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Pitfalls of Website Production
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Pitfalls and how to avoid them.

While I`ve been making my website, I`ve encountered many problems. The first real problem I had was making my dictionary pages out of frames. I had a title frame, a category frame on the left hand side, and a content frame on the right. To navigate the page, the category frame had links that would refresh the content frame. It worked fantastic, quick. It only updated the single content frame without having to reload the title or category frames. I thought it was great, unfortunately, google and the other search engines saw each frame as a separate page. Visitors would land in each frame, with no way to navigate around the site. Solution, get rid of frames. It is extremely annoying to be locked in a page with no escape.

My second problem was the shear quantity of files. If I made a change to the layout, I would have to alter around 500 files. Currently I would have had to alter around 20,000 files. Its impossible to do that with pure html files. For little websites of only a few pages, the html files are the best option for speed and reliability. For anything larger, you should be using server side scripting. PHP or CGI files. Everything except the index page of my main website is a php script file. If you view them, you`ll find files like dictionary.php or profiles.php. The way I`ve written these files allows me to change the look of thousands of pages in a few lines of programming code. The saving in time and effort has allowed me to concentrate on other aspects of the website.

The third pitfall I`ve had is generating revenue. I always will struggle in this respect and for one real good reason. I don`t sell anything. Okay, you might be able to call the advertising I display as a product that I sell. Website real estate is just as real as a billboard or newspaper advert except for the tiny returns. However, I don`t sell goods. No T-shirts, no book, no programs. I don`t have time to start a real company, because I only get to work on my website at the weekends. I also don`t sell membership to my website, as I believe that I`ll get more users if everything is free to use. Don`t expect webpage advertising to make you a fortune. It won`t! I get around 1000 visitors a day, with a revenue less than a dollar a day. More technical and computer related websites create higher revenues due to the price advertisers are willing to pay. To make real money, you need real products, and at a price that is sweet to your customers. If I could convert just 0.1% of my visitors to buy a product I should be able to make between $1 and $10 dollars a day depending on my products. It makes me consider selling products just thinking about that, but its not the path I`m trying to follow.

The fourth pitfall I`ve had is trying get more visitors. I`ve added lots of content, and I have increased my viewers many times. At the moment, I`m on a plateau. The volume of traffic I get has stayed quite static for 4 months now. There are ways to increase your visitors. Aggresive link building. Actively adding content in large quantities. Telling your friends about it. All methods take time. A lot of time! For the link building, you might spend a few hours finding relevant link partners, or perhaps a few hours submitting your site to directories. Neither method is guaranteed. hmm, adding content isn`t a guaranteed method either. Come to think of it, nothing is guaranteed. Everything about the web is random, and getting visitors can be the most frustrating part. You`ll probably have to buy advertising, pay for inclusion in top directories, and have to give away reciprocal links to quite poor link partners. The web is hard work, so just keep working at it. Eventually as people discover your site, you`ll discover that your website starts appearing as links on other peoples websites. That generates around 10% of my visitors. I earned them because I have a website people find useful.

That should be enough for you to think about for a while. If you have any thoughts or comments, you can send me an email at

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Last update 14th August 2009. Copyright @ 2005-2009