Resolve in 1999 to Create Web Site or Make Your Existing One Better
Szadkowski, Joseph, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
The Browser met some very interesting people in 1998, including Philippe Cornu, owner of Aphco International Inc. (www.aphco.com) in Orlando, Fla. He has been working with the Internet for 20 years and spent time talking to developers in Bern, Switzerland, when Mosaic (the software that enables users to create Web sites and share information over the Internet) was created.
Mr. Cornu had some free advice for the new year, offering the following top 10 Web-site resolutions for Webmasters and site owners.
RESOLUTION 1: Make sure your Web site does not contain spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Just as you would double check a company brochure or newspaper advertisement for typographical mistakes, always do the same with your Web site. Never count on the person creating the site to do this.
Web sites are now an important medium being used to communicate to potential clients information they need to know. A typographical or grammatical error in a Web site is no more acceptable than one found in a business brochure or letter.
RESOLUTION 2: Make sure your business name, address, phone number and e-mail address are on your Web site.
Would you buy a product or service from someone you do not know? Probably not. A company's phone number, mailing address and e-mail address must be on every business Web site.
It is truly amazing to me how many sites have forgotten to put this information on their front page. Either they have omitted it totally or buried it under employment opportunities or a media section filled with press releases.
A Web site means that you can reach more clients, not that you can make it harder for clients to reach you.
RESOLUTION 3: Check your Web site using different browsers and different screen sizes so that it is viewable by the majority of the people.
A Web site's appearance can change depending on the browser software used (Netscape, America Online, Internet Explorer) and a monitor's screen size (640x480, 800x600, etc.). Make sure the company that creates your Web site verifies that the site formats properly in all the main browsers and screen sizes.
It can also appear differently on Macintosh and PC monitors. You do not want to lose one customer because your site won't scroll or because it looks unprofessional on the screen.
RESOLUTION 4: Make sure that the gizmos and other enhancements used on your site are important for selling the product or service.
Don't forget who is looking at your site.
Most visitors to a Web site will not wait more than 30 seconds for something to load. If a potential client does not have the proper configuration of audio and video players or Shockwave downloads, entering into your site might become more trouble than it is worth.
Having these multimedia enhancements may impress you or your Web designer, but they may also have potential clients searching for your competitor's site while they are waiting for yours to download.
RESOLUTION 5: Make sure that you have "meta tags" defined with "keywords" so that search engines can find your Web site.
Search engines are the gateway to the World Wide Web, and the only way your site is going to appear on those engines is if the right keywords have been coded into Web pages. We have had many people call us to ask why their site's hits are so low, only to learn that this most basic step has not be taken or has been done incorrectly.
RESOLUTION 6: Don't spend a great deal of money upfront for all the bells and whistles for your site. …