Web Hints


It's been a while since I put up the original hints so here's a few more hints to help your pages look and work better.
Simple suggestions for a better web-site:

11. Never delete a web-page
Ok, I know that sounds odd but there's a method to my madness. Let's say you do a total rebuild of your site and switch things around. You create some new pages and kill some others. WAIT, what happens to the surfer when they try to get to one of the pages you killed? They get an error, that's what. So rather than deleting the obsolete page, put a link to the new page on it. This way, if someone (or a search engine) has an old URL, the surfer still ends up at your site so you can direct them to the new page.

12. If you want feedback, ASK
I often hear complaints from site owners that they never get feedback from their visitors. When I visit the site, I usually find that they have not let the surfer know they wanted feedback. If you're interested in getting comments tell them. Ask a specific question and make it easy for them to answer via email. (see hint #6) Don't lay a guilt trip on them if they don't comment, just ask a friendly question and see what happens. Oh, and before you ask, be sure your skin is thick enough to take an opinion that doesn't match yours. ;-)

13. Use free counters wisely
The free counter services that are offered are there for one reason, to build traffic for the counter owner. Now with some counters, the service they provide is well worth the few hits that they get from your site. You give a little and get a little and that's all fine and good. Where the problem comes up is with counters that are especially flashy with lots of 'click here' on the graphic. These will usually suggest you put the counter at the top of your page. Sure, it'll count a few more hits there but it'll also siphon off more of your surfers to the counter owner's site. Don't get me wrong, there are loads of great free services out there for web sites. So use the counters or don't as YOU think is right for your site. I mention it here so you can make an informed decision.

14. Keep page lengths reasonable
How many times have you visited a web page (personal home pages are the worse offenders) and it scrolled on forever? One huge page full of graphics and text usually doesn't work. If you have one of those, I'll wager fewer than 1% make it to the bottom. Besides that, if you have graphics on the page, it'll take forever to load. What I've found works much better is to break the site into different areas (pages). As a rule of thumb, try to make pages so you can go from top to bottom with no more than 2 clicks of the page down scroll button.

15. Keep picture size reasonable
This one has to do with the graphics on your site. 60k is a pretty big file for slower browsers to load. Anything larger and you should consider resizing it or compressing it. I personally use ULEAD's Smart Saver to compress JPEG files but I believe there are some shareware programs that will do the same thing. What you want is a program that will allow you to vary the compression so you can get the smallest file size that still looks good. Another trick to keep picture file size down is to crop a little off the edges. Most pics can stand that and you'd be surprised at the bytes it'll save.

Well, That's a few more for you to work on.
     Drop back soon and I'll share a few others.

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