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Deciding What Kind of Web Site to Build

Whether you are putting up family photos or representing a large corporation, you can create a Web site to meet your needs. The major types of Web pages are listed here to help you decide what type of Web page you want to create:

  • Personal sites: You can also use a personal Web site to share family photos and events. Following these simple rules:

    • What’s on first? The upper part of your Web page needs to make the main point of the site clear.

    • Keep it simple. Start with modest goals and get something up on the Web; then create a list of ways to extend your site.

    • Provide lots of links. One of the best ways to share your interests is to share links to your favorite Web sites, books, and other resources.

    • Consider your privacy. Don’t put anything up on your Web page that you wouldn’t want on a billboard.

  • Picture sites: It’s easier to share pictures on the Web than to mail them around. Here are some tips to help keep your site interesting:

    • Get organized. Post new content at the top of your page.

    • Be a photo editor. One or two photos of a given event are enough to give a flavor of it.

    • Watch the megabytes. Use a photo-editing program to save your files as JPEG images with the appropriate degree of compression.

    • Protect your identity. Make sure not to provide full names, addresses, or phone numbers.

  • Topical sites: Your site can focus on any interest, volunteer group, cause, concern, or obsession. Here are some things to consider:

    • What’s on first? The title of a topical Web page and the first screen need to clarify the page’s topic.

    • Keep focused. A topical Web site loses some of its value if it goes beyond a single topic.

  • Business sites: Business Web sites cover a wide range of styles because their goals and resources vary. Following a few rules can help you create a page that meets your goals:

    • What’s on first? A business Web page should make the name and purpose(s) of your business immediately clear.

    • Get the right look. Make sure that your Web site looks professional.

    • Get permission. Unless you own the business, ask for permission before putting a company page on the open Web.

    • Find experts. Businesses similar to yours likely have Web sites. Look to similar sites for guidance and inspiration.

    • Monitor usage. A good way to measure the use of your site is with a basic hit counter.

  • Entertainment sites: Humorous pages and shared games on online services are now a major presence on the Web. Here are a few suggestions for creating entertainment sites:

    • Keep it fresh. You have to update the content on your entertainment site frequently, or allow participants to provide new content.

    • Push the technology. You probably need to figure out and use at least one advanced Web technology, such as Flash.

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