Building a Successful Web Site: What NOT To do:

Written by Marc McDonald

Continued from page 1

3. Don't just take fromrepparttar Web: give something back. I'm not a starry-eyed idealist who pines forrepparttar 134735 days beforerepparttar 134736 Web became commercialized. But I do firmly believe that it's important for any successful site to give something back torepparttar 134737 cyberspace community. I'm not talking about money here: only effort. This can range from offering a useful service on your site to lending a hand to a newbie who is just starting up his site. If you earn a reputation as someone who's not just a money-grubber who's out to make a quick buck onrepparttar 134738 Web, it'll pay you back in spades for years to come. For one thing, you'll be able to build lasting, trusting, mutually-beneficial relationships with fellow Webmasters (and I regardrepparttar 134739 latter asrepparttar 134740 single most important asset that I've built up in my six years onrepparttar 134741 Web).

4. Don't be a bandwagon jumper. I've constantly been amazed overrepparttar 134742 years at how many Webmasters will embracerepparttar 134743 latest fad, whether or not it makes sense for their sites. An example isrepparttar 134744 current fad of placing a Flash animation on one's welcome page. While I've seen a number of eye-catching and interesting Flash animations, I have seen very few sites where such content made any sense. Too many Webmasters blindly embracerepparttar 134745 latest gimmick onrepparttar 134746 Web, simply because they've seen it on many other sites. Butrepparttar 134747 fact is, unless your site specifically focuses on Flash, it doesn't make much sense to force your visitors to sit through a Flash intro every time they visit your site. For allrepparttar 134748 high-tech, multimedia potential that cutting-edge Web technology promises forrepparttar 134749 future,repparttar 134750 vast majority of people onrepparttar 134751 Web still want one thing: information. And they want it as quickly and hassle-free as possible. Andrepparttar 134752 fact is, you don't need Java applets or Flash animations or multimedia plug-ins to present information (or, for that matter, to build a successful site).

In summing up, building one's site is an ongoing learning process for any Webmaster. And just as it is important to learn what to do to ensure your success, it's equally vital to learn from your mistakes and to be aware of what NOT to do, if you're going to succeed.

Marc McDonald is a former journalist and editor with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the creator of as well as several other popular Web sites that have received extensive media exposure from CNN's "Headline News," the BBC, Fox News, ZDTV, CBS Radio, the Washington Post, and many more. Visit the FreebieDirectory at: and AAAScreenSavers at:

All hope is not lost - 404 Errors

Written by Lauri Harpf

Continued from page 1

You're now done withrepparttar CGI script. Save it as "404helper.cgi", withoutrepparttar 134734 quotes of course. However, there's still work to be done, so take a deep breath and prepare yourself forrepparttar 134735 next challenge.

Editing your custom 404 page and .htaccess file ===============================================

Just havingrepparttar 134736 script will not be enough. In order for it to work, it has to be executed when an error is encountered. This isrepparttar 134737 part whererepparttar 134738 SSI's step intorepparttar 134739 picture. Open up your 404 error page in a text editor and addrepparttar 134740 following line into it:

Becauserepparttar 134741 script prints out a few rows of HTML after it has been run,repparttar 134742 best place for that line is atrepparttar 134743 bottom of your 404 error page, but beforerepparttar 134744 tag. After everything is safely in place, simply saverepparttar 134745 file, but instead of ending it withrepparttar 134746 usual ".htm" or ".html", use ".shtml". Do not forget to do this, asrepparttar 134747 SSI tag might not work if you fail to userepparttar 134748 proper extension.

Finally, you will have to editrepparttar 134749 .htaccess file you created when you built your custom 404 page. If you only have " ErrorDocument 404 " in it, modifyrepparttar 134750 file so that it will containrepparttar 134751 following:

Options Includes ExecCGI AddType application/x-httpd-cgi .cgi .pl AddType text/html .shtml AddHandler server-parsed .shtml ErrorDocument 404

The new lines will enable Server Side Includes and CGI so that your script will work. Do not forget to changerepparttar 134752 ErrorDocument 404 line to point torepparttar 134753 new .shtml page instead of your old .html version. After you are done, save your .htaccess file.

Upload, set permissions and launch! ===================================

Connect to your host with an FTP program and uploadrepparttar 134754 .shtml version of your 404 page and your new .htaccess file into your root directory. Then go torepparttar 134755 directory you've reserved for CGI programs and sendrepparttar 134756 404helper.cgi file there. Make sure that you upload in ASCII, not in Binary mode! I nearly drove myself crazy by accidentally using Binary mode and then trying to figure out whyrepparttar 134757 script refused to work.

Everything is now uploaded and all that remains is to set permissions so thatrepparttar 134758 CGI program can be executed. You'll need to CHMOD 755 bothrepparttar 134759 CGI file andrepparttar 134760 directory where it is in. The steps you need to take in order to accomplish this depend on what software you are using, but here arerepparttar 134761 instructions on how to do so with WS_FTP, a popular Windows FTP program which can be downloaded from

First, navigate torepparttar 134762 directory where you've uploadedrepparttar 134763 CGI program. Left-click it once to highlightrepparttar 134764 file, then right- click it. Select "chmod (Unix)" fromrepparttar 134765 menu that appears. Give Read, Write and Execute permissions torepparttar 134766 Owner and Read and Execute permissions to Group and Other. Then go intorepparttar 134767 root directory and repeatrepparttar 134768 same process withrepparttar 134769 folder ofrepparttar 134770 directory where you placedrepparttar 134771 CGI program.

That's it. The work is finally done and you can now enjoyrepparttar 134772 luxury of receiving an E-mail report on all 404 errors, allowing you to quickly stomp out any broken links and improverepparttar 134773 quality of your site. Congratulations!

Lauri Harpf runs the A Promotion Guide website, where he offers free information about search engines, directories and other promotion methods. His site can be found at

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