About Writing Homepages

(8th March 1998)
Hmmm, it's been a while since last I wrote here now - not exactly "more often" as I promised I would write. But at least, I've got my harddisk up and running again after the crash, and even got myself a zipdrive to store all my ramblings ;-)

No excuse to put off the updating of my pages then, you say? Hopefully not, though I have become a bit backlogged, and will need some time to get a jour again. But what have I done these weeks then, when I couldn't store anything to my work-partition, not being able to do much with my pages? Well, I'm almost afraid to tell, but I've made some other homepages... But then I used mostly the PC at work, and not my dear Amiga. I updated a few of my own pages there too, but don't like to have different versions of the same page both at home and work - I've done some blunders that way...

But as you should know, if you've read here earlier, I do love making homepages. And when I make for friends and other people, I can try different approaches than I have at my own. The result of my work now? Well, there may be a little work left yet, but there's nothing stopping you from having a look... There may even be a couple of more sites I can do later...

As you've noticed from my pages there's not much of fancy things there, like java or javascript. This is not only because I've not learned myself this (yet - but you may see a small addition soon: I'm learning :-) but also because I honestly think that it more often than not isn't neccessary. I'm having the philosophy that "Content is King" - a view that is shared by many, but there are also many sites that lack that to a embarrasing large degree. Except that many aren't embarrased at all - they even apply for my "Impressed" award without having anything to say... And this isn't really neccessary either, very little would be needed to make the pages much more interesting.

Let's take a typical example, a site which states the creator's name and interests, some links to friends and a few "cool" places (including some connected with the interests), and a guestbook. The advanced ones have a java-applet with scrolling text in the status bar, and maybe the ripple-effect on an image, plus lots of animated gifs. Long loading time, no content.

How to make it better? First of all: Content. What are the interests? By all means, provide the links to sites that tell us more about it, but wouldn't it be nice to write something personal aboutit? It sure would make it a lot more interesting to read. If you love your dog and show us a picture, why not tell us what you two do together? Play together? Go to shows? Scare your little sister? Funny (or not so funny) episodes can liven up the site and make us want to read more. Playing quake? OK, but don't just show us screendumps to show the amazing graphics, tell us why it is so captivating. If you play in network with your friends, whats the most fun? Exploring? "Killing" each other? Forming your own "Quake-club"? Working out strategies? Why? That's what can be interesting for other quake-fans, and can make non-players interested in it. Links to other Quake sites? Bah, why bother if you're not interested? (And if you ARE interested, there's a limit to how many sites you bother visiting if all you see is more links...) Bottom line is: Write something!

Oh, and for java, javascript and such, if the only reason for having it is to show you can do it, remove it. If you need java or javascript to get something out of your site, maybe you should look over it and see if something can be done better? Many people don't have the capabilities or turn them off for different reasons. Do you need all the animgifs? Maybe you should split your page up in several smaller? Faster loading equals more visitors - if your pages are interesting.

This was just a little bit of advice for making interesting pages (in my subjective view,) but you can come a far way with it. If you want to read more, there are many places to go. One place is my own pages on webdesign, even if much work can (and will) be done to them yet. Now, I hope I didn't come forward as a grumpy old man here?