THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT
Having described how a site must have a certain level of presentation and layout style, I would now like to mention the single most important aspect of good Web page design. High quality graphical presentation and solid layout are all well and good, but they mean very little without relevant, substantial content.
A Web page must be more than a pretty document with links to other pretty documents. The content itself is limited only by your interests, however stay on topic and link to areas of relevance to your page. If your page is just a glorified list of links people will soon learn to go directly to the linked page and bypass yours altogether. Here are the four most important aspects to remember when creating Web pages:
Is anyone besides myself going to care about what I'm doing? Will it be meaningful to those who use it? If this is a low-maintenance project, will it maintain its relevance over time?
Has what I'm doing, been done before? Am I reinventing the wheel? Is anyone else doing this?
How are others going to find out about my work? How can I distribute it effectively to those who need it most?
Maintenance. Information decays, due to the volatile state of the universe. The bigger your database, the more time you'll have to spend keeping it up to date.
The following list of links will help you to develop a sense of what is expected of you as an author of Web sites. Hopefully the sites listed below will assist you in your endeavor to create a memorable and successful site.
This site offers tips on what not to do:
Information on the top ten things that people overuse or use incorrectly from the good people at Sun Microsystems.
Here is a site dedicated to assisting people to create impressive pages. This site deals with everything from how to choose a background right through to how to write "correct" HTML.
This site is a slightly more comical look at page design, with some good pointers.
Here is a fairly thorough site of page design. It deals with everything from HTML to transparent Gifs. Interestingly enough, this site was voted bottom 95% of the Web!
As you can see there are a lot of places to look for design tips. These sites are just a drop in the vast ocean of advice that can be found on the Web. In fact, perhaps the most common home sites are sites that offer information on how to create good sites! There's something to be learnt from that I think.
NET TIP - GETTING YOUR SITE SEEN
Finally, all the long hours of work and learning have paid off. The site has been loaded onto the server and is looking fantastic. You sit back and browse over your handiwork, the graphics look stunning, the layout is heaven sent and the HTML is bullet proof. Your business now has a web presence, a site that can be seen by literally millions of people, people who want to buy your products or avail themselves of your service. Ready to burn the midnight oil filling orders and shipping your goods all over the globe. Checking your web counter you almost fall over when you see that it reads the same figure as it did last week. No one has looked at your site! No one knows that you have fabulous things to offer! How can this be after all your hard work?
The reality of web sites is that you must make certain that you follow up every detail. The fact that you have created a stunning site with massive potential means very little if nobody knows that it exists. The simplest way to announce your presence to the world is by registering with one or more of the search engines that service the web.
To register with services such as Yahoo, Lycos, Alta Vista, Web Crawler and the like it is a simple matter of going to the relevant page and finding the particular area that allows you to register your site. Here are the locations of each of the registration pages for the major search engines:
YAHOO - http://www.yahoo.com
On the main page, scroll to the bottom of the page and select - "How To Include Your Site". This will take you to the "Add To Yahoo" page. Follow the instructions to add your URL (Uniform Resource Locator) to the search engine database. Yahoo is now offering a new service called "Web Launch", this service places a rotating banner add on the search page however, at a cost of $1000 per week it's something only the corporate players could afford.
LYCOS - http://www.lycos.com
"Add Your Site To Lycos" is one of the navigation selections available from the main page of lycos. Again, it's simply a matter of following the link to the registration page and then supplying the correct information.
ALTA VISTA - http://www.altavista.yellowpages.com.au/
This is the Australian mirror site of one of the most comprehensive search engines on the Internet. The link for registration with Alta-Vista is on the main page as part of the site's text navigation area.
WEB CRAWLER - http://www.webcrawler.com
The "Add URL" button appears on the top of the main page for this search engine. Click it and you will be taken to the relevant page. This site allows you to add 10 URLs at the same time and also features links to a web promotional page called (imaginatively enough) "Web promote'', the URL for this promotions page is:
These four are just a small sampling of the vast number of Internet search engines with which you can register your site. The more engines you register with the greater the chance that you will be seen however, bear in mind that registration with a lot of search engines is not instant and can take up to a month. The vast majority of these sites have detailed instructions on how to register and some, such as Yahoo, even include a "Beginner's Guide to URLs" page.
Now that you have created your site, uploaded it to the server and registered it with several of the bigger search engines you will find that you are inundated with orders from around the globe all wanting your wonderful product, at least, that's the way it's meant to go!
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Last revised: Sunday, 16 March 1997