Learn all about HTML, how to format text, add images, create tables,
meta taga, and more!
applications like drop down menus, clocks, dynamic messages, popup
boxes, and more.
Concise, easy to follow introdction to CGI and how to install CGI
A miscellanous section that includes various web design tutorials
web development mistakes
This tutorial is written
and contributed by Marnie Pehrson.
See footnote for more info.
Over the last few years, I've worked with
several companies in the development of larger-scale, funded Web sites.
During this time, I've seen some mistakes made that can totally undermine
the success of the Web project. I call these the 7 Deadly Web
- High Initial Programming Costs.
A common mistake is to spend too much initially on programming before
you prove that the site can draw traffic. For example, let's say your
Internet site accepts classifieds. You could either post them manually
for a while until your traffic is built up, or you could spend
thousand(s) having this system automated immediately. Money would be
better spent on marketing than on expensive programming until the site
builds up enough traffic.
- Funding Fixed Expenses Too Soon.
Another mistake is to spend valuable funding on fixed expenses.
Renting an office, buying a building, paying for roll-over lines and
hiring employees can all fall into this category. Unless you have the
sales to warrant these expenditures, let them wait! You can easily run
an Internet presence from your home on a shoestring.
- Buying Servers and Dedicated Lines
Too Soon. It's usually not necessary to buy servers and have
dedicated T1 or T3 connections from the start. Just because you expect
to have large amounts of traffic doesn't mean you will have this
traffic immediately. You can start off with a $30-$50 account with
your domain on a server owned by an ISP and save yourself these
- Not Testing the Waters. Never
just assume that your idea will work because it makes sense on paper.
Instead of spending all the money to go whole-hog, consider taking
your growth in phases. Test your product or service on a site that
isn't automated or doesn't have the most commercial graphics possible.
As long as you have an attractive, organized design you will be ok.
Test and see if your products or services sell on a small scale. Then,
when you see sales and have tracked some traffic-to-sale ratios,
you'll be ready to consider more expansive measures.
- Misappropriating Advertising
Dollars into Development. Another common mistake is to spend so
much money on development that you don't have anything left for
advertising. Even the slickest site won't bring in visitors (or sales)
if you don't advertise and promote it. Don't waste valuable marketing
dollars on bells and whistles.
- Assuming that if we build it they
will come. It's becoming increasingly more difficult to promote
Web sites through search engines and directories to get the traffic
you need. Targeted on-line and off-line advertising and promotion will
be necessary for success.
- Demanding Perfection Immediately.
Too many people want everything perfect before they go live. While you
waste all your time trying to get everything perfect, the Internet
changes, someone else runs with the same idea. *Getting there first*
is often more important than *Getting there perfect.* Apply the 80-20
rule to projects instead. You can get up and running and testing the
validity of your product on-line with 20% of the time, resources and
money. Wait to spend 80% of your resources polishing that last 20%
once you've proven the stability of your site.
Now you may think I'm telling you to take
things slow, and you're afraid if you're an overnight success you won't be
prepared for the extra bandwidth, traffic, mass sales, etc. This needn't
be the case. Plan everything in advance. Research all your costs
associated with success ahead of time. Have these upgrades waiting in the
wings. Know exactly how you'll accommodate increased traffic and increased
sales. Go with an ISP that has a growth plan available to help you move
from one phase of success to the next without a glitch.
Spec out your expansion plan and get
quotes from programmers and developers before you go live. Decide on
exactly which developers, programmers and graphic designers you will use
and have them ready to upgrade your site as needed. If you have all your
research done ahead of time, you will have minimal growing pains and will
have maximum use of your precious capital.
Marnie L. Pehrson is the founder of
C.E.S. Business Consultants and the International Association of Computer
Professionals. She's an Internet strategist and content developer who
creates industry specific Web communities. Check out more of her work at Pehrson