I started designing websites when I was just 15 years old. Now I am 20 and things have changed much since then. Some of these changes are very positive but others are not very encouraging. For instance the number of web pages on the net has increased manifold but on the other side there is a lot of junk stuff on the internet ,that finding a piece of useful information is something like searching for a pin in a hay stack. Search engines like google have risen in popularity partly due to the ad free interface they provide. But alas such is the shrewdness and cunningness of some webmasters that some sites which do not have much worthy content in them get listed at the top of the list. Then there is the other problem, You have set up a site which you think is much worthy and wait for visitors to flow into it and you get less than a 100 hits a day. What do you do ? I have been through this situation and has even thought of quitting. But wait a minuteÖ. Why should you quit? You have spend all this time and money making up a useful site and then think of quitting. There are lots of ways by which you can get your site up and running.
1. Know thy audience: This is the most important part. Itís much easier for you to bring a guy who has visited your site back than to make a new one come. So provide content in the site based on what the audience wants. What I mean is, if you have started a site named designing_banners_and_logos.com and then provide a personal site which has nothing to do with banners, logos and designing then you are doomed mate! So the first thing to decide upon is ďwho your audience are? And what they want?ĒÖthe rest will follow.
2. Broken hyperlinks = Broken hearts: Bear this in mind. The last thing you would want is visitors leaving your site. Isnít it? Then the first thing you have to do is to check your site for broken hyperlinks. Broken hyperlinks affect the flow of your site and unfortunately Sir so will it affect the flow of visitors. It actually conveys the wrong signal to your visitors. It tells them that you donít regularly update your site. Now tell me who would want to marry a 40 year old lady when a 20 year old princess is waiting next door! So before publishing your site make sure you have no broken hyperlinks. If you have got links to other sites make sure they havenít moved. If so update your link.
3. Security & privacy (Believe me there are terrorists out there!): What would happen if George Bush is going to visit your home. One week before his visit itself your house will be flocking with intelligence agents, security agents, FBI,Ö..Hmm! if you stay in some parts of Asia the whole military will be there. Well then consider every visitor as George Bush and your site as your home. No one dead or alive in this world would like to have Trojans, spies in their computers. Now if your site requests for personal information from your visitors and then does not provide them with adequate security then rest assured your mega site will be a mega flop!
4. For e-commerce sites: If you have an online business then the above said security is that important to you that your visitors can even make you end up in jail. Imagine collecting the credit card information from one of your customers that is viewable to a hacker. It is like giving the keys to a burglar! SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates are important in this regard. It costs somewhere around 3500 Rs (approx. 60$). If you are aiming at a bigger profit then that is not a big sum to spend.
5. Too many graphics slows it down: I donít think I have to explain this much. You probably must have experienced this while visiting a Flash site through your dial up connection. It takes forever for a site to even load in your browser windowÖ.forget about surfing! So to treat each and every visitor to your site equally and to satisfy your addiction to flash offer separate pages (of course with the same content) for dial up and DSL audiences etc. If you think it's your browser and not connection that slows you down then here is a solution for you
6.Finding the right host: This is another pothole in your path. Be careful. Be extremely careful! There are zillions of hosting companies that finding the best among them can be exhausting. Many of them do not provide what they offer. In fact they bluff you! What they project as 500 MB space with database will be 100 MB of web space and 400 MB of database space. If you are doing a small site with absolutely no need for database then you are trapped!
7. Spelling mistakes and grammatical error: Making this error is like preparing a delicious pudding and serving it your customers with a dead house fly in it. So simply donít make them.
8. Promoting your site: This I tell you is the most difficult step of all. Imagine you are somewhere in Sahara desert and you have set up a wonderful feast and then wait for guests to arrive. Well the only company you will get is the loneliness of the desert. So you must publicize you site for visitors to come in. There are few ways by which you can do this. Join a link exchange program or a banner exchange program where they put a link or a banner to your site and viceversa. View the complete list of sites offering this scheme. These programs are good in the sense that you donít have to spend a penny to advertise your site. Providing free stuff on your site is another way of promoting it. Writing blogs and e-books with lots of link to your site is another way of doing it. But whatever you do you got to do it honestly. Donít just write a blog or an e-book just as an advertisement for your site. Do it honestly you will get more visitors than you expect. My experience is the guarantee!!
9.Designing your logos and banners: A logo sums up what a company is. It tells us everything about the company through one picture. Any company (even events and organizations) must have their own logo. A banner is the simplest and worthiest form of advertisement in the web.