Your Web Site or Say "Good-Bye" To Sales!
Fix Your Web Site or Say "Good-Bye" To Sales!
I have a confession to make.
There is no way will I ever buy anything from
a web site that has missing images or broken links. I mean,
if this webmaster doesn't care about his web site, he probably could
care less about his customers.
Getting your web site to look good can sometimes
be a hair-pulling experience. Even for me, and I have been
making web sites for over 5 years. I can only imagine how
frustrated many newbies can get.
Let me share with you some of the common problems
in designing a well-functioning website. If you haven't made
these mistakes yet - trust me: you will! Keep this troubleshooting
guide handy for when you need it (and save some of your hair, too!)
1. Missing Images On The Page
2. Image Loads Very Slowly
3. Image Looks Distorted
4. Broken Links
5. Text Is Missing On The Page
6. Visitors Can't See Your Fancy Fonts
7. Too Much Horizontal Scrolling Required
8. The Table Is Wider Than Specified
9. Web Page Displays Old Links And Images
10. Background Doesn't Show
11. Can't Access Your Home Page ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Problem: Missing Images On The Page
SOLUTION: there are three things that might
cause this problem. You have either forgotten to upload the image
to your web server, didn't link to it correctly, or the graphic
is in invalid format.
1) Remember, you need to upload all the graphics
that you are using on your web page, just like any other file.
So if you have a "services.html" page that contains "staff.jpg"
graphic, you need to upload both "services.html" and "staff.jpg"
to your web server.
2) You also need to reference that image correctly.
For this, you need to understand a little bit about files, folders,
and directories. Basically, a file is a document. A folder
(or a directory) is a collection of files.
You might have a directory on your web site called
"images". Inside it you might have the "staff.jpg",
"logo.jpg", and other files.
Now, here is the trick: if your HTML file
is located in the same folder with the graphic it contains, then
here is how you refer to that image:
*Please, note that I am leaving the tag brackets
out so you could see the HTML code.
So far, simple, right?
But let's say that your HTML file is located
in the main directory, while the graphic file is located in the
sub-directory. For example, "services.html" is located
in the root directory of your web site so that if you type www.yoursite.com/services.html
in your browser location bar, you will see it.
And let's say that you placed a graphic used
on that page into a sub-directory called "images", so
that when you type www.yoursite.com/images/graphic.jpg into your
browser location bar, you will see that image.
So how do you refer to that graphic from your
"services.html" page? Here is how:
All I did was put the sub-directory (or folder)
name followed by a forward slash before the graphic name.
Finally, what if you put an HTML page into a
sub- directory, but leave the image in the main (root) directory?
For example, your "services.html" is located in a sub-directory
called "pages". And the graphic used on it, "staff.jpg",
is placed in the main directory, so that when you type this address
into your browser location bar, you will see it:
How do you refer to this graphic on your "services.html"
page? You use the "previous directory" notation
The browser will then know, that in order to
find that graphic it needs to look in one directory below.
If you are having trouble understanding the above
notation, use absolute image references. For example:
Make sure you know where you placed your graphic
(which folder) and refer to it as if you were accessing it from
your web browser. That's it!
3) And finally, if you are not using graphics
with the "JPG" or "GIF" extension, they will
not appear on your web page. Use PaintShop Pro or any other
graphic editor to convert your graphic from any format to "JPG"
Broken images may also happen even if they don't
have the right extension. That's because they have been created
in a not-for-web format. When a graphic artist designs your
logo, remind her to save it as "RGB" (which stands for
"red-green-blue") or "Indexed Color" and not
any other color mode (such as "CMYK").
For more information, see "Choosing the
right format for your images" at
Problem: Image Loads Very Slowly
SOLUTION: you must do your best to reduce the
graphic to its minimum good-looking format. Use GIFBot to do this:
Some new webmasters use a large graphic and specify
a smaller size in the HTML code. That is absolutely unnecessary
and will slow down your web page three times or more!
For example, if you have a graphic that is 200x200
in size (pixels), and insert it into your web page like this:
img src="graphic.jpg" width=100 height=100
..you are actually doing yourself disservice.
Why not reduce the graphic in your image editor first, then place
it on your web site? Doing this will speed up your site and
will not distort your graphic.
