|Dear Internet visitor,
My intention is
to help you own a profitable Internet
Internet Home Business course that will help and guide
you to start off your Home Business on the Internet.
DOORWAY PAGES - PART 2
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
In this lesson we cover the basics of
building and publishing doorway pages.
Recall the outline given in Lesson #8
for Building and Publishing:
Building Your Doorway Page
- Browser compatibility issues
- Resolution compatibility issues
- Loading speed
- Language, grammar, and spelling
- Graphics refinement
- Navigation issues
- Space requirements
- Code writing
Publishing Your Doorway Page
- Choosing an ISP
- Contract issues
- Uploading your site
- Registering your site
- Maintaining your site
BUILDING YOUR DOORWAY PAGE
BROWSER AND MONITOR
RESOLUTION COMPATIBILITY ISSUES
Everyone sees the Internet from the
perspective of their own computer. Most people have only
one browser installed and running on his or her computer
. As browsers differ somewhat in the way that they
interpret and display the code they read from retrieved
Web pages, we see Web pages somewhat differently than
other users with different types or versions of
browsers. Also, people use different resolutions on
their monitors or have their monitors adjusted
differently. This doesn't have much significance until
you start the process of designing your own Web page.
What you see when you look at your own Web page may not
be exactly what others else see when they look at it.
Although Internet Explorer and
Netscape are by far the most common browsers, they
behave differently from each other and each has had
several different versions to date, with each version
behaving somewhat differently from previous and
subsequent versions. When you add in the different
monitor resolution settings, there are quite a number of
possibilities as to how a Web page will look from
computer to computer. Just because your Website looks
good on your computer does not prevent it from being a
jumbled mess on someone else's screen. For example, if
you design your site to fill your screen using 1024x768
resolution, only a portion of your page will be seen on
a monitor using 640x480 resolution.
Sophisticated Web designers deal with
this problem with Java or other code that reads the
browser version of each computer before it is displayed.
The code that is sent to the browser then depends on
which browser is reading the page. An appropriate page
of code will be sent to each browser version. Such
designs are expensive, however, and are not feasible for
the novice Webmaster to code for themselves. Another
approach is to use basic, standard HTML code, which is
compatible with all browsers, and build the page so that
it looks good on a variety of different platforms. With
a little time and research, this is within the reach of
the novice Web designer. It is better to build a simple
page anyway. Simple can be quite attractive.
Another reason to keep your page
simple is the loading speed. Research suggests that the
amount of time viewers will wait for a page to load
depends on how valuable they expect the page to be.
However, if they are not already convinced the page will
contain value for them, they will not wait very long.
Thus, a doorway page has to load very fast. The simpler
the code and the fewer graphics and script it contains,
the faster it will load.
When you use graphic designs and
photos on your main page, keep them small. You may give
your viewer the option of waiting to see a larger
version of the photo by clicking on it if you think it
will be important to them. Do not make them wait for the
large photo to load on the main page. These smaller
pics which click through to larger
versions of themselves are called "thumbnails." Using
thumbnails helps to keep your main page fast loading.
Also, keep the number of graphics and
photos as small as possible on your doorway page. I once
knew a would-be Web designer who designed a beautiful
page for a local agency. The page was truly beautiful,
but had one small problem—it took 25 minutes to load
through the average modem. Finding the right balance
between using graphics and fast loading speed is the key
to an effective page.
LANGUAGE, GRAMMAR, AND
How many of you noticed in the outline
listed in the last lesson that the word "grammar" was
misspelled? For those of you who noticed that, how did
it affect your reading of the last lesson? How did it
affect your feelings about the competency of this course
in general (before reading here that we did that on
purpose)? It made a difference, didn't it? While not
everyone notices small errors, it makes a difference to
those who do notice them.
It goes without saying that you should
take care that the written content of your page does not
contain glaring errors in language, grammar, or
spelling. While electronic communications such as chat
rooms, e-mail, and, to some extent, even Web pages are
more tolerant of such errors than the print media
audience, it will make your page much more effective if
you take care to draft your wording wisely and
effectively and use proper grammar and spelling.
It is not advisable to grab the free
clipart from popular clipart pages to build your
Website. That same clipart is probably already in use on
thousands of other pages precisely because it is free
and readily available. In addition, clipart is not
really what you want on your page. You need graphics
which provide identity and flow. Clipart tends to be
cute rather than professional. The novelty has worn off
for the popular clipart. It would be better, in my
opinion, to have fewer graphics on your page than to use
clipart. Small buttons and arrows are ok, but use the
subtle ones. Flashy animation can detract from the flow
of your page.
