Checking Your Message - Effective Web Copy

Written by Tom Neuman

Dale Carnegie said, "Talk in terms ofrepparttar other man's interests."

Writing effective web copy begins with a clear understanding ofrepparttar 131876 goals and objectives of your internet strategy. Are you trying to persuaderepparttar 131877 visitor to buy something? Are you trying to get them to sign up for your newsletter? Perhaps you want them to join your organization or simply learn more about your service so that they will call your 800 number. The common theme with all of these web strategies is that you are trying to get someone you have never met and can't see to take a step toward building a relationship with you or your organization.

Typical website copy uses a great deal of prime real estate tellingrepparttar 131878 web audience how wonderfulrepparttar 131879 organization is. Imagine going to a party and meeting someone who talks endlessly about himself. He talks about his job, his family, his interests. How long will you stand there and listen before politely excusing yourself? Now imaginerepparttar 131880 party guest who seems more interested in you- your family, your job, your interests. Wouldn't you react more favorably? It's very similar onrepparttar 131881 Internet.

It is very tempting to write web copy that is focused on your company. Your first thought is probably something like, "I have to tell them who I am. They don't know anything about me." In reality, they don't care! (At least not inrepparttar 131882 first few seconds). Most web users are on a mission to find as much information as quickly as possible aboutrepparttar 131883 product or service they need because they want to make a decision. If they find your page, they first thing they want to know - even before bothering with anything else - is how they will benefit from buying (subscribing, calling, joining). You need to answer that question clearly and concisely within seconds or you will lose that visitor (maybe forever). If you can't cut throughrepparttar 131884 selfish copy,repparttar 131885 clutter,repparttar 131886 fancy graphics, and communicaterepparttar 131887 value you offer that nobody else offers, they will go somewhere else- and likely never come back.

Which Web Server?

Written by Richard Lowe

If you've been lurking inrepparttar various forums and newsgroups devoted to webmastering, you could hardly fail to noticerepparttar 131875 heated debate going on at this time. No, it's not which isrepparttar 131876 best browser. This debate is about web servers. More precisely, which one is better: Apache or Internet Information Server (IIS).

To tell yourepparttar 131877 truth, I've used them both (and a few others as well) andrepparttar 131878 simple plain truth ofrepparttar 131879 matter is these two web server platforms are really functionally equivalent.

Ease Of Use

IIS is much easier forrepparttar 131880 novice as operators can maintain it from easy-to-use screens and forms. Windows 2000, onrepparttar 131881 other hand, costs a lot more than other operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD and Unix.

Straight Apache requires a huge learning curve to learn how to operate and administer. Everything is configured in extremely obscure text files, and these configurations are done by hand (although you can purchase add-on utilities to enable entry of much of this information from screens and forms.)


The security model of IIS is one ofrepparttar 131882 best ever designed, based as it is upon NTFS (the security model of Windows NT and Windows 2000). This model is far superior torepparttar 131883 anything provided with Apache for non-Windows systems. Of course, on Windows, Apache can use NTFS as well.

Of course, IIS has been plagued with a number of vulnerabilities lately, and these are a concern. It's common to patch IIS at least monthly, and to install a new service release (a collection of patches) twice a year. Most ofrepparttar 131884 bugs were worked out of Apache (prior to version 2) long ago. Of course, withrepparttar 131885 release of version two of Apache you can expect a number of security and other flaws to surface - these are a normal part of a product's life cycle.


IIS does NOT haverepparttar 131886 equivalent of HTACCESS. The HTACCESS file in Apache is used to individually configure virtual sites (web sites) without restartingrepparttar 131887 web server. However, on IIS you have a very flexible method of configuration with ISAPI filters and other similar methods. Both methods (HTACCESS and ISAPI filters) are very obscure and for advanced webmasters.


According to several reports that I've come across lately IIS is more efficient than Apache. My own testing has led me to concluderepparttar 131888 performance ofrepparttar 131889 two is roughlyrepparttar 131890 same for static pages. PHP (the server side scripting platform common on Apache) tends to be more efficient than ASP (the server side scripting system for IIS) according to many sources, although I have tested neither for speed.

Hardware Requirements

I have run both web server platforms on large and small boxes of many different configurations, and I've found they require muchrepparttar 131891 same hardware. This is not surprising, sincerepparttar 131892 two platforms basically dorepparttar 131893 same thing.

When you configure Windows and IIS, it's a good idea to strip repparttar 131894 operating system of unneeded functions. This reducesrepparttar 131895 size box you need (as well as increasing security).

I've run both platforms on 64mb of memory with a single 5600 RPM IDE drive and 200mhtrz processors with reasonable response time (all things considered). I've also run them on dual 2gigahertz systems with 15k RPM SCSI raid 10 drives with incredible performance. The two platforms are equivalent in hardware needs.

Large Server Farms

Microsoft has worked hard on load balancing, so there are more options available for IIS and Windows 2000 for this than other operating systems. In fact, Windows 2000 clustering (the ability to run several servers usingrepparttar 131896 same disks) is very advanced and makes disaster recovery a breeze.

Disaster Recovery

IIS backup solutions (those which are provided with Windows 2000) are surprisingly weak. There is no way to back uprepparttar 131897 metabase (all ofrepparttar 131898 IIS configuration parameters) from one machine and restore it to another (which makes disaster recovery difficult). Onrepparttar 131899 other hand, with Apache it's just a matter of saving all ofrepparttar 131900 configuration text files.

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