Whole site design
Color and Graphics
Planning -- Content
Make sure there is a good reason for people to visit your site. Forget "If I make it, they will come." and think "If they need to, they will come."
Designing a web site is always about compromise. Concensus is impossible. But the good news is, it can change
the instant you decide to do so. What to include and how it should look is always up to you.
No matter what type of content you plan to offer, never forget the basics:
- Contact information/ webmaster address. Your users must be able to provide feedback.
- Last update date. Users need to know your information is accurate and up to date.
- Credits. Who created the page? Who owns the copyright? A proper copyright notice consists of
three things: 1) the letter "C" in a circle (called the "copyright symbol"), or the word "Copyright," or
the abbreviation "Copr."; 2) the year of first publication; 3) the name of the copyright owner.
Existing and new information
What you already have. Handouts, schedules, directories, "frequently asked questions," forms. Use forms
for comments and requests. These can be as simple as "print this, fill it out and mail to ..." or involve real web-based forms and CGI scripts.
Link, link, link
Remember, this is the web. Include links to other sites and documents already available (and avoid reproducing content already in
existence). Think of links as cross-references -- they can appear everywhere. CAUTION: Like cross-references, too many links can
get confusing. Link in an organized way and make sure you are clear about where the link will take the user. Of course, links get old -- you will
occasionally need to check that they work or employ a links checker to do the job.
Is the information you want to provide of a sensitive nature? You may have to consider a restricting
access to all or a part of your site -- by IP restriction or by password.