10 Webmaster Challenges
Top 10 Webmaster Challenges
Webmasters deal with a myriad of complex design challenges every
day. This article will discuss the top ten challenges and provide
solutions and tips for solving each problem.
1. Browser Compatibility
You must design your Web site so that it is viewable on both browsers:
Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). Netscape
Navigator is very strict when it comes to HTML tag completion, but
IE isn't. You need to view your site first using Macromedia Dreamweaver
before publishing to the Web. Make sure you've run the command convert
to ensure your site is version 3.0 browser compatible. If you're
using Netobjects Fusion to create the layout of your site, make
sure that all layer objects are converted into tables. This is highly
recommended if you want to reach a broader and wider audience.
A) Dr. HTML, located at www2.imagiware.com/RxHTML/
B) Web Site Garage to check your links, located at websitegarage.com
2. Graphics Optimization
Web graphics play an essential part in your Web design, because
it conveys the emotion and impact of your site. Always make sure
that all of your graphics are in .gif and .jpg format. Unless your
site deals with photography, minimize the use of the .jpg format.
You can use Macromedia Fireworks to minimize the file size, especially
the slicer feature if you need to place a large photo on your site.
Another option is the export preview of Macromedia Fireworks. This
allows you to remove unwanted colors in your graphics, thus decreasing
You can also do this online by using one of these online utilities:
A) GIF Optimizer by Media Builder, www.gifoptimizer.com
B) JPEG Cruncher and GIF Cruncher, www.spinwave.com/crunchers.html
C) Windows-based graphics optimizer, CyberView Image Lite (JPEG
D) Advanced GIF Optimizer, www.gold-software.com/ago.html
E) Photo Crunch (JPEG Compressor), www.imroncorp.com/photo.htm
F) JPEG image compression FAQ, www.faqs.org/faqs/jpeg-faq/part1/
3. Keeping the Site Fresh
I think this is the bulk of a webmaster's work, if you want your
site frequently visited. You can keep your site fresh by really
working on new content on a daily or regular basis and by making
it interactive. As with content, you can make use of www.moreover.com,
www.subportal.com, www.newshub.com, and other content syndication
sites to provide the content for your site automatically. Let them
do the hard work for you! If you place a tag, they will email you
with new content. As for the interactivity, offer your visitors
web-based email accounts, a message board with a chat room, a search
engine crawler, and banner ad rotation. This is easy, and provided
by Everyone.net. Searching your site is another way to easily provide
information to your visitors. You can get a site search engine from
www.picosearch.com and www.atomz.com.
4. Pushing Information to Your Visitors
A Web site is a 'pull' promotion, but as a webmaster, you also
need to be thinking about how you can 'push' information to your
visitors, users, or subscribers. You can publish an ezine on a weekly
or monthly basis just to let your users be informed about the latest
technology you've added to your site. As for the mailing list, you
can get a free mailing list from www.egroups.com, www.topica.com,
or you can choose a paid service such as www.aweber.com or www.getresponse.com.
As for the content, you can get lots of articles from bbs.weblord2000.com,
or try one or more of my articles that can be found on the same
5. Driving Traffic
Webmasters shouldn't forget to announce your Web site. Accomplishing
this is easy for Web sites that already have a lot of traffic, but
even sites that are starting out with 5 or 10 members can benefit
from the viral marketing of online recommendation software. Services
include www.Nabaza.com/refer.htm, www.evite.com, and www.ewomp.com.
6. Dealing with Spammers
Unfortunately, the reality of the Internet is that people will
spam and flame on a daily basis. Web-based email addresses like
the ones set up by www.everyone.net are spam-proof. You can set
up your account so that any emails sent without your address in
the 'to' box can be directed automatically to the trash or spam
folder. However, flames and hate emails are a different field. You
shouldn't try to get even or retaliate. These people are not a joke.
It might cost you your ISP or your e-life. Instead, check out www.spamcop.net.
It does the nitty-gritty work of automatically reporting misbehaving
people to their postmasters. Usually, it's helpful to get the ISP,
or at least the IP address of the suspected person.
Webmasters are also faced with the challenge of keeping their
site sticky. CBSMarke*censored*ch.com is a good example of a sticky
site. This stock/investment related site contains timely news and
excellent company data. The vast amount of information results in
a good number of page views per visitor. Plus, visitors return on
a daily basis to get the latest-and-greatest market news and stock
data. Lots of page views per visitor AND repeat visits. now that's
what you could call really sticky.
Here are some additional suggestions:
A) Make your site a portal of information. It encourages your
visitors to return and stay. Hotsheet.com is one example of a one-page
B) Add games to your site. You can get some here: www.uproar.co.uk
or at www.pogo.com/affiliates.
C) Make your site interactive with a guest book, forum, tell-a-friend
link, webring, customizable news, contests, polls, e-card, and free
for all links. Bizland.com allows you to sign up for an account
and place the code on your site.
D) Provide links to freebies, get-paid-to-surf sites, contests,
incentives, jokes, quotes, mp3, and gnutella. Just don't forget
to opt in for at least their email address before they can actually
download stuff from your site.
8. Find Your Web Host
It's critical to find the right Web host. Although you may need
to get your own server when your site gets one million page views
per month, most sites that are starting out do not require the complex
and expensive task of managing your own servers. There are many
Web hosting providers that are willing to provide starting at 40gb
of Web space. You can also look and compare different Web hosting
providers on these sites: www.webhostdir.com, www.hostfinders.com,
www.hostindex.com, www.hostsearch.com, and www.findahost.com. I
always recommend the advanced search, which allows you to specify
your budget and the specific features you will need.
9. Think Globally
Keep the site international in its appeal. Babelfish.altavista.com
allows you to place snippets of code into your site that will automatically
translate your English site to a different language, such as Spanish,
Italian, German, or Polish. As webmasters, we must remember that
we cannot filter countries on our site. We must be able to communicate
10. Search Engine Submissions
Webmasters love to promote their sites on message boards, newsgroups,
link exchanges, and even email, but they often forgot the best source
of traffic. Submission sites like www.Nabaza.com/traffic.htm, www.Nabaza.com/submit.htm,
and www.beseen.com can be used to submit your site for free. You
don't need to submit to all of them, only to the major ones, like
Yahoo, AltaVista, Google, Hotbot, Infoseek/Go.com, Lycos, and Northern
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