Problem: Image Looks Distorted
SOLUTION: you probably specified incorrect size
of this graphic on your web page. To find out the correct
size of a graphic, right-click on it and choose "Properties"
from the menu. You should see the image size (something like
110 x 200) then put the same numbers in the IMG tag:
img src="graphic.jpg" width=110 height=200
Problem: Broken Link
SOLUTION: you must fix your link so it
takes your visitors to a page that exists. Links can be relative
or absolute. Here is an example of a relative link (remember,
I am omitting the tag brackets so you could see the actual code):
This link refers to a page that is located on
YOUR web site, and not someone else's. Now, here is an example
of an absolute link:
Notice that this link will take you to the exact
same page that the first one will. This is just a different
way to build your links.
You can also link to someone else's web site
using absolute links:
Can you use relative links to refer to an outside
web site? No. Only absolute links can do that. And don't forget
to use the "http://" in each absolute link tag.
Problem: Text Is Missing On The Page
SOLUTION: this can happen for different
reasons, but all of them have to do with closing tags:
1) When a closing table tag is missing, the entire
table content might be missing, too. So don't forget to close
all your TABLE, TR and TD tags.
2) You forgot to close a comment and the browser
"thinks" that the rest of the text has also been commented
out. Make sure you close every comment that you open.
3) You forgot to close a quotation mark in a
tag. For example, if you use quotes in a IMG SRC or A HREF
tags, you must close them:
IMG SRC="picture.jpg width=100 height=300
The above code will cause the page to display
incorrectly. Fix it by adding a closing quotation after the graphic
4) If you using TEXTAREA in forms, make sure
you close it with a /TEXTAREA tag.
Problem: Visitors Can't See Your Fancy
SOLUTION: do not use your fancy fonts.
There are only a handful of fonts that every computer user has installed.
They are: Verdana, Arial, Courier, & Times New Roman.
If you try to use some other font such as Impact or FreeStyle Script,
and your visitors don't have them installed, they will see your
text in whatever font their browser is set to.
If you REALLY want your visitors to see your
handsome fonts, then turn some of your text into graphics.
Your graphics will be displayed the same on every computer, and
your visitors will be able to see the fonts you meant for them to
Problem: Too Much Horizontal Scrolling
SOLUTION: put your text into a table and
make it no more than 85% in width and centered. This way,
regardless of how large or small their monitors are, your visitors
will always see your text centered with no horizontal scrolling
Problem: The Table Is Wider Than Specified
SOLUTION: sometimes even you specify table
width as 500 pixels, it might still stretch to all 700. There are
two reasons for that.
1) You have a graphic in that table that is wider
than the table itself. Reduce its size and the table will
shrink as well.
2) You are using a long URL somewhere in the
table text. Shorten it or remove it and you will see the table
shrink to its specified size.
Problem: Web Page Displays Old Links
SOLUTION: refresh (or reload) the page
by clicking the button on the toolbar of your browser. Sometimes
the graphics are still not being refreshed in which case you need
to do this:
- right-click on the graphic
- choose "view image" or "open image"
- click "Refresh" when the graphic is displayed by itself
Now come back to your web page and press "refresh"
button one more time. You should now see the updated images.
Also, if you are using an FTP program to upload
your files, don't forget to click "Refresh" in the FTP
window before uploading new files. Otherwise, you will simply
upload the old versions.
Problem: Background Doesn't Show
SOLUTION: make sure to upload your background
image along with the other files. Also, make sure you upload
it into the right directory (see "missing image on the page"
above for more information)
Problem: Can't Access Your Home Page
SOLUTION: if you get an "access denied"
error or a list of files when you are trying to access your web
site, make sure you named your home page correctly.
Every hosting company has it set up so that the
very first page of your site must be named "index.html".
Sometimes, though, they will require your first file to be called
"welcome.html", "default.html", "home.html",
There is only one way to find out: ask
them! Or visit their web site to see if they specify the default
file name in their tech support section.
that "default.html" and "default.htm" are two
different files. You can name your files either way, but only
one of them will be accepted as a default one.
Nastetskaya is a full time web developer and the author of the "65
Instant Web Design Answers".
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