September 3, 2002-- Newsletter #196
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Goodies to Go (tm)
September 3, 2002--Newsletter #196
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book has just been released!
Goodies Thoughts - What should I put on my Website?
It surprises me how often I hear it. Someone has decided to get themselves a web site, whether its for business or personal, and they say but what should I put on it? Put on it whatever you want to, I think to myself outwardly I try to be a little more helpful! It is an interesting thing, though, because the moment you try to reply you find yourself fumbling: Umm, I dunno.. maybe you could I thought Id try a semi-formal approach that can help to define content for starting a site.
Information is the key. A website is to inform. When it comes to effectively informing somebody about something there is a tried and true formula: Who? What? When? Where? Why? The five Ws. This old formula will work just as well for a website as it does for anything else. Lets take a closer look as we compare the application of this thought process thats really what this formula is all about to the website for a small business and to a family website.
Who? When it comes to the family site theres not much doubt as to the answer! We do need some clarification though. For example, in my case I might need to explain that my site is about the family of Vince Barnes of Central Florida, not the Vince Barnes of Oshkosh Wisconsin (even though he has a really cool name and lives in a town with one of the coolest names in the US!) For a small business this is a very important matter. Jacks Bits, inc. may be clear enough to somebody in the horse business but could be confusing to a tool and die person or even a computer memory manufacturer. Who we are talking about on this website needs to be explained very clearly, right away. We now have start of the content for the first page.
What? A small business offers products, services or both. We need to tell our visitor what we have. From Goldfish and other snacks to rocket fuel to accounting, what we have to offer must be clearly explained next. If our visitor is looking for bar snacks, they dont need to hang around if our goldfish are the kind you put in water. On the family page, what do we have to offer? Do we have a family tree that goes back to Adam? Are there photos of that episode up at the lake? (I do hope so!) Can we take a look at Ted and Alices new baby? You get the idea. Our business site will likely involve more What? than everything else combined. It is critically important that our potential customers fully understand our products and services. For our family site, dont forget what are our plans? Some form of calendar of events can be very useful in deterring Aunt Mabel from one of her surprise visits.
When? When can we deliver your rocket fuel? When is our new book coming out? When are we open? When will we see the results? Business runs by the clock and calendar. Explaining all timing options lets our customers know that we can provide that what they need within their schedule.
Where? Geography is important too. If our site is to offer well drilling services our service area is likely to be fairly small if our wells supply houses with water but may be much larger if we drill oil wells. For a retail store or a restaurant its important that potential customers know where the store is and how to get there. Maps are great try using a link to mapquest.com or a similar mapping site. I explained earlier the importance of location in defining which family we are talking about on our family site. There can also be a down side. It is probably not a good idea to have your website say that you live at 123 4th street and youll be on vacation in Aruba for the first two weeks in September. You may not have much furniture on your return!
Finally there is Why? For our business, this is the opportunity to explain why our potential customer should buy from us instead of elsewhere. What is it that differentiates us? Why are we the best? For our family site, why might not be the most important question but it can certainly be an interesting one: Why are Grandpas earlobes so long? Why dont we have more family gatherings? Creativity can run amuck answering the question Why?!
Using these five questions in this manner will usually result in a good supply of material for the new website. Once the site has been up for a few days with this content in place, there are frequently many suggestions offered as to new content that should be added. Once its on the web, the world can review it and put in their two cents worth.
Thanks for reading!
Q & A Goodies
Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/.
Q. I am very new to HTML. I am having to create a 4 page web site and I have completed my first page. How do I begin the next page?. I'm sure it's extremely simple but I can't find any tags or codes that say, "This is how you begin page two in your web site."
A. Just make a new html page and name it something different than your first page, for example page2.html.
To be able to link to it from your first page just add this html code where you want the link to be on your first page:
<p><a href="page2.html">Page 2</a></p>
Just remember to change "page2.html" to whatever you name your page and place the second page in the same directory or folder as the first one.
Q. I have a website and I change the links on left a lot, and when I do that, I have to change them on all the other pages. That's too much work. Is there any way that I can change a link and all the other pages links change too?
A. There is a way to do that using Server Side Includes (SSI). There is a
tutorial using Active Server Pages (ASP) here:
About half way down the page it starts:
A Useful ASP Example: SSI
The trouble you may run into is that your host may not allow SSI. The server does the work and these will not run with static HTML pages. In this particular case using ASP, your server must support ASP which usually means that the server must be a Windows server. Find out from your host if they support SSI first before doing all the work.
*** and an alternative answer:
Q. Is there anyway that you can refresh two frames at once with a link? I need the code.
A. Here is a link to the htmlgoodies section on frames. This code refreshes 3
frames so just edit it to only refresh the 2 you need.
Its all over for Napster
Napster to be put out to pasture after a Delaware court blocks Bertelsmann's attempts at taking over the bad boy of music file swapping.
Bush Administration to call for
[September 3, 2002] The Bush administration is expected to call for the creation of a federal chief privacy officer to help minimize criticism of increased electronic surveillance capabilities attached to its National Strategy for Securing Cyberspace.
A Blatantly Optimistic Outlook on
Only a short while ago, cable seemed to the the clear front runner for home and small-office broadband connectivity in the U.S. Digital subscriber line (DSL) service seemed in shambles: the leaders in deployment were struggling for survival.
And Remember This . . .
On this day in...
1992, The first PowerPC chips arrived at Apple Computer in Cupertino CA. The PowerPC chip, which was an Apple/IBM/Motorola joint venture, became the basis of the PowerMac.
1991, Italian-born film director Frank Capra (1897-1991) died. Frank Capra's best known films include "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939).
1926, The murder trial of gangster Lefty Lewis started in Cook County, IL. More than a thousand jurors were rejected in this trial, most because they claimed they had already made up their minds. Some of the witnesses received death threats; the house of one was even bombed. On November 18, 1927 the jury acquitted him despite the overwhelming evidence against him.
Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!