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Religious Tolerance logo

Tools and hints for webmasters

Establishing policies for your web site

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Choosing colors:

Choice of color is surprisingly important. Designer Jason O'Connor comments:

"Ever come across a website that uses some funky combination of print and background colors? If you ever want to experience an eye-twisting headache, try reading yellow print on a blue background. The reason you see black type on a white background so much is that it is the best color combination for reading, both on and offline. And since it is even harder to read text on a monitor than it is on paper, we must all be especially careful with the colors we choose for our websites, or suffer less-than-optimal site traffic and repeat visitors....each color carries with it both positive and negative ideas." 4  See:  http://www.sitepronews.com/

For example, commonly associated with the color blue are positive emotions of tranquility, love, acceptance, patience, understanding, cooperation, comfort, loyalty and security. We chose blue/white themes because we felt that these are a close match to the message of our web site. However, blue also is associated with negative emotions such as fear, coldness, passivity and depression. Still, it seemed to be the optimum choice.

Web page style:

The two largest search engines maintain articles to help webmasters design their sites:

bullet Google provides guidelines for webmasters at: http://www.google.com/  They discuss design, content, and technical guidelines. They suggest quality guidelines to make certain that you are not inadvertently deceiving search engines.
bulletYahoo has an article which describes the features of web sites that it wants to include in its search engine at: http://help.yahoo.com/

Other suggestions:

bulletAnime Web Turnpike lists common-sense tips based on viewing thousands of web sites at:  http://www.anipike.com/
bulletJayde.com maintains a list of free Email newsletters for web developers, IT managers, small business owners, etc. See: http://www.jayde.com/free.html

Keeping URLs active forever:

Occasionally, webmasters need to re-organize their website, consolidate multiple essays into one, split long essays into two, etc. They can end up with abandoned URLs that once led to essays and even sections of a website. After reorganization, they merely pull up the dreaded "404" (file not found) message.

These URLs that were once active are probably still listed in many search engines. Many of your visitors will probably click on the dead URL and think unkindly of your website when they receive the 404 message

We strongly recommend that you keep the old essays online with their original URLs if at all possible. If they have to be moved, then perhaps you can replace their content with a simple hyperlink to the new location.

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File naming policy:

bulletWe strongly recommend that you select a file name like "index.htm" or "welcome.htm" or "index.html" or "welcome.html" for your home page. If you don't accept one of the default file names, then the file name that you select will necessarily become part of your URL, and lengthen it needlessly.
bulletWe strongly recommend against the use of an underline character (_) in file names. When a visitor to your web site sees the URL, the "_" character looks like a space. For example: chr_beli.htm This can be very confusing to folks who write down URLs for later use. If you really need a spacer character of some sort, we suggest you use a dash (-).
bulletMost HTML files have an ".htm" or ".html" extension. The latter is apparently becoming the standard.

Browser conformity:

You probably use InternetExplorer as your main or exclusive browser. As of mid-2007, they had captured about 78% of the browser market. But there are other less popular browsers out there:

bulletMozilla FireFox has about 15% of the market; this value is rising quickly.
bulletApple Inc.'s Safari browser had about 5% of the market when it was only available for Macintosh computers. However, in mid 2007, they released a version for Windows/Vista users. They are expected to make a major penetration into the browser market. The program is much faster than the competition
bulletOpera, Netscape and others have a relatively small market share.

A given HTML file will often look very different when viewed on a variety of browsers. We have found numerous web sites whose pulldown menus are inoperative, whose image/text registry is distorted, whose login pages simply don't work when accessed by different browsers.

We recommend that you download at least Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari web browsers. We strongly recommend that you check your home pages and other locations in your web site periodically on all three browsers. You might be amazed! If you want to be particularly careful, you might keep both the current version and the previous version and check the appearance of your website on both.

Here are some locations from which you can download browsers free:

bulletInternet Explorer: http://www.microsoft.com/
bulletMozilla Firefox: http://www.mozilla.com/
bulletNetscape Navigator: http://browser.netscape.com/
bulletOpera: http://www.opera.com/
bulletSafari: http://www.apple.com/safari/

Translation capability:

The Internet originally was almost entirely written in the English language. But, use of the Internet by individuals who are not able to read English fluently is growing.

We recommend that you place a link to Babel Fish -- or a similar translator -- on your home page, menus and essays. It is a free service by Altavista that allows a visitor to your web site to translate either a passage of text or an entire web page among nine languages.  This is what the feature looks like:

Alternatively, you can install this box to translate the contents of the page on which the box is located:

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

See: http://www.altavista.com/

Unfortunately, none of the staff at this website are fluent in any foreign language, so we cannot judge the quality of Babel Fish.

Site navigation: Home page > Internet links > For webmasters > here

Copyright © 1995 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update and review: 2009-AUG-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 

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