1. accessibility

Register a domain name
If you're serious about your site, you should register a domain with Network Solutions, or the national organization which handles domain assignment in your top-level country domain. If you want to wait until your site gains popularity before you register a domain for it, you may find that the domain has already been taken.

Register a .ORG, .NET, or .COM domain
A recent trend has been to use the country top-level domains (e.g., .CC, .TO, .NU, etc.) in amusing ways. Not only does this defeat the purpose for which those top-level domains exist, but it rides on the heels of a trend which has already largely burned itself out; all the clever combinations using those country top-level domains have already been taken. Using these other top-level domains in a normal context lends the air of unprofessionality; what is more impressive and is more self-explanatory, yourbusinesshere.com or yourbusinesshere.nu? Register a .org domain for organizations, .net for net-related activities, and .com for businesses.

Choose domain names that are easy to guess and remember
When selecting the domain names on which your site will be placed, try and select domains that are easier to remember. Your users will be able to find and remember your site much more easily.

Avoid free Web services
Free may seem better, but often it isn't. Your users will get a bad taste in their mouth if they see you're offering Web content from a free service provider, particularly one with annoying advertisements. The negative impression that using a free service gives on your users will outweigh the small benefit of avoiding the cost of going through a reputable, professional ISP.

Give meaningful TITLE and META tags
Search engines can index your site and help your users find the information they need much more quickly and accurately. More information, such as keywords, the author, what was used to generate the HTML, etc., are also recommended.

Default page name should be something obvious
If your users happen across your site somewhere, often they want to find the index page. Choose something obvious, like index.html or home.html.

Put meaningful pages in the root of subdirectories
When wandering across your site, often your users will want to back up. When the navigation controls aren't obvious (or if your users are in a hurry), they'll want to look at the directory in which a file is contained. This should always default to something meaningful, and should never be blocked.

Always put up forwarding pages when moving
When moving your site to another location or another domain, always leave forwarding pages in every place there was a page at the old site -- not just one forwarding page at the root. This ensures that users arriving anywhere at your old site will know where to go.

Don't have links that go nowhere
Your users should never click on an internal link and get a file not found error. If a link is not functional, then it shouldn't be there.

Never say "under construction"
Never say that your site is "under construction." If it's under construction, then it shouldn't be publicized yet. If it's functional and ready for users to look at it -- even if it's a work-in-progress -- then it's no longer under construction.

Use relative URLs for internal links
When linking from one part of your site to another, or when referencing internal images on your site, always use relative URLs, instead of hardcoded fully-qualified URLs. This makes your site easier to traverse and index.

Make use of subdirectories for larger sites
Small sites don't need to have subdirectories, but larger sites should always be organized hierarchically, in an orderly and reasonable fashion. This makes it much easier for you to maintain your site and for your users to find what they need on it.

Avoid Webrings and link exchanges unless very specialized
Large Webrings and link exchanges may bring more hits, but they won't be hits from users who are actually interested in your site; they'll be random hits from random users. Specialized, special-purpose Webrings and link exchanges can be beneficial, but in general they are to be avoided.

Contact information should be prominent
Should your users want to get in touch with you, they'll need to know where to contact you. Contact information should be prominently displayed and easy to access.

Keep your site up-to-date; watch for outdated information
Watch your site for outdated or obsolete information; if your users find information that's no longer valid, they're likely to think that the rest of your site is invalid as well. If you include a "last updated" figure, make sure you continue updating the site regularly.

Use reasonable and memorable URLs
Use URLs that are reasonable and memorable. Don't use unnecessary abbreviations or bizarre capitalization conventions. Make the pages easy to find and your users will find them.

Have the opening page make the nature of the content obvious
From the first page your users encounter, the subject matter of your site should be obvious. If it's not, then they might not stay to see it.

Include the equivalent of a "mission statement" on the main page or a clearly marked subpage
Your users will get frustrated if they come to your site and can't figure out what it's there for. It need not be called a mission statement, but some form of indication of what the site is for should be displayed prominently on your page. An "about this page" link would be a good choice.

Submit your site to search engines
Submit your site yourself to search engines. This ensures that you will know which search engines you submitted your site to, and can monitor how its distribution is progressing. Don't pay anyone to do it for you.

Have your Web site hosted at a host beginning with WWW
Recently trends have been to host sites on the raw domain name. Traditionally, HTTP servers were run on a host name beginning with www.. If you want to host a server on the raw domain name, be sure you host it on both (with virtual domains, for instance) for maximum accessibility.
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