| How this site was built
Listed below is a quick summary about how this web site was built:
This web site was built using Dreamweaver. This site uses a combination of design templates (free from Web Design Helper) and a Cascading Style Sheet. You can find both in the Design Directory of this site.
- This site uses a series of images from Photos.com.
- This site uses a search engine from Pico Search.
- This site is hosted by NTT Verio. NTT Verio provides this site with several free applications, including Chat Room, On-Line Site Analysis, and Email Forms.
- Site logo designed by LogoWorks.
If you want to build your own web site, here are some basic steps:
- Select a name for your
web site and get it registered: All Domains | Domain Protection
- Purchase software to
build and maintain your web site: Dreamweaver | Expression | KompoZer | Web Studio |
- Design your web site: Learn Site Design | Media Builder | Ready Made Sites | Really Big | Web Monkey |
- Optimize your web site: Bobby | Link Popularity | Link Scan | Net Mechanic | Usability Tips
- Select an Internet Service Provider: The List
- Promote Your Site: Paid Searches | Self Promote | Submit Corner | Trellian
Sources for Free or Low Cost Content
| Audio Clips | Buttons-1 | Buttons-2 | Flash Banners | GIF Files | Graphics | JAVA Applets | JAVA Resources | PERL Scripts | Photos | Signs | Site Templates | Sound Files | Thumbshots | Web Tools | Worldwide Images
| Bit Defender | Free AV | Gri Soft | Free Rav | Virus Cleaner
Ad Aware | Audio Editor | Boot Software | Bug Track | Contact Forms | Data Recovery | Desktop Search Engine | Edit Pictures | Free File Compression | Help Desk | Online Backup | Online Surveys | Password Management | Site Grader | Site Safety | System Mechanic | Vision Impaired | Web Scale | Web Tracking | Web Washer | Web Widgets |
Who Copied Your Content | Word Clouds
Three Important Rules
Here are three rules that I think are critical for a successful web site:
- Remember when you build a web site, it's NOT your web site, it's your customer's web site! Build for your customer, not yourself.
- Remember what the internet is all about; a way of communicating with people all over the World. Since 90% of the people in the World don't speak English, make your site have a global appeal or outreach. Don't restrict yourself to 10% of the World's population. This defeats the purpose of a web site!
- Remember why people use the Internet. They want to get something for free. You MUST offer something on your web site. The best freebies tend to be computer related, such as free software or clipart. For me it's free courses and spreadsheets. You have to offer something if you expect people to use your site!
Most Important Ingredient
The most important element within a web site is CONTENT. And this is by no means easy to do. I continue to add content to my web site wherever I can. If you can't provide content, then do the next best thing, tell your visitors where they can find the content. This is why I have two web pages devoted to external links.
A Big Mistake
If someone were to ask me what is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to building a web site? My response would be: Everyone seems to be in a rush to upload a web site. In this mad rush to get on the web, quality gets sacrificed and you end-up with a site that is sloppy, not well thought-out, and lacking in content. Slow down and get it right the first time. Remember, you get back out of the internet what you put into it. So put some serious effort into your web site!
Another Common Mistake
Another problem I see with many web sites is once it's up and
running, the web owner seems to walk away from the site. The site is
poorly maintained, email questions are not answered, and content is not updated. Remember the 80% Rule with Successful Web Sites: For every one
hour you spend building your site, you should spend 80% of this time maintaining and improving the site once it has been uploaded.
Engage and Interact with Visitors
Do everything you can to interact with people who visit your web
site. Encourage people to communicate with you. You can add many interactive features to your web site - feedback forms, chat rooms, discussion board, etc.
The Most Important Metric
Most web sites seem to think that “hits” is a good measure of web site success. However, anything (each individual image file) constitutes a hit. A better measure of traffic is Web Pages Viewed. And traffic volume is not the real measure of success. The most important metric is: Inbound to Outbound Ratio! Inbound traffic is measured as Web Pages Viewed and Outbound Traffic is all of the files sent out from your server, such as files downloaded and forms submitted. The lower the ratio (Inbound to Outbound Traffic), the more successful the web site.
Four Final Bits of Advice
- Communicate in a casual and easy tone. Most people use the internet at home in a relaxed setting. Some sites
are too formal in their approach to communication.
- Use Dale Carnegie Rule #1: Communicate
based on the visitor's viewpoint, not your own. Don't talk about yourself, talk about the visitor to your web site.
- Be selective in choosing your Internet
Service Provider. This can make a big difference in the success of
your site. For example, my ISP provides free site analysis, free chat rooms, free discussion boards, etc. This
has been invaluable to the success of my web site.
- Make sure you use everything on your web
site just like your customer will. You may find things don't work as
planned. For example, when I downloaded and printed a Business Planner
from Arthur Andersen, it was designed with yellow print against a
brown background. You couldn't read the information in printed form.
If you can't correct something on your web site that isn't working,
then at least alert your visitors.
Examples of Nice Web Sites
Babson Knowledge | Blitz | Blue Key | Brand | Butler Film | H G A | Hutchinson Greenberg | King Sturg | LHB Corp | NP Finance | PM Connect | SBA Consult | Stock Art | Williams Sonoma | Zago Design
Visit Webby Awards for examples of the best sites!
Examples of Problems
- Weak Development - Very little effort was made in building these web sites (why even bother?): | Excellerate | Orion 77 | Walker
- Not Very Attractive - put some time and thought into a good looking web site: Campbell |
- Bleeding Edge Technology - Don't get too cute and force visitors to turn away because you're in love with the hottest technology: | P S I | Work
- Always Under Construction - If you are serious about the internet (and you should be), then you should never upload a web page that is "under construction". Some sites are forever under construction | F-Fibre-Fuels
- Wasted Entry Pages - Don't put barriers or useless pages between the visitor and your content: Mabrouk Other sites put useless Enter Pages upfront: Panalytix |
- Too Busy and Cluttered - Clean, simple, fast designs work best. This site has too much going on: The RX |
- Unreliable Hosting of Sites - Be careful who you choose to host your web site. You need a well-established ISP that can grow with your site over the long-run; otherwise you will be forced to do a re-direct such as: EDAW
- Hard to Locate Content - Some sites fail to categorize their content by topic, so the user has to sift through issue after issue to find what they want such as KM World.
- Lack of Central Navigation - You should have a single navigation system to move through your entire web site. Some sites exclude a common navigation from various web pages: SEC
- Duplicate Navigation - There's no real need to have the same navigation pasted on a web page: Tooty
- Two Big Turn Offs - Pop up windows: Cyber View | Sticky Sites: CEO Clubs | Racing |
- Too much Content on Single Page - Organize and split your content out so people have a natural flow in going through the stuff. Some web sites load up too much content onto a single web page: A R C |