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  #1  
Old 09-30-2004, 11:21 AM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 2,569
Building a site? A few pointers:

As a long-time Web app designer/mgr/guru, I can offer a couple of key things for when you guys are building your sites:

- keep designing at 800x600 screen resolution, even though the higher res lcd flat screen monitors offer significantly higher res. if you design for those guys, you will create massive scrolling for half of your market.

- keep your images at 72dpi. you're file size will be significantly smaller and more importantly, anything higher resolution will be wasted. current technology only allows an end-user to see a screen res of 72dpi.

- use .jpg/.jpeg for photographic images

- use .gif for flat color images, such as logos.

- don't bother with flash technology, or worse, java applets that you get with the Frontpage software. these often take too much time to load, and with LCO's, what would the purpose be to use them? a high-end scheduling app maybe you would want flash, but other than that, it's just a bell and whistle that may exclude some potential customers.

-dump any musical loops. why spend time having something useless load when you could be having photos of your work load? ask yourself if you enjoy telephone "hold" music. howabout hold music that preempts finding out who you've actually called? it's similar to that and odds are, your visitors are not coming to your site to hang out and listen to a bad midi clip. if they don't have their speakers on, they won't know it, but they'll know your site loaded to slow. why risk losing them?

- don't bother with a whiz-bang intro page. get your customer to your home page as quick as you can. it's very easy to lose someone if they have to wait for a page to load just so that they can click yet another button that says "enter my site".

- one absolutely invaluable, and free, tool that i can't live without?
BrowserSizer from applythis.com
this allows you to launch windows that are set to display how your site will look on various resolutions or browsers/platforms.

- don't forget to get keywords in to your page header code so search engines can properly index you:
meta name="keywords" content="lawn service, mowing, landscaping"
meta name="description" content="Home Page of Bob's Lawn Service"

- KEEP YOUR SITE UPDATED. Too many sites have a "Last Update Date" on it, and often it's ooooold. Dump that date thing and if you have dated materials on them, such as coupons, keep 'em current. It increases your professionalism.

Any other additions?

Tony,
Dayton, Ohio
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2004, 12:02 AM
SellPoint SellPoint is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 32
Don't use a background that takes attention away from your foreground.
Don't underline words unless they are linked to another page.
Keep it simple.
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Hmmm..... that house looks empty, the grass is kinda tall.....
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2004, 06:37 PM
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mdvaden mdvaden is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Westside Oregon
Posts: 1,833
Sellpoint, I wish more people would apply that background / foreground principle.
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200 Pages and Growing

Coast Redwoods . . . Landscaping Portland & Tree Service . . . M. D. Vaden Photography

http://www.lawnsite.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=9938&dateline=1262369890
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2004, 06:38 AM
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mtdman mtdman is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: A2, Michigan
Posts: 3,124
Good points, all across. MD Vaden, your webpage is very nice. I like it.

I think overall, it's important to remember WHO you are creating the page for. I think in the case of lawn care and the green industry, you shouldn't be looking to impress anyone with fancy moving pictures, flames, sounds, flashing text, etc. Heck, you should never do that, IMO. Most people will be coming to your page to find out about YOU and YOUR COMPANY. They don't care what you learned to do with a webpage from a book, or what you cut and pasted off someone else's website. Tell them who you are, what you do, and how to contact you. Keep the navigation simple, and consistant. Use link titles that match your page titles, and keep your website shallow. Don't lead them deep into your website from link to link. Keep your links simple, one or two pages deep. And keep them consistant. Use large readable text. Keep the appearance of the site the same throughout, so that they know it's your site. Forget the unnecessary links, like search engines, weather pages, etc. That's not selling you or your business, it's extra crap that distracts. And finally, if you don't have a page built, don't put a link to it when it says "Under Construction".
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