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From My Life...

Web Site Warnings (2001.01.03)

Things not to do with your Web site.

Do not create a Web site without pre-planning what content you are going to have, what you are going to name the files, and what the directory structure is going to be.

Do not throw up a bunch of content that you won’t be able to maintain, update, or that you might just grow tired of later.

Do not throw up a site without clearly knowing how you’ll easily maintain it in the future as the site grows and expands.

If you’ve already failed in all these, then do not wait until your site has been around for four years and has been searched and indexed by countless search engines and has been linked to from who-knows-how-many Web sites, and then decide that you need to reorganize your site (including moving stuff around), and figure out that an easier way to maintain all your pages is to use something like server side includes, but which require renaming all your pages from “.html” to “.shtml”.

Cause if you do you’re in the same boat I’m in.

Damn I should have realized all these things before. But I guess that’s what life and learning is all about. “And why pencils have erasers,” yeah, yeah, yeah; we’ve all heard that before. But damn I wish I had thought about and learned about this years ago. Now I have to use pages like these until the search engines take their good old time about re-indexing my site (and yes, I have resubmitted to the major engines).

“Ah, but why not leave all those old pages up the way they are so that visitors won’t get 404 messages?” you may ask. Well I’ll tell you why. Because this isn’t just a redesign of this site. This is a whole new site. Just like as if I would have launched a brand new site, only the old domain is still being used. (For a real life analogy, think that you’re returning to a restaurant you used to go to all the time as a kid, but now the building is being used for an entirely different restaurant. Sure, they still serve steak and lobster, but now cocktail bar is at the back and the service is better.)

My new Web site is more accessible (yes I tested it on many different browsers (ones you may not have even heard of), but I don’t know about the blind since I can’t test that), more customizable (correct that, now it actually has some customizability), and it is a hell of a lot easier to update (that may not concern you but it sure does concern me). Now instead of searching and replacing couple of hundred pages when I need to change the copyright notice or add a new section, and then taking the time to upload all those pages; now I just update one server side included file and bing, it’s done.

But... the search engines still see the old pages that are not improved, are not being updated, and will in fact mislead visitors as to what this site (this new site) really has to offer.

Oh, and what about just doing the stuff this page says so that I don’t have to change all the “.html” to “.shtml”? Simple, I don’t know that much about servers, my site is a virtually hosted site, and I don’t like those “potential hazards.”

OK, enough rambling for today. I’ve also been categorizing the jokes in the jokes section.

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