Tips for Creating or Improving your Webpage

Whether you want you create a new archery webpage or improve an existing one, or even just want to read another point view, I hope to provide here some general ideas you can use to satisfy these goals. I don't pretend that these ideas are unique or 'the best' or even that they are used by us in the Sagittarius pages. These ideas are just the way I view things at the time I'm writing this.



Get your priorities straight

Something I see very often is a webpage which starts out as a "Look I Made a Webpage Too" page. Very often these pages don't get updated very often and if they do, it's not even done right. Another typical property of this kind of page is the everlasting "Under Construction" notice in various irritating appearances. This is often combined with a page that is never or rarely updated....

Who are the people viewing your page?

  1. Yourself
  2. Club members with an Internet Connection
  3. Archers in your Country
  4. Archers all over the World (!)
  5. Wannabe Archers?
  6. People who just happen to come across your page

This list is ordered both by importance and frequency for a page just starting out. For some pages this list is different, because those pages are created for a specific target-group. With some logical reasoning you can create your page to satisfy the needs of any one of these groups.

Where do they come from?

To get your page linked from other pages, you need to tell the maintainers of those pages about your web-location. Search-engines will usually automatically pick up new pages that are linked from somewhere, but common procedure is to tell them by submitting an URL.
Another common way is from announcements/notifications on paper, by e-mail or in the newsgroups.

Before starting a page, write down the goals you hope to achieve with it.

Each goal carries certain consequences
For example:

Promote the Club
Make sure the people you want to reach know how to reach you, provide a map to the clubs location, phonenumbers of some committee members, snailmail address, e-mail address, etc. But remember too that the Internet is probably the least likely place you will get new members from, better concentrate on the local newspaper.
Promote Archery
This can take any form you like, there are plenty of examples for this both on the Internet and in the Real World.
Provide information for clubmembers
I suppose the same things you put on the clubs clipboard can be used as contents for this kind of information. Things like competition results, handicap ratings (if you have those) upcoming events, best scores, etc.
Provide information for a special group of archers
With special group I mean "Traditional", "Compound", "Target", etc. Archers. Each group has their own special interests and need for information.
Provide information for archers in general
It's very difficult to provide information that interests all archers, so this should probably be called "archers of more than one group". As you may have noticed, the Sagittarius site is set up for this goal. Obviously this is also the category I fall in when viewing (rating!) your site.

General tips for web-pages

Although not the most important aspect of a web-page (that is the contents!), HTML is the "language" used as a medium to get the message across.
In general you want to present the message of your pages to everyone regardless of which browser he/she uses, while still making it look as best as possible for the most frequently used browsers.

Basics for a HTML document

I'm not going to pretend to teach you HTML, other documents exist that are much better at it. I just want to emphasize a few aspects of a html-page that I find are essential in every html-page.
Lets start with a small example page...

No page without ...

Making your page special

Of course, nobody wants his/her page to look like somebody else's page, so oyou want to have something unique to stand out from the crowd. This can take the form of a special background image, a customized buttonbar, a special style in HTML, etc.
Beware! Although tempting, using special tags supported only in the latest version of some browser is nice for you to look at (because you use that browser), but the majority of people who visit your page won't notice anything special or worse, will only see an unreadable page.

Basics for a set of web-pages

The difficulty when creating a (large) set of web-pages is finding an optimum between giving fast access to all pages without it becoming a messy page with lots of links without structure.

There are several ways you can guide your visitors through your pages:
(I'll make some drawings with this when I have time for it)

Important:

When creating index pages, try and keep the number of relevant links to something between 5 and 9. This is just plain simple psychology: people can keep around 7 items in short-term memory (the stuff you use to view web-pages with ;-). when you go much above this number, a visitor will lose overview of the page.

An exeption to this "rule of thumb" is when the data is structured in a meaningful way, like a list of dates or some other ordering related to the subject listed.

Another counter-rule (I got this from Stretch and I agree) is that you should be wary not to let the tree grow too deep (more than 2-3 levels). I know the Sagittarius pages tend to go in this direction, but this is definately not easy to prevent with so many pages.

How to implement navigation points

I'll expand this later, meanwhile think button-bars...

Links to guides about writing HTML

HTML - Style Guides!

Or how to write readable pages

Style Guide for online hypertext
This guide is written by the people who invented the World Wide Web and are central to the development still.
Composing Good HTML
This document attempts to address stylistic points of HTML composition, both at the document and the web level.

Last modified on by Simon Oosthoek
If you have questions and remarks regarding this page, please contact me!