How to build a homepage?
This part of my website has been discontinued. It will probably remain here for quite a while, but it will no longer be updated and may eventually disappear altogether. The rest of my website has moved to http://www.fiikus.net. For more information, please see http://www.fiikus.net/?websitemove.
So, you are building a homepage or other website, aren't you? What do you need to know? First you need web space. What? You have to put your pages to some server computer. Pages don't just float in the Internet - they are stored in server computers. If your Internet service provider doesn't give you any, don't worry, there are many free servers.
- Angelfire, 20 megs quota. Bandwidth restrictions. Popups or banner ads. Frontpage extensions, blog builder, counter and formmail.
- Geocities, 15 MB space, guestbook, counter and form mail. Very easy pagebuilder with Java. Pretty popular. There are many editors. Popup or banner ads. Bandwidth restrictions.
- Tripod, you now get 20 megs, guestbooks and other stuff. Popup ads.
- The Express Page, strange system and no image uploads allowed.
- FortuneCity, you'll get 25 megs. Told to be very unreliable.
- ProHosting, 50 megabytes disk space, FTP account, CGI and SSI.
- gURLpage, 11 megs space limit and requires a free gURLmail email addy.
- Envy.nu, a good 100 MB quota, nice URLS (name.envy.nu), page statistics, banner ads.
- Brinkster, 15 MB space with no ads at all. ASP support.
- Webspawner.com, no idea, seems restricted.
- Bravenet.com, quota of 50 MB, banner ads, plenty of services like a guestbooks, forums and counters.
- Freeservers.com, 12 MB for files, maximum file size 256KB, no FTP access
- Freewebs, 40 MB quota with counters, statistics, guestbook, CGI, PERL, and stuff, no ads.
- Topcities, 150 MB of webspace with a personal subdomain, guestbook, form mail and message board.
- Worldzone, 50 MB quota with 1 GB of monthly bandwidth, banner ads, filetype restrictions
Counters and page stats
Other nice sites
- Don't create a page if you have nothing to say.
- You don't need some stuff just because everyone else's pages have it.
- Learn HTML.
- Always take backups of your pages if you use a web-based editor. Really. Do that.
- Make sure that your links work.
- Update often enough.
- Include your email address and time of last update on your site.
- Never move your pages unless necessary. Kewl URL is not a reason. If you do move, search Altavista for "link:http://yourpages.address" and notify all the people who have linked your page about the change.
- Don't keep too much stuff on one page.
- Test your pages with different browsers, operating systems and resolutions.
- Check your spelling.
- Use a describing title - not something like "My homepage". Titles should never begin with the word "Welcome".
- Separate internal links and links to other sites.
- WYSIWYG editors such as Microsoft Frontpage can really screw up the code.
- Remember to close off all the tags that require it.
- Use ALT-texts and height and width attributes in image tags.
- Use META-tags.
- Don't target your links into a new window, it is confusing and useless. People can do it themselves if they want to.
- New versions of Paint Shop Pro (which is an excellent shareware image editor) show the hex value of a color in the color picker.
- If you use an HTML editor, make sure that the links and image URL's point to relative directories and not something like "c:\my pages\images".
- Remember that you have to include http:// in the beginning of URL links and mailto: in front of email links or otherwise they don't work.
- Always end your entities with a semicolon, because otherwise they won't work in most browsers.
- Use images in moderation.
- Don't write in all caps. It's harder to read.
- Links should be easy to distinguish. Other text should never be underlined or blue to avoid confusion. Use a different color for visited links.
- Textareas and fields should always be big enough.
- Don't have background and text with too similar colours. There are people with 16 and 256 color screens and also color-blind people.
- Design a (color) theme for your pages - OK, I haven't done it, but you should :-)
- Don't vary font sizes and faces too much.
- Avoid content that looks like advertising. People tend to skip those parts.
- Never use the blink tag! It makes people go insane. Underline, marquee or too big fonts don't look very good either.
- Links should never have the words "click here".
- There's no need to include the current time or date on the page. People have clocks and calendars if they need them.
- Never link a page to itself.
- If you must include a Flash intro, include a way to skip it.
- Always use an internation format for displaying dates. 5/6 can mean either 5th June or 6th May.
My pet peeves about web pages
- People announcing their "fantastic pages" with nothing there except for a sign saying "Sorry, this is under construction".
- URLs like www.provider.com/this_is_my_home_nest or www.provider.com/you_stole_the_sun_from_my_heart.
- Popup polls.
- Flash layouts.
- Tiling backgrounds.
- The Comic Sans MS font - unless used on children's pages.
- Animated "bullets".
- Text written in all bold.
- Internet Exploiter only pages.
- "Enter here" index pages with nothing more than one image or a few words.
- Pages with 200 banners, ads and link buttons.
- Photos or similar pictures used as background images, unless they're processed to be very smooth and light in color.
Tips for creating web-savvy images
- Use JPEG for background textures, photos, scanned paintings etc and GIF or GIF for logos and other "clean pictures". That way you save in size and have better quality images. Never use BMP.
- Even if your GIFs have the same background color as your pages, make them transparent, as they might not fit the background in 256 color mode.
- Always antialias the texts in images if possible.
- GIFs have a 256 color palette by default. If the actual picture doesn't have that many colors, reducing the amount of colors saves a lot of size.
- JPEGs should be compressed enough, but not too much. 15-30% (compression, not quality) or 6-9 in the scale of 1-10 is usually good for photos.
- A good trick on how to make noisy webcam photos look a bit better: use gaussian blur or median cut.
- Thumbnails for picture galleries are a must.
- Don't have too much detail in small pictures, they're hard to figure out.
- Always resize JPEGs with bilinear resample and not bicubic, gives much better results.
Pages created by Maija Haavisto. Last updated: 11th February 2005