few others, especially PHPNuke.
A CMS allows you to set up a website with professional features in a day. The downside is you can spend weeks customising it. You may find, as I did with PHPNuke, that it's unsecure, that it can behave eccentrically, and that essential third-party addon may not work properly.
A CMS is for geeks with time on their hands. I would dearly love to be able to point to one and say to the small businessman "Put your trust in this". I can't yet.
4. Put keywords in the HTML.
Fairly obvious, but webmasters don't go far enough. *Any* image name, ALT tag, form field, bolded word or hyperlink can have a keyword in it. So why not do it?
This is where someone who tweaks his HTML code by hand gains a great advantage. Newlines and double blank spaces are redundant in HTML. A large document can have thousands of these. They obfuscate your Search Engine Optimsation (SEO) efforts.
Use a text editor that can strip them out, like Editpad (http://www.editpadpro.com), or a HTML optimiser. Broken lines are not ideal either. Dreamweaver can 'break' a tag or keyword at an inappropriate place. Why make it hard for a search engine to promote your page? Strip out the junk, and put in the keywords.
5. Put at least 500 words of paragraphed text in.
If your web pages have the same header, footer, left side-bar, right side-bar, and only a small bit of text in the middle, you may suffer a duplicate content penalty. This means a search engine deems your site has duplicate pages. It coniders it an attempt to spam its database, and so shoves it way down its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).
If you can't write your own articles, get someone to do it for you at a freelance site like ScriptLance (http://www.scriptlance.com). You can get free articles at sites like EzineArticles (http://www.ezinearticles.com).
6. Offer people what THEY want, not what YOU think they should have.
This is most important. Before making a site, go for a walk in town. Sit down on a park bench, and try to figure out what people really want; not need, WANT. Then figure out how you can get in on that business with your site.
People want sex, drugs, gambling, money, a house, a car, good food, nice clothes, self esteem. The first three are disreputable. Promote them, and get cut off from section of society.
It makes me laugh when I see pornographers saying 'it's just a business, I'm not doing any harm'. They're making money *because* their subject matter is taboo. Most people don't want to be associated with pornography or pornographers. Likewise, a bar owner isn't welcome everywhere, and casino bosses rub shoulders with the underworld.
If you ever want to be on the school board, or run for local office, keep away from dubious content.
Look at what people really want, AND which will make your family proud, and then proceed with gusto.
About the author: T. O' Donnell (http://www.tigertom.com) is an ecommerce consultant in London, UK. His latest projects are a mortgage calculator and ebook, available at http://www.tigertom.com/mortgages-uk.shtml
RELATED WEB SITE DESIGN ARTICLES:
How to save money on a website
Know what you want. Make sure you know why you want a website and what you want your website to do for you. Write down some short term and long term goals.
6 Reason Why A Website Is Crucial To Your Business
Since I'm a web designer, I have a tendency to think everyone understands that having a website is important. Every once in a while, I have to remind myself that some people just haven't heard yet!Why is having a website such a big deal? Here are 6 reason:A website increases your credibility.
Colorblind People, Can They Really Read Your Web Site?
I once created a notepad-like editor. It is possible with this editor to write Russian text on a western Windows without using a Cyrillic keyboard in front of your computer.
Customers will form an opinion of your business as soon as they look at your website. Therefore the same basic rules apply that you use in the production of your brochure and your business card - It needs to grab attention, be easy to read, have a benefit statement, be friendly and make a statement about your business.
Does Your Website Induce Seizures?
QUESTION: We promote our web site in all our ad campaigns, but according to my website statistics program, we are getting very few visitors who click past the first page. The site has a cool Flash introduction page that the designer said would impress visitors, but it doesn't seem to be working.
Revising Your Site - What Happened To My Search Engine Placement?
As of September, Smartads went through what so many have done before. I changed the entire site.
How To Start An Internet Business - Designing For Usefulness
The first step to starting any Internet business is conducting keyword research to determine if there is any interest in your idea. Once you identify a need, it's time to conider what your site should look like.
Do You Really Need A Website?
Nope. You certainly don't need a website.
Why Hire a Professional to Design Your Web Site?
Creating an appealing, functional, and effective Web site is much harder than it looks. It's not simply a matter of taking a company brochure or catalog, converting the text to HTML, and throwing in a few pictures (although many sites seem to have been created using this technique!).
The Ultimate Web Site Marketing Strategies That You Should Know
Most of us know that we need to advertise our products and our services, some of us still believe we are too small to invest in a advertising campaign. Now while a full-fledged marketing effort may be too much for your operation, it is however crucial to your success that you are involved in some kind of marketing activities.
Facts You Should Know About Web Site Design and Search Engine Optimization
1. Web site File Structure / File NamingMost search engines do not recognize beyond two directory levels.
How To Design A Web Site
I'm not a professional web site designer and openly admit there is a lot that I don't know. But if you're a beginner I probably know more than you do, so listen up.
Building a One-page Website
You've designed your logo, and you're ready to print your business cards and other marketing collateral materials. You want to include your website address (also called a URL) to build your credibility.
Creating A Quality Web Site Design!
In this article, I will attempt to cover the basics of creating a great quality web design template for your site. Now it's a known fact that the layout or "eye candy" as I put it will determine whether your visitors will stay more than 15 seconds or they will just become another statistic.
Designing Your Web Site For ALL Browsers
Let's face it. Building a web site that browses consistently on multiple platforms and multiple browsers is not always as easy as we would like.
Why Dot-Coms Fail - a Webmasters Perspective
Everyday we hear that another company goes out of business.When and why does a dot-com become a dot-bomb?After checking few dozen defunct companies, I think the main reason for dot-coms failure are:Poor business plan.
Website Design For Small Businesses
There are many different website design companies, offering different facilities such as flash design, however what should a small business look for when seeking an internet prescence?When choosing which company you would like to build your website, there are many factors which you need to take into consideration.Firstly how much is the website going to cost to build and host.
Learn the Truth about Your Web Design Company by Its Portfolio
When you start building your online business and search for a web design company that will implement all your needs for the web site you must understand that it is a very serious step because you are entrusting your business along with its reputation and future.That's why it's very important to make the right choice.
How To Use Unsafe Web Colors With Minimum And Safety And Maximum And Profit
Increase Your Credibility With Web Site Awards
Web Site Awards are given from other sites to reward your site for a specific reason. They will usually give you an award graphic or text link to include on your site if you win.
Click here to
Find used office equipment in Ohio at www.OfficeJax.Has.It
Find the best fleamarkets at www.FleaMarketWorld.Has.It
Find electric powered vehicles at www.NoGas.Drives.It
Find advertising supplies below wholesale in Akron, Ohio
Akron University of Akron university housing available
Text Link Ads