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There are many things to think about carefully prior to taking
the plunge onto the web. This page has evolved over several
such conversations with various friends and family members
and, I think, offers some good advice. Please feel free to
email your suggestions
on how to make this page better, more complete, etc.
SO YOU WANT TO DO A WEB SITE?
Some things to think about, so that what you put out is
not "taken advantage of":
Never put out your social security number, drivers license
number, birth date on your web site. If you are interested
in giving friends the ability to buy you birthday gifts
via gift services, such as Amazon.com, you can shuffle
your birthday around a couple of days (so if your birthday
was April 1, you could say April 3'rd or some such).
Also, you should never post the names of any of your family
unless you have okayed it with them first.
Sit down with a paper and pencil and see if you can
get a general idea of what you want to show and how
you want it to appear prior to involving me. In short,
if you can get a general view ready (colors, backgrounds,
etc.), you will save your web site developer (and yourself)
a bunch of time. If you do
not have anything setup yet, visit my
Redline Credits Page
section to get a few ideas.
All of your pictures/graphics/etc. should be in either
.GIF or .JPG or .JPEG format. This will allow them to
be viewed on the web with the greatest of ease for the
greatest number of people/browsers. Most scanners and
digital cameras already know about this and will generate
it by default. However, some graphic arts programs do
not, by default, generate these formats. You have to
"export" to that format. Additionally, you can add various
to your web site, if you wish. However, it is my opinion
that clip art typically looks bad, makes your page slower
to download, and should be used sparingly, if at all.
How widely do you want your URL to be known? This goes
into how much stuff you want to put in place on your
web site, as well as how many search engines you have
to inform of the existance of your web site. The more
you want it known, the easier you want it to be found,
the more work that has to be done.
What is your tollerance for junk e-mail? My own tollerance
is zero. Let me suggest
Using their wizard, you get pre-formatted letters to
Lexus, TRW, etc. to get you off of their junk mail lists,
as well as you get a pre-formatted web page that basically
copyrights your personal information and preferences for
junk mail. This, I have found, cuts down on the amount
Do you intend on having any "not for youngsters" type of
pages? Here, I am not talking just about naughty/dirty
pictures, but also foul mouthed language, discussion of
adult topics (adultery, love letters, etc.) and the like.
If so, there is yet another group you should go to to
get "rated" so that kids who's parents have "kid safe
surfing software" will not see it. Using the wizard at
you will receive a small snippit of
pages. If you have different levels of "adultness" on
differing pages, you can get different ratings for the
different pages of your web site. In any case, each
page of your web site then gets this little code snippit.
Those browsers that are then configured to look for it
will know what is and is not appropriate to display to
What kinds of trendy "fluff" do you want on your web site?
By this, I am typically refering to hit counters, guest
books, Java applet games (punch the monkey, et.al.), and
the like. Some of these affect what hosting service you
use. Many of the better "free" ones will provide you
with this sort of stuff. Others severely restrict your
use as it drives up their bandwidth utilization. Up to
Additionally there are a couple of big design criteria
that all good web sites attempt to embody in their design.
Have something to say, a service or product to offer, or
at least keep the site up to date. There is nothing that
will turn off visitors more than having dead or broken
hyperlinks off of your site to something that they want
to get to.
Be willing to change the look and feel of the site about
every three months or so. This is typically eazy to do
if you have a server side scripting language at your
disposal, such as ASP, Perl, et.al. This can also be
easy to do if you have a web site management package,
Microsoft Frontpage 2000
or many others. These packages allow you to do global
substitutions across many web pages in a single key stroke,
provided you use their tools from the start. Unfortnately,
these tools are rather expensive. There are several other
free and or cheap tools, each with differing levels of
support. Among the better ones are:
Amaya (by W3.org),
Arachnophilia 4.0, and