Bad Web Design: Advertising Mistakes

Written by Richard Lowe

Okay, we know we all need to payrepparttar bills. I know that many of us want to get traffic to our web sites. And some of us just want to make enough money to pay for our costs so that this thing we love to do is free.

But, come on, that doesn't mean you should plaster a hundred ads or a dozen banners on every page of your web site. A banner here and there, a small button or a few text links is fine, but I've seen some web sites that have dozens and a few that have hundreds of ads on each page! Now this is just tacky and is virtually guaranteed to get your visitors to hit that handy back button fast.

One ofrepparttar 134652 worst kinds of web sites, in my opinion, are those that are just huge advertisements. Especially those that are advertisements for dozens or even hundreds of other services. People do not surfrepparttar 134653 web looking for banners, text links and other advertisements to click on. In fact, statistically, most people are surfing because they are looking for (a) information, (b) entertainment, or (c) someone to talk to. Most web surfers are not looking for something to purchase.

A good web site offers excellent content (which can be graphics, text or interactive features). Even those sites which sell something also offer content which is of interest to their visitors. Go take a look at any really good shopping site and you will see what I mean. Look at Amazon.Com or Barnes And Noble and you will understand - these sites offer tons of content. Reviews of their products, consumer comments and large amounts of data aboutrepparttar 134654 items being sold. This is what people want - information. Some common things on web site that you should never do.

Banner exchanges - It's real simple - these do not work. Oh, you will get a click or two, but banner exchanges tend to look tacky, take up valuable space on your web pages and increase your load time. To make it even worse, many times you will lose far more traffic than you will gain. Don't even bother putting even one of these on your entire web site.

Notices saying "please, pretty please, keep my site free and click on something". This just makes you look like a rank amateur. In my humble opinion, it's very tacky to expect people to click on links just so you can "keep your site free". Come up with or find a good product or service, and sell it if you must. Advertising is not in of itself of value - only products or services have value.

Good Web Design: Create A Custom 404 Error Page

Written by Richard Lowe

As you know if you've spent any time at all surfingrepparttar web, sometimes you will seerepparttar 134651 dreaded 404 error condition. This often occurs because you've entered an incorrect link (perhaps added a ".html" instead of ".htm" atrepparttar 134652 end ofrepparttar 134653 file) or perhaps because a site has been updated recently and some links were broken.

Virtually all web sites (especially free sites) have some generic 404 error page displayed when this occurs. This error pages is either (a) completely unhelpful to a visitor or more likely (b) is very useful advertising for a web host but completely useless for helping your users navigate your site.

One excellent reason for choosing a paid host over a free host is that you can generally modifyrepparttar 134654 .htaccess file to provide a custom 404 error page. (This is an important feature to demand from a paid host - if they don't let you use this feature, find another host. This is also an excellent reason to choose a host which runsrepparttar 134655 Apache server software over other brands. For example, Microsoft's Internet Information Server, IIS for short, does not allow for this capability).

So let's say you create a 404 error page. What do you do with it? It's simple - you help your visitors get back to looking around your site.

Tell them what happened - An error occurred, specifically a page was requested and not found.

Make sure they understand they are still on your site - Sometimes this is not clear, so be sure you include your logo and other identifications. In fact,repparttar 134656 standard 404 error code often means you will lose that visitor forever because he will immediately assumerepparttar 134657 site is abandoned.

Give them some reasons whyrepparttar 134658 error occurred - Most people do not know what "404 error" means. Be sure and give your visitors some tips as to what might have gone wrong. Perhaps they misspelledrepparttar 134659 URL or a link was bad?

Help them get back to surfing your site - Give them plenty of ways to navigate back into your site. Ideally, include your standard navigation menu and perhaps even a search option.

Inject a little humor - A joke or funny picture can help lighten uprepparttar 134660 mood. Remember, you are presenting an error - you want to get them to smile so they perhaps continue surfing.

Be sure your page is over 1,024 bytes in size - Some browsers will not display error pages that are smaller than this.

The most important thing to remember is that an error message is stressful to your visitors. These immediately giverepparttar 134661 impression that your site is poorly maintained or perhaps even has been abandoned. You only have a few seconds afterrepparttar 134662 error occurs to get people back to surfing your site, so you had better use that time wisely.

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