In this Information Age, people are constantly looking for and finding new ways to electronically promote themselves and their interests. For many, this involves the development of a personal Website and home page. Those who aren’t familiar with the Web may opt to pay someone to put up a site for them. Others, however, are learning how to use HTML to create their own online identities and location.
If you are in the latter group, you likely understand the value of representation on the Web. Your posted information becomes accessible to the entire world of Web users if they know how to find you using a search engine or through a link address. But if you’re not familiar with how to arrange a Web site for optimum usage, the following tips may help:
- Keep your Web site home page to a single screen if possible. This allows visitors to access the most important information at a glance, with details or other linkages available through a click or two. As you add more pages, arrange them in a way so that the most essential details are easy to find and appear on a single screen. Use small paragraphs (known as “chunks”) for quick access to your detailed information.
- Don’t include personal information. You may wish to post a screen name or nickname. Never post your complete name and address, except for business purposes, and even then consider using a post office box for mailing, along with a user name rather than a full legal name. Avoid including details like your age or location to discourage trouble-makers from tracking you down, especially if you are a minor or single person living alone.
- Consider adding graphics. Depending on the type of site you are creating, you may wish to post a recent photograph to give people an idea of your appearance. This can help for business purposes when companies want some idea as to whether you’re legitimate, and in some cases, conservative enough to meet their tastes. While moving icons or visual decorating graphics add a colorful touch, these can be distracting to guests who are looking for specific information. Use these little decorators if your site is posted for amusement, but if for business, consider omitting them. In any case, don’t overuse them.
- Add a simple navigation bar. Located at the top or side of each page, your menu should use basic, easy-to-understand words or phrases that all your visitors will understand and be able to use. Don’t clutter your page with too many choices unless you want to encourage your guests to linger and browse. When you add pages, be sure each one is helpful or your readers may give up and not come back.
- Keep your site up to date. If you add links, check to be sure they’re still working and useful to your visitors. Eliminate those that lose their effectiveness to your site and surf the Internet for others that might prove more helpful. Also update your own information as needed, since guests who find out-of-date details often don’t return, so you won’t get a second chance.
A personal Website is a great way to promote visibility to prospective employers or share hobby interests with enthusiasts from around the world. To add a professional touch, take a basic Website building class or hire a tutor so you’ll learn how to do a good job.