Holistic Web makes it happen.
Warnings an Pitfalls.
This is the place where I will offer some tips, some what to do, some what not to do. Hopefully you will find this page before you fall into the many traps out there which await the new and the old. If you know of any others then please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Know your target Audience - Too many sites have never decided on the audience they are targeting. Think about the people who you want to come to your site. I find this the most difficult item for clients to get to grips with, so this is where I spend most of my time during the initial interview, it is worth it because it is that important.
- Do not use any navigation or entry that your target audience can't use. Don't use Flash for any essential information. Same thing for graphics as well. Make sure your site is tested on as many different browsers as you can.
- Viewers should be able to tell at a first glance of your home page what your company does and what aspects of that are within the site. This needs to be in visible text (not in an image that looks like text) on your home page.
- Navigation (buttons, etc) should be clear and consistent throughout the site and there should be text links at the bottom of pages to the major parts of the site (or at least to a text based site map).
- People should be able to bookmark individual pages - the main reason not to use frames.
- Pages need to be basically in HTML and to load quickly (10 to 20 seconds on standard modem connections). Do not rely on everyone having a broadband connection.
- Contact information should be readily available on every page - don't make people click to get your email from a specific contact page (it should be on every page --- in the footer is a fairly accepted place): Plus consider making a street address, phone numbers, etc. as well as a contact form.
- Site should look reasonably good and, in all important aspects, work in all major browsers (not just your particular version of Internet Explorer) for Windows and Mac. Do not expect your site to look exactly the same in every browser.
- Have alternate text tags for your navigation graphics and your logo (to allow visitors who are blind or who have graphics turned off to use your links and also for the search engine spiders).
- Don't design with Front Page, Dreamweaver or any other WYSIWYGWhat You See Is What You Get editor, the code is terrible! Of course, the html code from Word is even worse. Learn HTML and hand code all your pages, I do and it produces faster leaner pages that search engines love. And while you are at it, make sure it passes web-standards validation.
As a hostA place to store your website files so they can be viewed around the world. they are not the worst but not the best either you would do better with Hostgator this is who I use, after spending a long time with Godaddy, and so far it is good with a much easier to use control panelThis lets you manage your hosting account. Some are better than others, Godaddy's is difficult to learn, Hostgator's is very simple and far superior database managementEven if you do not use databases in your website now, some day you will, with hostgator you will find it easier.
As a domain registrarThese are the people who you pay your money to. they are quite good because they are cheaper than most others however, take note their default setting is for auto renew, which can be useful except in the case of .uk with these they will renew on the 1st of the month preceding the renewal date so if for instance your renewal date is April the 31st they will renew on the 1st of March, two months before needed and if you planned on letting it expire you can be sent down the river with having to pay for 2 years that you did not want. Confession time; I fell for this one. If you want to buy domains ending in .uk turn off auto renew or better still buy them from Freeparking where they are cheaper for .uk but a bit more expensive on other tld's.Top Level Domains Note: I have just discovered that the renewal price is far higher than the new price on Free parking so beware. Hostgator are a comparable maybe a quid a year on other tld's so worth considering
Cron jobs are very useful to web-developers, they act like schedule tasks on your computer, which check for updates, and carry out routine maintenance such as clean up and defrags. However, what if we wish to update a database, send out a regular email course. This is where con jobs come in, for instance I have a client who gives away a free ebook from his site, after so many days he wants to send them a note asking what they thought of his ebook. Do we do this manually, ooooh no. We add the names, email address and date they downloaded to database, then we write a small script which will up date the database and if entry is so many days old we send out an email to the name and address in that entry. Now we could run this script by visiting the page every day, or we could set up a cron job which simply runs the script every day or at any time variable we need. The hardest part of this is writing the script the easiest is setting up the cron job I have found Nguyen An Thuan's service at www.setcronjob.com a very reliable and easy to use service there is a free and a paid service depending on your needs.