effective site management

In DQ March 31, 1998, we showed you how to design
your own web site. Learning how to do so is an iterative process, comparable in many ways
to programming-you experiment till you get what suits your requirements.

After setting up our own site
<http://drakula.hypermart.net>, we have learnt quite a bit about the nitty gritties,
which, unfortunately, had not fructified sufficiently enough to warrant explanation at the
time we set up our site. However, today, we have learnt a lot more, and these details are
given below.

using a good ftp tool
We have earlier spoken about how useful FTP Explorer was. Another tool, called WS_FTP is
even better for site administrators because of its capability to easily upload information
to your site. While FTP Explorer remains our favorite choice for downloading files from a
plethora of FTP sites, we have found WS_FTP invaluable when it comes to uploading files to
our own site. It has support for changing Unix file attributes (chmod) that make it
essential if you are planning to use CGI scripts. Pick up your own copy at www.ipswitch.com.

the webmaster’s resources
As a Web Master, you need a great deal of resources like attractive visuals, cute buttons,
jazzy icons etc. One good site is <http://www.bignosebird.com>, which contains a lot
of stuff for Web Masters. Even if you feel that your site is complete in all respects, we
recommend that you visit this site-you never know what you may find useful there!

At Bignosebird, you can pick up some really
cool stuff like CGI-BIN scripts, MIDI files to add sound and pep to your site, and oodles
of graphics. There are also a lot of tips and tricks, which the newbie Web Master (forgive
the oxymoron) will find useful.

But remember, don’t get carried away by all
that you see. Sure, you may be keen on littering your site with oodles of graphics and
plenty of sound, but don’t overdo it. Remember, bandwidth is one thing that is in short
supply for most users, and you may end up putting off a lot of your target audience by
using 100 kB graphics which tend to take forever to load.

publicity is the key
You want a popular site buddy, well, you gotta advertise it around. For effective site
promotion, you need to be endowed with a passion for publicity that rivals a vampire’s
blood lust. No, you don’t necessarily have to pay millions of bucks and take a banner ad
at some site-you need to register yourself with a lot of search engines and other
directory resources.

A good place to begin is
<http://ep.com/faq/webannounce.html>, an excellent document which outlines tons of
places where you can get registered. The ideal thing to do is to get registered with
everybody who meets the context of what your site talks about. For example, since the Dr A
Kula site primarily concerns humor, we went around and registered with a lot of sites for
humor and general information.

tag gag bag
A lot of search engines use either your title or your META TAG to index you and provide a
link with key words. Therefore, make sure that you choose the right key words to send
surfers scurrying to your site with gusto. On our site, we have around 18 key words.

Another important thing to do is to ensure
that the first few lines of text on your homepage properly describe what your site is all
about. On our Dr A Kula site, even a glance through the front page will tell you that we
are talking about the funny adventures of the dumbest one-fanged vampire in the Known

the ring of truth
Webrings <www.webring.org> are contraptions which allow a lot of like-minded sites
with a common theme to come together. One such site which we have joined is called the
Humor Webring. All you need to do is join an appropriate Webring and then follow emailed
instructions, which will normally tell you to put a link to the Webring. This is useful as
it helps in increasing your publicity, besides giving you a warm sense of community and
belonging on the cold unexplored frontiers of the Web.


with inputs from PRASHANT L RAO <plr@pcquest.com>.

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