Ways to please your visitor

1: Browser/platform compatibility

Your visitor expects your site to work in their browser/platform at all times.

Solution – provide a site that works in all modern browsers and platforms.

Benefits – He or she can now wait for your site to load knowing that – at the least, they can access it. (First base is a major step!)

2: Load time

Your visitor is very very impatient and has the attention span of a 15 year old grey haired dog with arthritis in it’s knees and a bowl with no dog food in it.

Solution – provide him/her with a super quick loading web site.

Benefits – He or she will be so pleased they may just look further into your web site and see if it holds them to interest.

3: Design

Your visitor is very critical and expects a professional design at least for their time.

Solution – provide him or her with a very nice, clean and professional layout.

Benefits – He or she will be impressed and may decide to venture even further.

4: Navigation

Your visitor is on the prowl and wants to find what they are looking for yesterday.

Solution – provide him or her with a navigation system that enables a quick and an effective route to what they are looking for.

Benefits – He or she will be very pleased they may spend some time on your site discovering if what they found is of value to them.

5: Content

Your visitor demands the very best – best being 22 carrot gold not that awful gold plated rubbish.

Solution -provide him or her with up to the date content that is easy to understand, writing and produced well and to the point.

Benefits – He or she will be very pleased they may even bookmark your site for future reference.

Access + quick loading + professional design + excellent navigation + great content = a very competent web site that should serve the purpose of both yourself and more importantly your visitors.

In these days and age people are demanding more from a web site and so they should. There is no excuses any more. We have all the tools available to build competent web sites to a professional standard. We don’t have to be a pro we just need tounderstand the visitor more – and boy are they/we demanding.

Free Webmaster Tools

Just about anyone with a computer and an internet connection can make a website. Creativity and purpose though, solely rests on the author’s shoulders.  There are plenty of free web hosting services out there and you only have to look for one that suits your needs. Features like customizability, available space, uploading/downloading method and scripting are usually what sets these free hosting sites apart from one another. If you find these sites too limiting for you, paid web hosting sites are available and they do provide more advanced features like larger web spaces and a more intuitive interface for site management. The good support, bandwidth and uptime percentage absolutely makes the paid web hosting sites a favorite for people who are trying to create a website for their business.

Whether you are putting up a website for your business or if you are just a hobbyist, you will have needs that both the paid and free web hosting sites won’t be able to satisfy. That’s where tools that enhance your website comes in. Like a site director supervising in an actual physical site, the webmaster needs certain tools and apparatus’ that are essential in running a website. Basic web tools like guest books, counters and link checkers are some of the staple tools that every good website should have. Aside from increasing the efficiency of your website, these tools also enable site administrators to gather some statistical data that will help in the upkeep and development of the site.

A byproduct of that statistical data, personally, is the gratifying or dejecting experience to see how many hits you had (or lack of it) in your site for one day or since its inception. More advanced web tools like meta-tag generators, link popularity and Google predictors assist in making your site’s net presence more visible to a bigger and more relevant crowd. More utilities and tools that function to augment your website are out there. Fortunately, there are websites that exist for the sole purpose of being a “toolbox” for webmasters. These nifty sites are invaluable in that aside from providing free tools, they also include information about how to use the tools provided.

Nothing is more frustrating than having to figure things out for yourself in a trial and error manner, which consumes too much time. Crafting, constructing and designing will really be easier and faster with the aid of these toolbox websites. The time you save in formatting, organizing and devising your website can be used in making or researching for the content on your site. Content being the primary reason as to why people would visit your site.

What better way to get you started on the internet than by making your presence known via your own personal website. And, what better way to create the perfect site than to use free and readily available tools in the net. If you know your way around cyberspace then you’ll surely appreciate the advanced tools that make maintaining and gathering information from your website a breeze.

Webmasters responsibilities

The Webmaster or Web Manager is a strange and varied beast, something of a jack-of-all-trades. The role demands an attitude that supports self-help, constant upskilling, and a vigilant eye on technology. A Webmasters responsibilities can vary greatly between organisations of various types and sizes.

