OK, this literally made me laugh.  You have a book “for dummies” and assume they know the basics and are reminding them not to forget them.  Alrighty then.  How about instead of waiting for a site visitor to tell you about your spelling mistakes, you use this new thing we have now…maybe you’ve heard of it – “spell-check”.  But otherwise, yes – do remember to include your contact info, and make it easy for visitors to use. Do have both a site index and a menu, and for the LAST bullet (which should have been first)… make important content easy to find, and adjust if it’s wrong.

8)  DON’T start by setting up your own Web server

There are several “easy-to-use” Web server packages on the market, and Web server capability is even being built into Macs and PCs. But even with these efforts, buying, setting up, and maintaining a Web server can become the most expensive, most complicated, and most frustrating part of Web publishing. Luckily, you can use the free services described in this book, or paid services, to put your content on someone else’s Web server while you learn the other tricks of the trade. Then, as your knowledge and experience grow, consider setting up your own Web server.

I don’t think most people would even consider this an option any more, thankfully there are lots and lots of powerful and affordable web hosting companies available – I’m a fan of hotgator.com hostgator.com.  There are very few cases where it’s necessary to maintain your own server.  Additionally, the phrase “easy-to-use” should never be used to described any web server package.

9)  DON’T forget the “World” in the World Wide Web

Remember that your Web pages are available and accessible to the whole world. Think a bit about that foreign audience. Is it worthwhile to include some foreign language content? Do you use colloquialisms that may not be understood by your foreign Net surfers? How do your pages look to your overseas colleagues who view them through the slow transoceanic Net link? Will your humorous or risqué content offend someone in another country of culture?

When you become a Web publisher, you also become a global citizen and your Web pages play on a global stage. Think through the meaning of your page in advance.

This really boils down to knowing your audience – and being able to adapt if needed.  Usually, a site’s content will fall into a consistent them or category and people who want to read about that content will understand most of how you write about it, regardless of where the live. However, writing for an international audience does take a little forethought.

10)  DON’T be afraid to learn more

Web publishing is not rocket science. It is computer science, but it’s relatively easy computer science. You’re not trying to land the space shuttle here- and chances are, lives are not at stake. Experiment, try weird things. Ask for feedback. Never be afraid to learn complex and hard stuff. (It’s only complex and hard because you don’t understand it yet!) Neat stuff is being developed (and some cool stuff is already out there) that will make Web publishing even more exciting- VRML, Java, new browsers and publishing tools, groupware, Net-based games, and online business infrastructure. All this new stuff is understandable and usable by normal folks like you. Don’t be intimidated. You can use all of them. (If you’ve come this far, you’ve got what it takes!)

Not only should you not be afraid to learn more – you should do your best to always be learning more.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, rarely do you learn something by doing it correctly.  Be sure to document how you do things, what works and what doesn’t – this sort of testing will make your life easier.


There you have it – Ten Web Publishing DON’Ts, straight from the web design time machine.

What did you do then that you find yourself  NOT doing today?

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