Webpage Writing Resources
Compiled from Frequently Asked Questions
Design Space Backgrounds
Net Content in the News
Take a look at http://www.searchenginewatch.com/resources/software.html for ways to set up the capability to search your own site. If you want to add web-search, check the major search engines and directories for affiliate programs:
Some graphics resource sites:
- Google has an image search at http://www.google.com/imghp
- Altavista has an image portal at http://www.altavista.com/cgi-bin/query?mmdo=16&stype=simage
- Lycos has a multimedia search at http://multimedia.lycos.com/
There are many generous people who will create graphics for you free as "Linkware" -- you pay by posting a link to their site. Some places to find them:
- The Ring of Free Graphics http://X.webring.com/hub?ring=graph
- The Graphics Gallery Ring http://X.webring.com/hub?ring=catsgg
- The Wallpaper Ring http://X.webring.com/hub?ring=wallpaper
- I have examples of banners I've created at http://anitraweb.org/webmaking/invasion/index.html and other graphics at http://anitraweb.org/garden/graphics/. If you would like me to make a banner or logo for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paintshop is a program for the IBM PC that you can download from the web to use to make graphics yourself; banners, logos, or whatever you want. You can use it free on a trial basis for 30 days; it costs $99 to be a registered owner. Download at http://www.jasc.com/ -- find tutorials and many more resources there, too
Gifbuilder is a shareware graphics animation program available at http://www.downseek.com/download/3831.asp
Triangles, circles and other forms are created by making parts of the image transparent. You can do this in Paintshop or inPhotoshop.
There are three ways to provide a feedback form:
Page Colors: The different colors on the British Airways page are provided by a background image. The American Airlines page creates its effect of a separate color for the menu by using frames. Another way to create a separate color for different parts of the page is by using different table background colors. This only works in browsers 4.0 or later, but according to statistics everyone is now using 4.0 browsers or later..
- Easiest: Code an email link:
You don't have to include the ? and the additional attributes, but you can use any of them if you need them.
- Next easiest: Use a service that will process forms from your site. You don't have to learn cgi, and they'll even provide the form code for you. Some of the most popular:
- Almost as easy: If your server supports cgi (the executable commands that process the form and asend it) you can get a working script that is easy to adapt at Matt's Script Archive, http://www.scriptarchive.com/scripts/
Most free servers don't allow you to use cgi: Tripod and Hypermart are two that I know that do. Most paid servers do support cgi.
Code for a background image in your BODY tag:
<BODY BACKGROUND="filename" BGCOLOR="color">
Be sure to provide a background color as well as an image, in case your visitor isn't loading images or the image loads slowly.
See http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/authoring/frames/ if you want to use frames.See http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/96/38/index2a.html?tw=authoring for how to vary background colors within tables.
In your body tag, BGCOLOR= sets the page background color; TEXT= sets the color of text; LINK= sets the color of an unclicked link; VLINK= sets the color of a link that has been clicked; ALINK= sets the color of a link as it is being clicked. You can change the color of specific text within the page by using the font tag with the color attribute: <FONT COLOR=color>text</FONT>
A better way to set colors is by using CSS. With CSS, you can even make a link change color on mouseover.
You can set up a "matchmaker service" at
For genealogy (if you are setting up a family page), I haven't gotten into this myself, but I have many friends and relatives who have, so I can pass on some resources for beginners:
- http://www.kerchner.com/gentips.htm Genealogy 101: lots of reference sites, including free online classes and forms.
- http://biz.ipa.net/arkresearch/guide.html Beginner's Guide to Family History Research: tips on where to look for the information to fill in your tree.
- A bit more advanced site is http://www.genealogytoolbox.com/ - the Genealogy Toolbox.
My only personal tip is don't spend a lot of time on the internet hunting down everyone with the same last name as your grandfather. Most last names are way too common. Start with family records and memories and work back through the paper trail as much as possible. It's harder work than a web search, but as much as it pains this self-identified computer geek to say it, the paper records are more dependable when it comes to genealogy.
There are great software programs for organizing your data once you've found it, though, and if you locate someone else with a verified database (like the Mormons) by all means use it.
Any suggestions on how I can convert my scanned .bmp images to a .jpg or .jpeg format?
If you have Windows, you're in luck -- you can download a free copy of Paintshop, a graphics program that can handle 40 different image formats, at http://www.jasc.com If you have a Mac (PowerMac or better) you can use the GraphicConverter which you can download at http://download.cnet.com/downloads/0-10220-108-16392.html?tag=st.dl.10220.upd.10220-108-16392
You can find a Mac OSX version of GraphicConverter at http://download.com.com/3000-2197-10167106.html?tag=lst-0-4
Your title is the one element of your page that weighs most heavily in the search engines.
The best resource I've found for improving your relationship with the search engines is http://www.searchenginewatch.com/ -- especially, for webmasters, http://www.searchenginewatch.com/webmasters/
Be sure to use meta tags.
Some of the other best tips for improving your search engine ranking also improve the reading quality of your website:
- use ALT tags (alt tag content is also indexed by most search engines)
- have a clear, concise description of the mission and important contents of your site at the very top of your page
- use meaningful menu names ("Medical and Dental Services" instead of "Page 10", for instance) and if possible include a one-sentence or short paragraph summary of the contents of each link
- use specific words that people are going to be looking for: for instance, say "books", "tapes", "videos" instead of "printed library materials", "audio library materials", and "audiovisual library materials"
An excellent step-by-step guide through the process of getting your site ready for search engines and then submitted is http://selfpromotion.com/
Your search ranking is also going to be weighted by how many other pages link to yours. Exchange links with as many other related websites as you possibly can.
* Patrick Crispen's Internet Roadmap (and other resources) http://netsquirrel.com/
* Tucows Webmaster Tutorials http://html.tucows.com/webmaster/
* Webmonkey http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/design/