Domain Registered? Now What?Written by George M Ewing
I own a company that, among other things, develops web sites, and I've had my own business and personal sites since early 1990's. While each web site project has its own challenges and rewards, there are some common elements to all of them.
First, make sure that ISP or web development firm registered domain name in your or your client's name, and not their own. Even today, outsourcers will often register domains in their own names, leaving you out in cold if site becomes popular, unless you already had domain name trademarked. If you are web developer, register domain in your client's name so that your ethics won't be questioned later.
Second, help your client (or yourself) by developing a master plan from which elements can be added to sites as time and money allows. A lot of businesses think they have to have a web site to stay current in today's business environment, but haven't given much thought about what that means. Some of questions I ask are:
1. Is it for public consumption, or are you providing information to clients, suppliers, or business partners? 2. Is your intended audience local, regional, national, or global? 3. What repetitive information are your customers, suppliers, or partners calling you about that could be presented on a web site? 4. Does your product or service catalog change often enough that reflecting those changes on your web site might garner more sales? 5. What information can you present that prospective customers will find useful? 6. Do you use a sales strategy (a presentation, or a decision tree) that can be translated to a web site? 7. Can you use your site as an Extranet as well as an Internet site? 8. What graphical elements (logos, pictures, etc.) will you want to have on site, and where? 9. Will site contain advertising and how will design accommodate that? 10.
Practically every web site will have a slightly different focus depending on for whom it is developed. The answers to these and similar questions will help define purpose of site, its scope, how it will be organized, and what kind of information will be presented on it. It also helps compile a list of things that may have to be developed separately, thus affecting project schedule (e.g., a paragraph describing company in 50 words or less, a new logo, gathering a list of product data, etc.).
ADD GRAPHICS TO YOUR WEBSITE - without losing your mind!Written by Rick Hunter
We've heard it over and over again - adding graphics to a website is a GOOD thing. They can generally make your site more appealing, illustrate points or products, and provide creative icons for people to click through for more information.
So you are developing a website, and you really want to add cool graphics. But how?
Well, you can run out and buy a bunch of expensive graphics programs and 'dummies' books to learn how to use them.
Or you can sign up for courses, on or off-line, for various amounts of money. But you'll probably be old and gray by time you sort through all mumbo-jumbo you'll need to sort through, or you'll be stressed to max, and opportunity your website originally presented will be long- gone.
Adding graphic images to your site should be easy and fun.
It is possible to:
- find graphics you can use at little or no cost; or - jazz up your own pictures or graphics
Throw mumbo-jumbo commands, books, and classrooms out window. If you just want to find graphics or photos you can use, start by doing a search on your favorite search engine(s) for 'royalty-free graphics.' You'll probably be kept busy for quite awhile chasing down links you'll find. Many of sites that provide these graphics also include instructions or coding to add them directly to your site - so you don't have to be a rocket scientist to jazz up your web pages, after all!
Here's a few things to remember when creating web graphics:
1. Don't Sacrifice Speed For The Price Of Quality
Your main webpage should be under 40 KB in size for graphic intensive pages. Since a graphic file usually downloads slower than a normal text file (i.e. html page), you have to ensure that your graphics are small, fast at loading and visually appealing at same time.