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"To construct a web page isn't technically difficult, virtually anyone with some basic PC skills and a little bit of software can do it.
But to develop a web site, with a cohesive user friendly feel and a consistent corporate look that is easy to navigate and optomised for use on the internet, requires a professional."

Here's some more information about making your website work for you:


This document assumes that you have already answered the question of Why I want a Web Site.
There are many details to consider when you commission a Web Site to be constructed for you or if you decide to DO IT YOURSELF. This page will endeavour to list some of the fundamentals to good Web page design, from a Clients perspective.
There are also several strategies you can employ on your Web Site, to make your site more successful.

Before we begin there are several concepts we need to make clear -

  • You don't have to have a computer to have a web site. Your web site will be physically located (or hosted) on another computer (or server), which is connected to the internet..
  • If you do have a computer, you don't have to be online to view your pages. You can store a copy of your pages on your local hard disk and use any browser to view the pages. You will however need an internet connection to view other web sites.
  • You don't have to have an email address, you can list your existing postal, phone and fax numbers so that visitors to your site may contact you by traditional methods. However, just as is a suitable and relevant domain name, an email address is a desirable part of your online presence.

What follows are my suggestions only, but they are based on my own observations and from discussions with other Web Professionals and attending conferences and seminars.

Type of Site

There are basically two types of site : -

  • Banner page, these are static documents, not updated regularly. These sites are less expensive to create and usually create little or no maintenance charges. They require minimal effort once online and usually provide minimal return on your investment.
  • Dynamic page, the information changes regularly. These sites are generally more expensive because they require regular updates and changes. However they are guaranteed to attract a higher rate of return visitor providing an excellent avenue to your market.

So your first decision is,

  • what type of site do you want?

HTML Documents

There are several special differences about World Wide Web documents : -

  • They can be viewed in a number of operating systems (DOS,Mac,UNIX etc.)
  • They can be read and interpreted by many different World Wide Web browsers or viewers.
  • They contain hypertext, which is basically linking a word or phrase to another document or position in the document.
  • They contain special HTML Tags (Code), the current standard is VA.0
  • They can contain calls to external programs via CGI scripts, ActiveX or Java programs.

It is desirable to conform to as many standards as possible, because you then ensure your web pages will be able to be read by the greatest number of people

So your next decisions are -

  • Do you want your page to conform to the current HTML standard?
  • Do you want your pages to be readable in the most popular browsers?
  • Do you want HTML code imbedded in your pages verified?

Site Design

There are other features which will determine the look, feel and speed of your site. At this stage you have consider who is going to visit your site. Is the site visually appealing? Does it contain useful information? Are they going to wait for that mega download of an image? Do they have all the Plugging used on your site?

Common Features used in Web Sites Today
Images A picture is worth a thousand words Can drastically slow display of a site
Tables Excellent for formatting text into columns and rows Add to the HTML file size, longer downloads.
Icons Can take up less screen space than text. Can be difficult to interpret. Increase page download time.
Image Maps Look impressive, but usually take a long time to down load. Impossible to navigate with images turned off. Not part of the current standard
Audio files Can emphasize something that you wish to draw to a visitors attention. Not everyone has the right plug in or audio capability
Video files Provides movement and sound to a site. Very useful where motion is required to understand a concept. Not everyone has the right plug in or audio capability
Virtual Reality Can demonstrate objects and concepts in a way that is not physically possible. eg. something which does not exist, a protype. Difficult, time consuming and expensive to create the 3 dimensional environment. Not everyone has the right plug in

There are also other things to consider, such as : -

  • Images : - The resolution (DPI) ,Type( GIF, JPEG), Screen Size, all of these will determine the File Size which will ultimately determine the speed of your site. This will also determine the number of images on your site, given your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will probably only let you have between 1 - 5 Mb of Server Disk Space.
  • Tables :- Excellent for formatting text into columns and rows.
  • Frames : -Not yet part of the standard HTML code.
  • Image Maps : -
  • Icons : - Icon are useful for navigating around a site. On the down side some icons are fairly obscuring and the viewer is not quite sure what their function may be. Plus they take time to download the first time.
  • Audio files : - Can be large and take a long time to download. Also not everyone wants to listen to your music. But the right file can be very beneficial.
  • Video files : - Can be large and take a long time to download. Different formats require different software.
  • Virtual Reality : - Can be large and take a long time to download. Different formats require different software.


Which of these features do you want to include?Have a look at these examples.
Also see the checklist.

Strategies for Success

1. Once you have established your web site all your stationery and promotional material should prominently display your site address and email address.
2. The Internet is very much about information and whilst you as a company what to sell a product or service, sometime this is not enough to get people visiting your site. By all means provide as much information about your business as you like, but a good site will include additional information.

  • An effective way is to provide unique or topical information, useful to your clients as part of your site. This encourages them to revisit your site and to refer it to others.
  • Create and maintain a links page of other sites of similar interest.
  • Another method is to make Daily, Weekly or Monthly updates this will definitely increase the number of visitors to your site as they come back to see whats new.
  • Ability to access or analyse a database, you create can be a big draw card for the right information.
  • The ability for customers to order your goods or services direct from the Internet, is the big thing. This can be accomplished in several ways.
    • Print an Online form, then fax to post it.
    • Email there order to you.
    • Provide a form page for them to fill out and submit.
    • A virtual shopping cart, where there select items as they browse your site, then proceed to the checkout where the order process is automated

Thinking about a presence on the web? Better watch out for these common ripoffs.