It’s not unusual for a Webmaster to be expected to posses some skill and take part in a range of traditional IT roles for web related services or projects.

Irrespective of who traditionally performed them, following are some typical tasks that are potentially a Webmaster’s responsibility in a larger organisation with one or more web servers.


- Educating Authors and Customers
- Generating Log Reports
- Publishing & Managing Content
- Securing the Website and Servers
- Managing user/group accounts
- Interacting with clients
- Monitoring/Tuning server Performance
- Server-side Programming / ASP or PHP
- Client-side scripting / DHTML and JavaScript
- Templates creation for Authors
- User & Technical Documentation
- Upskilling & Following technology
- Website promotion and SEO

Continue reading

How to review a website?

I’m fortunate to be able to review many websites each day. Learning from the successes and failures of others is important to the success of my own current and future endeavors and equally important to readers of Website Magazine. But on what criteria should a website be judged? While there are no hard and fast rules to what makes one website “better” than another, when you look at professional and novice websites day in and day out, you end up getting a pretty good handle on what is going to work and what’s not.

Never one to cast the first virtual stone at the hard work of designers and web professionals, here are a few guidelines that I personally use each and every day to assess the overal design of a Web presence:

- Is the Design “pleasing?”
This is completely subjective, but most of us know when a design is pleasing. Mismatched colors and a variety of fonts only cause many to simply back away and perhaps never come back. Not only ugly, such sites look unprofessional and cause feelings of mistrust. How do you know if your website design is pleasing? Ask someone without a vested interest in you business or whom you trust and chances are good you’ll get a honest answer.

- Is the website “innovative?”
I am a proponent of using publically available templates for website design, whether they are from sources like OSWD or those that are found individually and used for WordPress blogs. When experts look at thousands of websites and notice that 10 or 20 feature the exact the same design, there is simply no way you’ll appear innovative, regardless of how innovative the idea or content being presented.

- Is the content “appealing?”
Here’s another tricky one. Content is typically appealing only to specific groups. Some of us are interested in benefits, others are interested in features. How does a designer satisfy both goals? Images assist greatly in developing “appeal.” If you know the audience, you’ll be able to find an image that reflects their demographic.

- Is the website “easy-to-use?”
There’s nothing more discouraging than website features that don’t work. Actually, scratch that – in fact there is. It’s the complicated, endless stream of navigation that turns off users (who will never return) more than it is broken links. The reason is that Web experts, just like consumers, are forgiving – but only to a certain point. Fail to explain how something works on the site or force detailed registration to access information and you’ll elicit some negative feelings with your potential customers. You need to identify your audience and give them what they want with as few clicks and hassles as possible.

- Does the website “meet it’s own goals?”
This is perhaps the most important point to consider when assessing a website. Often Web professional think more is better when, in reality, less is more. Not forcing users to make multiple decisions will benefit your bottom line. Have 10 goals for your website’s landing page? Cut it down to three and the conversion rate on all will be much better and earnings much higher. Don’t make users think – they won’t, they’ll just leave.

Webmaster Tasks and Responsibilities

The Webmaster or Web Manager is a strange and varied beast, something of a jack-of-all-trades. The role demands an attitude that supports self-help, constant upskilling, and a vigilant eye on technology. A Webmasters responsibilities can vary greatly between organisations of various types and sizes.

It’s not unusual for a Webmaster to be expected to posses some skill and take part in a range of traditional IT roles for web related services or projects.

Irrespective of who traditionally performed them, following are some typical tasks that are potentially a Webmaster’s responsibility in a larger organisation with one or more web servers..


- Educating Authors and Customers
- Generating Log Reports
- Publishing & Managing Content
- Securing the Website and Servers
- Managing user/group accounts
- Interacting with clients
- Monitoring/Tuning server Performance
- Server-side Programming / ASP or PHP
- Client-side scripting / DHTML and JavaScript
- Templates creation for Authors
- User & Technical Documentation
- Upskilling & Following technology
- Website promotion and SEO