Pass the Mystery Meat: Learning from "Web Pages that Suck"

Written by Stefene Russell

Continued from page 1

For a real trial by fire, take Vincent's tour of things that suck. These are sucky pages that Flanders put together himself, which include "pretentious front pages," "too many wrong things," going overboard with special effects, free backgrounds that suck, and bad text:

He also has a great article on "Mystery Meat Navigation" -that is, links and design that leave a user's brain addled and unable to complete a credit-card transaction. According to Flanders, recent research indicates that ""39 percent of test shoppers failed in their buying attempts because sites were too difficult to navigate." We all know that you don't want that to happen, yes? So atrepparttar very least, read this excellent and funny piece on how not to confuserepparttar 134650 daylights out of your visitors:

Flanders is alsorepparttar 134651 author of "Web Pages that Suck," which you can probably find at your friendly local independent bookstore. Though it's a good, classic text about how web sites go wrong, you'll want to visit his pages as well, because according to Vincent Flanders (and he'srepparttar 134652 man) humans with access to computers are discovering new ways 3:01 PM 3/29/01to suck even as we speak-so read up, and don't be one of them!

Stefene Russell will do a complete analysis of your site, including personalized tips on copy and design at Whether you're an e-business or a content provider, find ut how to make your site professional and effective. Read Stefene's free web site tips at Reach her at or 801-328-9006.

Web Site Management: Guestbooks

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

- The best scripts also send an email torepparttar webmaster so he knows someone signed.

- A guestbook absolutely must be moderated. Any guestbook which does not allow for moderation must be discarded.

- The better scripts will filter out curse words.

When you design your site, you should include an easily found link torepparttar 134649 guestbook on every single page. Believe me, if your visitors want to say something good about your site you should make it easy for them to do so. The link can be anywhere ... just be sure to place it inrepparttar 134650 same location on every page.

Once a guestbook has been selected and installed, it must be maintained. This is whererepparttar 134651 game gets a little interesting. Here's what happens.

1) Someone visits your site, likes what he sees and navigates to your guestbook. He writes a comment and submits his entry.

2) Your guestbook script should send him an acknowledgement (assuming he included his email address). The acknowledgement must not be a blatant advertisement for your affiliate programs or products. It's purpose is to thank your visitors for their comments and to remind them to return to your site. You can also let them know of other features of your site that they may find of interest.

3) NEVER send more than one email to your visitor from a guestbook signing. One email is polite. More than one email is spam. The only exception to this is whenrepparttar 134652 visitor specifically asks you a question or asks for your response.

4) NEVER add your visitor's email to your mailing list because he signed your guestbook. This is spam.

5) Your script should also send you an email so that you know someone has signed. Readrepparttar 134653 message and determine if it is appropriate for your site. If so, addrepparttar 134654 message. If not, delete it.

You should moderate your guestbook, as you want to be sure that only comments that are appropriate end up being made public. This is a very critical part of guestbook maintenance. Guestbooks are intended to positively reinforce your work - not tear it down. You can feel free to delete any and all negative messages.

Another type of message that I usually delete immediately isrepparttar 134655 pure advertisement. Guestbooks can provide links back to sites, but that is not their primary purpose. Leave advertisements to classified and free-for-all link pages.

I would be very cautious about making any changes to anything in a guestbook. This is a place for visitors to post comments (generally positive ones) about your site and it's contents ... it is not your editorial page.

Properly used, a guestbook is a useful and easy way to enhance your site and make it more friendly to your visitors. These scripts give your visitors a way to publicly post positive comments about your works forrepparttar 134656 world to see. That in itself can be very useful and helpful.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: Weekly newsletter: Daily Tips:

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