Designing Your Web Page – The Basics

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    Designing Your Web Page – The Basics

    Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

    This presentation is located at https://managementhelp.org/misc/np_web.htm
    in the Free Management Library at https://managementhelp.org

    Sections of This Topic Include

    · Preparation
    · Naming Your Website
    · Why Websites Fail
    · Simple Guidelines About Page Format
    · Simple Guidelines About Page Content
    · Simple Guidelines About Promoting Your Site
    · Useful Web Addresses About Web Basics


    Designing Your Web Page — Preparation

    · Your Web page is a communications tool — it is not a product by
    itself
    · Therefore, plans to build a good Web page should be part of planning
    for client services
    · Websites are easy to build — challenge is making it logical and
    simple to follow
    · First ask yourself some basic Web-planning questions:
    1. What do you want to accomplish?
    – Getting word out? (information-oriented, with “contact us” so
    they can e-mail you)
    – Build mailing lists, etc.? (they provide information to you)
    – Building relationships? (interactive between you and Web page reader)
    – Earned income over the Internet? (e.g., selling books, “e-commerce”)
    – A specific interface to specific services?

    2. Who is your intended audience?
    – “What is my reader trying to solve?”

    3. Where will you get the necessary expertise?
    – Designing / drawing the page
    – Technically programming the page
    (this is not as hard as it used to be —
    use “home made” home pages)

    4. Who will conduct client services?
    – Updating information on the page, etc.
    – Answering e-mail messages, etc.
    – Testing for broken links

    Naming Your Website

    Pick a name (up to 24 characters?)

    · Think long-term when picking a name
    · Name should be descriptive of your organization’s overall
    services
    · Pick a name that’s easy to type in …
    · To register a name, go to http://www.networksolutions.com/ — that
    site will tell you if the name currently exists or not
    · If you pick a name that substantially resembles someone else’s,
    they may sue you and have you remove the name

    Suffixes

    · “.com” identifies user as commercial entity
    · “org” for non-commercial entities,
    · “gov” for governmental bodies
    · “.edu” for educational institutions, and
    · “.net” for network services
    · if outside the United States is usually an abbreviation for the
    user’s country

    Why Websites Fail

    · The following is based on the work of Michael Gilbert, editor of
    the “Nonprofit Online News”
    · He identifies five types of problems that Websites have
    1. Upside Down Site — content is good but is buried under an impenetrable
    hierarchy
    2. Dead Website — it’s never updated. A variation is the Dead on
    the Outside
    —- is updated, but you’d never know it
    3. Disconnected Website — all the communication is one way, from the page
    to you
    4. Cool Website — “Las Vegas” effect — so enamored with technology,
    it says nothing
    5. Stingy Website — gives nothing of value
    All of these problems are caused by focusing on the Website as a product
    rather than means of client services

    Simple Guidelines About Page Format

    · Visit many Websites — pick which ones you like and think about
    why you like them
    · Pay attention to their coloring scheme, placement of text and images
    · Have short, simple pages
    · Be consistent with images, colors and formatting of text
    · Be careful (avoid?) use of scrolling text and images, and blinking
    images
    · Be careful (avoid?) background images
    · Try get all images or text on a page to fit in one screen
    · Don’t overdue frames and graphics!
    · Try put conclusions at the top of the page
    · Have link to home page on every page
    · Remember that diverse clients, countries, etc. are reading your
    Web page
    · Always tell visitors how to contact you
    · Consider a “site map” – this tells users about the overall
    arrangement of all of your pages
    · Consider a “table of contents” or header at the top of
    each page
    · Test your page with several browsers, e.g., Netscape, Internet
    Explorer, American Online and CompuServe — try a laptop, too
    – Do color, images and text appear as you
    preferred?
    – How long does it take to download your
    page — if more than five seconds, too long?
    · Update your site regularly with new information — announce updates
    · Avoid “Under Construction”!
    · Have someone review your site for you — they get lost? any confusion?

    Simple Guidelines About Page Content

    Here are Some Emerging Criteria for Evaluating Web Page Information:
    1. Accuracy? – is the information really
    believable?
    2. Authority? – sound hollow? half-hearted?
    3. Objectivity? – too much hype?
    4. Current? – if anything is out of date, it all is
    5. Coverage? – mention all of your services?

    Think about your clients — how do they speak? what do they value? what
    would they want from your page? Write to that audience …

    Design for disabled client? large fonts, minimal scrolling and clicking

    Simple Guidelines About Promoting Your Site

    · Announce your site to various search engines and directories
    – “SubmitIt!” at http://submit-it.com/
    – “Postmaster2” at http://www.NetCreations.com/postmaster/registration/try.html
    · Monitor your traffic — find out how many “hits” you’re
    getting per week
    · Consider link relationships with other sites — you link to them,
    they link to you
    · Use signature files — mention your Website at the end of your
    e-mail messages
    · Join online newsgroups and participate — your signature files
    is spread all over
    · Put your URL on all of your letterhead, invoices, business cards,
    etc.
    · Consider issuing a free newsletter (watch copyright terms, etc.)


    USEFUL WEB ADDRESSES ABOUT “WEB BASICS”
    These addresses are in the web page Computers,
    Internet and Web

    located in the Free Management Library

    GETTING CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET
    Set Up Computer Networks and Connections
    Getting Connected With ISPs

    BASICS ABOUT THE WEB AND BROWSERS
    https://websitebuilders.com/how-to/web-at-a-glance/web-browsers/
    http://www.distant-star.com/issue9/jan_99_feat_web_and_net.htm
    http://www.boutell.com/faq/oldfaq/index.html

    DESIGNING AND EVALUATING A WEB SITE
    http://www.gilbert.org/news/features/feature0014.html
    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/
    http://www.sun.com/styleguide/
    http://info.med.yale.edu/caim/manual/contents.html
    http://www.tsbj.com/editorial/02070508.htm
    http://www2.widener.edu/Wolfgram-Memorial-Library/webeval.htm
    http://info.med.yale.edu/caim/manual/
    http://www.killersites.com

    HIRING SOMEONE DESIGN YOUR WEB SITE
    https://managementhelp.org/consulting/hiring-consultants.htm

    GUIDE TO THE WEB AND MANAGING YOUR SITE
    http://www.cs.umsl.edu/~sanjiv/xu_proj/webmanage.html

    PROMOTING A WEB SITE
    http://www.promotingyoursite.com/
    https://www.wix.com/blog/2016/12/free-places-to-promote-your-website/

    ADDITIONAL MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION
    http://www.coyotecom.com/tips.html
    http://www.metronet.lib.mn.us/libpage/links.htm


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