CHECK FOR PROBLEMS
Once you think your site is just right and uses the best techniques to
get listed and get a high ranking with search engines and directories, you should get
your site checked out. Get a free
diagnostic test of your web site from NetMechanic.
They use Power Tools that will check your web page and tell you if your links are working,
check your html to see if it has been done correctly and if important tags are missing,
check the browser capability, test the load time, and even do a spell check.
PROPER HTML CODE IS IMPORTANT
Html code is not universally read. Netscape can see some that Internet
Explorer cannot, and vice versa. Older versions of both may not see much at all of what
you want them to. If you only have one of these browsers, add the other so you can see how
your pages look to more visitors. Maybe 75 percent use Internet Explorer, but 25 percent
of countless millions of people is still a large enough visitor base that you shouldn't
just count them out. So, some of the html tags do really neat things to your text or images,
and only some people will see them. But, if your html code is written against the rules,
it is possible that most people will not see what you want them to. The older the browser,
the more this comes into play. There are sites that will tell you which browsers and which
versions of those browsers can see all of your html (like NetMechanic:
Power Tools for Your Web Site),
and some will let you actually view your pages through the eyes of a browser you don't
One place you can check to see how code should be written and its results is HTML
MONITOR SIZES AND RESOLUTIONS COUNT
How Will Your Site Measure Up?
Another consideration concerning the variety out there is monitor size.
Some sites allow you to see your pages in different resolutions. Many people have large
monitors now and use the highest resolution, so that's how you built your site. Go ahead
and "see" what people with a smaller monitor will see. A large section of your content is
hidden from view. Those visitors may not even know there is more content to be seen if
they use the scroll bar at the bottom of the page. If that area of your page contains a lot
of text, do you think your visitors want to read your words by scrolling back and forth?
Let's go the other way. You made your pages only as wide as the smallest monitor (Hopefully
not including webTV!). What people with larger monitors see is your skinny old page in a
huge background of nothing. You can make your page size and items on your pages adaptable
to all monitor sizes by using percentage sizes instead of set sizes. We'll tell you more
about that later.
Even text differences between browsers and monitors can be surprising.
Your font looks perfect to you, but is so teeny to others that they can't read your words
at all or at least not comfortably enough to stick around. You may have used a method to
make some of your text larger, smaller, italic, or even a different color. That also took
a lot of your valuable time. If you use the wrong method, only some people can see all of
your hard work, and others will see no changes - just plain old boring text.
SLOW PAGES ARE NEVER SEEN
If your site doesn't load quickly enough, lots of your potential
customers will leave without ever seeing it. The ones who stay long enough to see your
site may not bookmark it to see it again later because it is too slow.
Images For Speed And More
One of the best ways to speed up a web site is to shrink the size of
the photos and graphics. First, turn your jpgs into gifs - which are much smaller in
byte size for the same look. Then, "crunch" your gifs for free with the
Free GIF Optimizer. This can make your gif 35%, 45%, 60% its starting size - more for
those involving less detail. Imagine how much faster your site will load - possibly 35%,
45% to 60% (or more) faster. GIFCruncher also offers a free JPG cruncher. You can also
try NetMechanic's GIFBot
Cropping your photographs is extremely important, both to look more
professional and to save time on loading. A good place to look for bad examples is ebay.
So many sellers show a picture of the item so teeny you can't make it out inside a view of
their entire living room! Bad form. Unless, of course, they did this on purpose so you
just think they are too dumb to think of cropping - but the real reason is that their item
is so full of flaws that they don't want you to see it any better! (Check out our site on
Ebay Secrets for more on that subject.)
On the normal internet web page, you do want the image to be seen clearly. This may mean
that you need to sharpen the image more after shrinking it. And, what better way to shrink
a large image than to cut off the extra junk around the edges that either have no meaning
or just take up valuable space.
Proper Coding Is Again Essential
Proper coding (html, dhtml, xhtml, css, etc.) is extremely important in
loading time. A race can be run much faster on a smooth path than a bumpy road with lots
of turns and deadends. Style sheets (css) allow for the smoothest coding and the fastest
load time since you can put most of your code in a place completely separate from your web
page, which can make your page so much smaller.
Spyware And Adware Are Speed Killers
Spyware and adware are rampant on the internet. They add programs to
your computer without your permission or knowledge. They can also allow your credit card
information and passwords to be sent back to the program owner. And, as if that weren't
enough, they can slow your computer down to a crawl.
SUBMITTING YOUR SITE AS PROMOTION
When you are ready to submit your site, you can use
Add Me!. They will help you submit
your site to 25 search engines for free.
Your submission to a directory won't show up for months, so just be
patient and don't bug them. You need to keep up with submittals to search engines. If
your site is not listed with a search engine within a few weeks, it may have been missed
so you can try again. As your site improves, list it again in case the search engines were
not ready for a new cycle of their own yet.
A search engine will usually grab your entire site, so you don't have
to list pages individually. But, you can list individual pages if they are very different.
When doing this, keep it down to one page per week so the search engines don't think you
are spamming them.