iWeb FAQ - General tips on building a website

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A few general tips you should really take into account when building your website...

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Note: I’m aware that my website is far from perfect and I’m aware that I’m not an omniscient webmaster-guru... Nevertheless there are a few things...



Chapter 1: Before you start

Chapter 2: Notes about the navigation menu

Chapter 3: How to make your website be successful. Get visitors.

Chapter 4: Making money with a website. Advertising. And: Do not overload!

Chapter 5: Things to keep in mind




Chapter 1: Before you start


If you think about the website before you start building it this will save you a lot of time and trouble later on.

What should the website be about? How should you organize it? What other services would you like to integrate (Guestbook, Facebook, AddToAny, Comments, ...)? Make some sketches on a piece of paper for what concerns the look you want to give your website, the navigation, where you want to place comments or Facebook on the page, ... to build your own theme (kind of). Always leave some empty space, you never know what else you'd like to integrate later on.


If you really want to build a website, a serious website, do pay for a real hosting. You will find some suggestions here. Free hosting services are limited, unreliable, have poor support and you may not be able to install all blogs or forums or whatever you may want to install. A good hosting really doesn't have to be expansive nowadays. The hosting I'm using perhaps offers plans starting from 3.95$/month (and the domain yourdomain.com is already included) which I think is quite affordable. It will really save you a lot of time and trouble. I recently see people who use Dropbox to host their websites. That's among the worst ideas I've seen so far so don't do it or don't bother me with the problems you're running into when trying to do that.


Always keep in mind that a website takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I think people often underestimate the amount of work behind it.



Chapter 2: Notes about the navigation menu


The navigation is the heart of every website and should be made as easy and clean as possible. If the content of your website is great but the navigation is a mess then the whole website gets to be a mess. Per default iWeb automatically adds every single page you add to it to the navigation menu. If you have 20 pages on your website 20 pages will show up in the navigation menu. I sometimes see those kind of websites. The navigation menu takes about half the height of the screen. Does that look good?




No! Of course not! It’s a total no-go!


The menu should take only one, maximum two rows. Group the content of your website into main categories/topics and only have the main categories showing up in the menu. That looks much cleaner and clearer. Much better organized. Well structured. Hence much more intuitive to navigate and people will certainly like it.


Have a look at the Navigation menu FAQ chapter and the chapters about other menus for more informations and tutorials on how to have pages which do not display in the navigation bar and much more.



Chapter 3: How to make your website be successful. Get visitors.


Always keep in mind: Nothing comes from nothing. It’s always a lot of work. If you don’t do anything for its success it will most likely not be successful.


First thing to do is, of course, have it appearing on the major search engines. First of all Google. Google has more than 70% market share. In addition to that if your website appears on Google it is more than likely that it will appear on the other major search engines as well.


Communities are another important source of visitors. No matter what you build your website about you will find a lot of Forums where people discuss about the topic of your website. Be part of these communities and build your website to become a reference for all the people in the community. Hopefully they will later promote it themselves. The best advertising is still the mouth to mouth propaganda. When this happens you know you’re doing a great job. Beware: do not blindly post the link everywhere, that’s spamming which is the wrong way, not appreciated and has the opposite effect of the desired one. It always has to have something to do with the topic that is being discussed.


Social-networking. In the past few years social-networking got to be more and more important. Whether it is Twitter, MySpace or Facebook they are all places where a lot of people get together and interact with each other. Source of an incredible amount of possible-visitors. Make it easy for your visitors to share your website on these networks and be part of them yourself.


The most important part of a website is its content and especially its text-content. If your website doesn't get the visitors you would like it to get it probably is because your website doesn't contain what people are looking for or it doesn't contain the keywords people are searching for in its text-content. Hence try to find out what people are searching for, keep working on the text and keep improving the text on your website and use synonyms. Another possibility would be that there are already a lot of websites like yours, try to be different.



Chapter 4: Making money with a website. Advertising. And: Do not overload!


Read it in the free sample of my iWebFAQ.org E-Book which you can download here for free.



Chapter 5: Things to keep in mind



Read it in the free sample of my iWebFAQ.org E-Book which you can download here for free.




If you have any other must have tip share it on my Forum. Thank you!




This FAQ is also discussed in my iWebFAQ.org E-Book (sample)


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