It takes both art and science to
develop professional-looking graphics. Knowing the right
resolution to maintain quality appearance within
acceptable loading speeds is crucial. Reducing an image
or a scanned or digital photograph to the desired size
and resolution without distortion can be a tedious task.
You need to have good graphics software and some
knowledge of how to use it. In sizing your images,
remember again that different people use different
resolutions on their monitors. The relative size of the
image on a screen will depend on the resolution of the
monitor on which it is viewed. The standard graphics
file formats across all browsers are .GIF and .JPG.
Thus, you want to put your graphics in one of these
formats. You need to put the size of your image in the
HTML image code to speed loading. Otherwise, the browser
has to determine the size of the image first in order to
allocate the space for the image on the screen, slightly
reducing loading speed.
Also refine your graphics for visual
effect. If you have sophisticated graphics software, you
can slightly adjust your images to pull the eye in the
direction you desire to promote the flow of your page.
If you have more than one page on your
doorway site, the method you provide for visitors to
move around your site is of utmost importance. Each site
with more than a couple of pages needs a well thought
out navigation scheme. Navigation of the site is
accomplished, of course, by the insertion of hyperlinks
that move the visitors to other pages on the site. A
doorway page should not have too many links because it
has a directional purpose. Links that are used should be
clearly identified and should lead the viewer logically
through the information on the site. Links can also give
your visitors a choice of the content on your site. A
navigation bar across the top or side of your page
should be sufficient for a doorway page. Some links
within the content itself may be appropriate, but do not
overburden your visitors with choices. Links, like
footnotes, can be distracting from the flow of your
Be sure to include return links to
bring your visitors back into the directional flow. You
don't want your visitors to wind up at a dead end
somewhere because they clicked on a hyperlink. A
navigation bar on every page can be a safeguard against
this. By "navigation bar" we mean a set of links placed
together with some symmetry of design. When you create a
navigation bar, you can then just copy the code and
paste it on your other pages.
site will give your site a professional feel and provide
simply your statement of what information you intend to
collect from your visitors and what you intend to do
with that information.
There are two ways to collect
information from the visitors to your site. One is to
have the visitor fill in information on a Web form. The
other way is to collect information by capturing the CGI
variables that accompany the request to retrieve your
page. This less-obvious method is cause for more
feelings of insecurity for your visitors. When surfing
the Web, a browser sends out a signal to the Web server
hosting the desired page. That signal says, in effect,
"Here's my IP number, send me your page." The page is
then sent to the computer so that the browser can read
the code and display the page on the screen. The signal
sent to the Web server also contains some other
information, such as the user ID, the type and version
of the browser being used, and other information.
Thus, even if you do not collect
personal information with a form, it is a good idea to
Web host with respect to the personal information you
could be collecting from the CGI variables accompaning
the requests for your page. If you do collect
information with a form, it is even more important to
declarations which may protect you against liability if
someone misuses the information on your page or injures
themselves somehow while trying to use information you
have provided. If you have a discussion board or other
means for your visitors to post information to your
intellectual property rights in the information on your
site, including the information posted there by others.
Discussion of all possible legal issues that may need to
be addressed and how they should be addressed in your
Competent legal advice should be sought if you feel you
might have any liability issues with respect to your
Finally, you should approximate the
size of your site in terms of bytes of disk space
needed, including all images and graphics you will be
using. Take into account future updates. Make sure that
the size of your site matches the server space available
from your host.
WRITING THE CODE
Coding a Web page can be very simple
or very complicated, depending on what you try to do and
how you try to do it. It is beyond the scope of this
course to teach you HTML, and it would be reinventing
the wheel if we attempted to do so. There are countless
tutorials for HTML on the Web itself. Just go to any
search engine and search for "HTML help" or "HTML
Tutorial" and you will get a wealth of information. If
you learn better with a book in hand, I would recommend
Creative HTML Design.2: A Hands-on HTML 4.0 Web Design
Tutorial with Cdrom available from Barnes and Nobles.
Barnes and Nobles also offers a free online course in
Web design under "Online Courses." Excellent online
courses can also be found at http://phonl.com/training/.
If learning HTML gives you a headache,
but you don't want to hire a design firm, you have two
other alternatives. You can install an HTML editor on
your computer and use it to build your code. Free
editors are even available at such sites as download.com.
However, some HTML editors take more time to learn than
HTML code itself, so be careful in your choice. Your
other option would be to use a site like
http://www.bigstep.com. Bigstep allows you to build and
host a Website using their forms system, which is easy
to use and does not require any knowledge of HTML.
