By Ken Mathie
Okay, so you have decided that you're going to go with a web site for your E-Zine. Good choice. You can have more content and less chance that people won't get your emails. But before you go jump into doing this, you better have a decent idea of how you're going to lay out the whole thing. Designing a web site isn't very hard, but there are some basic things that you need to know or your E-Zine web site could turn into the biggest horror since Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
The one thing you can't assume is that everybody in the Internet world has a high speed connection. Even though these are becoming more common place, there are still a large number of people who are still in dial-up. So the last thing you want to do is build a web site that takes the average user a year and a day to load. They're not going to hang around for the main attraction if they can't even get past the preview real.
So what exactly does this mean?
For starters, keep graphics to a minimum. Yes, you want your web site to look nice and an all text site can be pretty dull, but you don't want to have so many images on your pages that the pages themselves take so long to load. You might want to limit your images to one or two per page. Also, when uploading images you want to make sure that they are as optimized as possible. In other words,
many times an image that is originally 600K can easily be compressed to 56K and not lose much of its quality. A good program like Paint Shop Pro or Adobe will do the trick.
Another thing you want to do in order to keep your E-Zine organized and easy to get through is to make sure you have a main menu on each page so that the visitors to your E-Zine can easily get from one page to another, unless of course your E-Zine is just one page. Then a menu is not necessary.
A big thing these days is Flash presentations. While these are real nice to look at, they can also be bandwidth hogs. If you have a Flash presentation that is quite extensive and somebody is on dial-up, there is a good chance that they will never get past the first page of your site. In order to get around this problem, and still keep your Flash presentation, you should have a link on your main page that allows the visitor to skip the Flash presentation. That way if they don't want to, or can't view it, they don't have to.
Obviously, in addition to all of this, you want to build your site using conventional Search Engine Optimization strategies and good web site design. You don't want to have too much info on a page. If your E-Zine article is long, divide it up into several pages with a link at the bottom of the first page to get to the next.
Rule of thumb. Take a look at your web page after you have designed it and ask yourself if this is a site that YOU would enjoy coming to.
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Copyright 2006 Ц Ken Mathie. Editor PMCezine...
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