As your site grows you can always add new interactive features. The next one on our list for example is a text based search function because with our site containing more and more information it might become unwieldy.
Also, it depends on what your site is all about. Provided you follow the idea I gave you above and you create a pub and restaurant guide for the area you live in it goes without saying that it should be an interactive database offering various search features.
Quite a good example for such a database can be found at www.goodguides.co.uk
This website is well organized and navigation quite easy. It comes with a searchable database which is a must for this type of site. By now you should have teamed up with a web programmer who is capable of setting up and administering SQL data bases.
Update Your Site regularly
This sounds blindingly obvious, doesn''t it? Well, it''s not. It''s frequently an often over-looked fact: Of all the domains registered only 50% or so are really used, that means they host a website. And at least 50% of those websites are built once and then never updated again. You see, the biggest challenge for a website owner is not to create and publish it. You can accomplish this within a rather short period of time. Sure, there are many companies which use their website just as an electronic business card some type of modern stationary. Yet, you want to create and establish an internet based business. So, you must update your website on a regular basis at least once a week or even better: Every Day
. We officially launched english-test.net on July 1st of 2003 and ever since that date we have updated our site every single day. Slava created a number of tools that allow Alan and me to publish new contents without any specific skills. We have some basic HTML knowledge which wouldn''t be sufficient to edit our site as often as we do know. Alan writes several new tests each week using Microsoft Word. He then sends the file to me via email and I use the program Slava has created specifically for us to put Alan''s tests online. The program is very simple for me to use yet Slava made a major effort to set it up. This is exactly what tools are all about: Once you have created them they increase your productivity immensely allowing you to save time and organize your work.
Another important feature that keeps our site up to date and makes it grow on a daily bases is the NetLog
, an electronic diary. Slava has set up an SQL database that I can administer myself while he concentrates on other tasks. Here are the stages on which the NetLog is run:
- Several times a week I write a short text covering the events of the day.
- I send the text to Alan via email and he amends and edits it.
- I convert the text into HTML using a program called EditPlus.
- I access our online database and create a new entry.
After every four entries have been made the system automatically creates a new page which is indexed by Google thus stabilizing our search engine position. Actually our system even generates two pages because each page has also a print version. More on this in the SEO chapters.
When you add new interactive features to your website you always have to ask yourself this question: «Is our site easy to use for our visitors?» Most of the new technologies are designed for one single purpose: To make our lives simpler. Please, keep also in mind people have a tendency to stick to their habits. So, when you introduce a new function on your website, make sure to give sufficient explanations and support. Don''t assume that everybody has the same technical understanding as you. We have visitors who up until lately didn''t know how a hyperlink works and this was not because they had a low level of education but they had started to use the internet only a couple of weeks before.
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If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.
Author: Torsten Daerr & Alan Townend