PUBLISHING A DOORWAY PAGE
CHOOSING AN ISP
Web pages reside on Internet Servers.
While it is possible to host a page from your own
computer, you would need to have Internet Server
software installed and configured, and you would need a
continuous high speed connection to the Internet. In
addition, you would also need a permanently assigned IP
number, which is used to find your page. If it changes
each time you connect, your page will be lost to the
Thus, you need to find a hosting
service for your Web page. You want one that has a lot
of bandwidth so that your site will be served up fast,
even at busy times. You will want one that has good
support. If you have problems getting your page on their
server, you want to get someone on the telephone to work
out the problem. You also want one that's going to stay
in business. At the time of this writing, a popular free
Web hosting service just went belly up and left a lot of
affiliates without a site (many did not even have a
backup copy of their HTML code)! Websites went offline
and the phones were disconnected with little advance
warning. Thus, while free is nice, you may prefer to pay
a reasonable fee for hosting of your site to ensure that
you get good support and that your site will not just
You should consult an attorney before
entering into any important contract. It is beyond the
scope of this course to identify all issues that may be
important in your hosting contract. Some issues that are
usually important, however, are the following.
How much disk space and bandwidth are
you allotted for the base fee? What are the charges for
exceeding the diskspace or bandwidth limitation.
(Bandwidth is used each time someone retrieves your
page—approximately the same amount as the size of your
page in diskspace.) What notice will you be given when
the base allocation is exceeded?
What is the term of the contract? That
is, how long are you committed for? Can the price be
increased during that time?
Who pays for the domain name
registration with the registration service—you or your
host? For how many years will the name be registered?
Who is responsible for renewing it?
Make sure you maintain ownership of
your domain name if you are registering one. I knew an
unscrupulous ISP that registered all of its Web
customers' domain names as its own. When anyone tried to
change services, they were told they did not own their
Make sure you maintain the
intellectual property rights for your own site, even if
the ISP is hired to design it.
What editors do they support? What CGI
support do they have? Do they provide database
integration? If so, for what platforms?
Find out what the updating charges
will be, if any. What access do you have to update your
site on your own?
What backup procedures does the ISP
use and are copies available to you?
Do you get e-mail addresses with your
domain? How many?
What will the ISP do to promote your
site, if anything?
What exactly will happen if you fail
to pay on time? Will an embarrassing notice be posted in
place of your site?
Again, these are just a sampling of
the things that may need to be spelled out in a written
contract with your hosting service. You should consult
an attorney regarding any other issues that may be
important in your particular situation.
MAINTAINING YOUR SITE
Another thing to discuss with your
hosting service is how you will get your site on their
server. Some hosts support FrontPage, which is an editor
that has a unique way of uploading the Website. If you
build your site with FrontPage, you will need FrontPage
support on the server, not only to upload it, but for it
to work at all on the host's server. Otherwise, the most
common method is FTP (File Transfer Protocol). You will
need FTP software on your computer. I would recommend
WS_FTP LE which can be downloaded with a free trial from
download.com. You will need to find out the FTP address
to your Web directory from your host and the username
and password to access it.
Some hosts allow you to send in your
page and its updates as e-mail attachments or through an
uploading form on their Website.
REGISTERING YOUR SITE
"Registering Your Site" can mean two
different things. If you want your own domain name, it
must be registered with ICANN through one of the
registration services, such as Network Solutions. The
registration service must also be supplied with the
proper DNS numbers for the primary and secondary DNS
servers for your host. If you registered your domain
name before you acquired your hosting service, you will
need to make sure that your host's DNS numbers get
listed in your registration profile with the
The term "registering your site" is
often used to refer to registration with search engines.
There is no one definitive place to register your site.
There are countless search engines on the Internet now.
Fifteen or so of them are generally considered to be the
important ones because they get 90% of the traffic.
Registering your site with the search engines can be a
complicated process, which we will begin to discuss in
the next lesson.
Doorway pages can be very useful in
promoting affiliate programs. They allow you to target
specific audiences and lead them to your target link.
Doorway pages allow you to optimize search engine
acceptance and placement. Building and publishing your
own doorway page can be an exciting and interesting
WHAT'S COMING NEXT
Our next lesson will introduce you to
by George Little
Copyright (year) Panhandle On-Line, Inc.
License granted to Carson Services, Inc. for
distribution to SFI affiliates. No part of this work may
be republished, redistributed, or sold without written
permission of the author.
For more information on the Internet Income
Course and other works and courses by George Little, see
For Web Hosting services specially designed for
SFI affiliates, see www.profitpropulsion.com.
Continue To Next Lesson
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