Here is something I wrote back in 1997 from the first web page I ever
created. Remember how cool geocities was when it started offering free web pages
The Elements of a Good Page!
For about two years now I have had the pleasure of being a QA engineer blah
blah yada yada. My main project has been my companies site. (see about me to see
where I work) I have spent a lot of time testing our pages and comparing to
other sites. Some are rather blah and some really stand out and grab you. To
have a good site you need to have something original. If you can't be original
you have to be the best at compiling and updating links. :) Seriously, I have
seen lots of pages that have the same blah format.
Hi I'm blah and here is my significant other and/or family and/or pets and here
are my cool friends links and sign my guestbook before you leave. P.S. this page
is under construction so I'm not like finished yet. :)
Not like there is anything wrong with that because we all need our little place
in cyberspace but there are certain ways we can improve. First of all add some
original content. Type stuff. Put your thoughts down in the electronic void.
Anything you write yourself is original. Don't just link to people you know that
have the same stuff. You can even ramble if you want. At least that looks good
the first time through. Then keep adding new stuff. Have a what's new section
for returning visitors. Commercial sites can get away with making a page and
then not updating it for months at a time. But that only works if you are
selling widgets. Even then you better redo your stuff every few months or be
lost in the crowd.
Organize your stuff. If you can don't put it all on the front page. Give people
something to click on. Let them exercise their mouse and their clicking finger.
Scrolling can get monotonous. Make lots of pages. Keep the layout the same so it
all looks like it was planned. Same backgrounds and layout graphics are a must
because they load up so much faster. Load time can make or break the experience.
Keep your front page to it's minimum in terms of space. See my web resources for
links to tune up and optimize your pages. Keep animated gifs to a minimum also
because they are cute but distracting. I wonder if people will get upset if I
say 'you seen one java lake applet you have seen them all'? :) Add a link to
200k of jpg files in your photo album if you want but give people the option. I
also think embedded muzak is better as a link. And if you have ever waited 2
minutes to download someone's wav file saying Hi welcome to my page, you
wouldn't do it to other people.
Free banner services can be OK, but don't stick them at the top like they want
you to. Advertise your own content first. Only paid ads or required ads from
free page providers belong at the top.
Keep linked images towards the end of your page. That way if they don't load at
least your viewer has been looking at your stuff for 30 seconds. Counters belong
at the end because they get stuck often. And guestbook's also go down. If you
can create a link to your guestbook page. There are a couple of free books so
grab them all and give your readers a choice of signing the one they like. It
looks like guestbook surfing is one of the better ways of advertising your site.
Look at other peoples stuff. View their code if you are curious. HTML is one of
those things where if you see something cool all you have to do is view source
and you can see how they wrote it. By the way, if you are going to copy
someone's code at least acknowledge them on your page somewhere. What goes
around comes around.
And lastly, don't take things too seriously. Strange things can happen in the
cyberworld. In some ways it mimics real life but in others it's doesn't have a
clue. Don't hit people with a "sign my guestbook" request anywhere within the
first 25 words on the page. Be happy. And when you do ask, ask nicely to
your guestbook. Don't beg :)