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Websites With a Purpose


A polished website requires forethought and organization, but don’t let that scare you off.  Take time to consider the other three W’s of the World Wide Web-why, who, and what.  Answer these questions now and save yourself time later.



There are two parts to this question.  First, ask why you want a website and what’s your mission?  The reason can be as varied as advertising your business, sharing photos with family and friends, or creating a site just because it’s fun.


Then ask why you are building the site?  Do you want to become a webmaster extraordinaire, or did Aunt Irene insist you build one for the family?  The answer to this question helps guide how simple, grand, or ambitious your site is.  Think about how much time you are willing to spend on building and maintaining the site.  Perhaps you want to start small and leave room for growth or maybe you want to launch a full-scale site with all bells and whistles ringing at once.



Who is your audience?  A site targeted for family and friends differs greatly from a site geared toward users worldwide.  This especially true for a niche audience such as gardeners or baseball fans.


Finally ask if your audience will check your site to accommodate them.  Think about how your sites goals mesh with your viewer’s habits.



What kind of contents are you going to have on your site?  If you know who your audience is, you know what content to provide. 


For example, if the “who” is Maine Biologists and the what is my research on the shrinking habitats of seahorses and include photos, text, and links about seahorse conservation programs.


The needs and wants of your audience will help drive the content and presentation on our site.  Remember that a website with a purpose is never boring.


Web Tip: Analyze Your Website’s Traffic


If you’ve taken the plunge and created a website, tracking who visits your site can provide valuable information for both the webmaster and visitor.  Most Web-based site tracking solutions require that you add a small graphic or code to the particular pages you wish to have monitored.  One service that does a fine job at making the setup easy is Site Meter.


Site Meter offers a free counter and statistics tracker that integrates easily into your website.  The setup has easy-to-follow instructions.  Site Meter offers custom support for adding the tracker to sites created with most popular WYSIWYGHTML editors, including FrontPage, Claris Home Page, and Adobe PageMill.


Sites Meters free service includes a hit-counter that lets you know how many people have visited the site. Information collected and tracked by Site Meter includes users’ browser type, operating system, domain location, and language. Site Meters ease of use and well laid-out statistical information make it a great tool for any website.

Web vs Webpage

            Q: What is the difference between a website and a web page?

               A: A website is a location on the World Wide Web.  Websites contain homepage, the first accessed documents, and additional documents and files.  These other documents are referred to as webpages.  A site is basically a grouping of pages.