Written by Ben McClure

Think you have a successful site? Maybe you really do, but chances are it might need a little mending. Here's some simple ideas to remember when trying to create a friendly, worthy site. 1. Looks aren't everything. Most sites can be categorized in two ways. Informative but lackingrepparttar helpful and pretty interface, or completely useless, but good-looking. Though I can't tell you how to make a great looking and informative site, because then they'd all lookrepparttar 134820 same, what I can say is first, avoidrepparttar 134821 single-page web site, andrepparttar 134822 black-on-white, all blotched together default look. Add your own creativity torepparttar 134823 looks. If you were a consumer, would you like how your site looks? Even before looks, though, you should know what information you're going to include. It should generally be something you're good at and/or know at least a respectable amount of information on, and you should have a legitimate reason for makingrepparttar 134824 site. If this is done, you haverepparttar 134825 potential of having a good web site! 2. Interaction. Your viewers hopefully likerepparttar 134826 information you give them. But, think they'll come back, or even stay there for more than 5 minutes? That's why there's things like forms, Java, DirectX, Dynamic-HTML, and Flash! If you know any of those, there are effective ways to use them all in your site. Just be creative, but avoid over-using any of them. Add search forms to your site, or a discussion board, possibly a web site members sign-up page, a contact page if needed. You need to letrepparttar 134827 users somehow interact with your site in somewhat of a helpful way. My site incorporates every one of those things I've mentioned. 3. Graphics It is almost impossible to get by these days without _some_ graphics on your site. It is simply a requirement. If you don't have graphics, you might as well go back to Telnet. Title graphics, colorful bullets, pictures explaining your site, buttons, etc. all will give your site a more advanced look, even though it's so very simple to add them! Not good at making your own graphics? No problem! Can't pay someone to make your


Written by Bob McElwain

Slow loading pages are site killers. Splash screens as well. Most webmasters appear to know such things. And most know better than to demandrepparttar download of some plug in to view their site. Still, many are breaking other rules as if unaware even of their existence. The cost in doing so is incalculable, as it amounts to what visitors might have bought had they lingered for a time.

I findrepparttar 134819 following rules broken routinely. And it continues to puzzle me. It is difficult to believe anybody who has put together a website is unaware of these rules. If they are aware of them, and break them, this makes even less sense. Whateverrepparttar 134820 case, here they are.

What's In This For Me?

When a visitor hits your site, there is no thought of you, your site, or how hard you worked to put it all together. All that matters isrepparttar 134821 above question. And you have only a few seconds in which to answer it to your visitor's satisfaction.

So what's withrepparttar 134822 giant logo up top that fills halfrepparttar 134823 first screen? Or that blinding, bright red slogan sprawled acrossrepparttar 134824 width ofrepparttar 134825 page? What's with that blue and purple thing torepparttar 134826 right whirling like crazy?

Such things to do not answer your visitor's question. In fact they sendrepparttar 134827 mouse cursor scurrying to hover over repparttar 134828 Back button.

About Table Width

One that's becoming a favorite of mine is ...

This site is best viewed with your browser window adjusted to 800 x 600 pixels.

Hey, if I've got a horizontal scroll bar, I know this is so. Why waste valuable space belaboringrepparttar 134829 obvious? And if you think I'm going to readjust my window dimensions to accommodate you, you're out of your mind.

And what about those WebTV viewers? 12 million, maybe. What are they supposed to adjust? And of those 24 million AOL members who userepparttar 134830 AOL browser, what magic button do they press to increaserepparttar 134831 maximum of 585 pixels to your "desired" setting?

As recently as January, 2001, TheCounter.Com reported 7% of surfers are still using 640 pixel monitors. Do you expect these people to try a hammer or something?

Your site is not about you or what you want. It's all about your visitors and what they want. Provided you want to sell, that is.

A Fast, Easy Read Is What It's All About

While other factors of your website matter a great deal, nothing matters more that providing pages that are quick and easy to read. Picture a fellow standing in a crowded subway car, bumped and joggled this way and that, trying to readrepparttar 134832 evening paper. How much patience does he have with copy difficult to follow?

The same is true of your visitors. Can you draw them past your headline? Do your sub-headings grab attention? Will one of them slow your visitor long enough to start reading that body copy you so laboriously crafted?

If they do, they won't stay long with line lengths greater than 65 characters. Give me five bucks for every site I've seen bust this rule, and I can afford to takerepparttar 134833 next couple of years off!

New Happenings Don't Change Old Rules

Sure,repparttar 134834 Web is new. But some things don't change. Parents and teachers have been searching frantically for over a hundred years for better ways to teach kids how to read. Why? Becauserepparttar 134835 better kids read,repparttar 134836 better they do in school. Droprepparttar 134837 accumulated research intorepparttar 134838 lake of your choice and watchrepparttar 134839 water level rise ominously.

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