PR2 Newsletter : Issue 2

Welcome to the issue 2 of the PR2 Website Promotion Newsletter.

The response to the first issue was extremely positive and there are now over 1,100 people reading this copy of the newsletter. If you find this newsletter useful, please tell your friends and family, colleagues... stop random people in the street and tell them about PR2!

Over the next 3 issues, we'll look in great detail about how you should prepare your site for its "big date" with visitors. If you only take one thing away from this issue, remember this: promote no site before its time.

I bet that made some of you scratch your heads, so a few examples may help:-

A) You've heard it takes the overworked folks at Yahoo! 4-6 weeks to review new sites. So you decide to submit your site, then work on it. Suddenly, something happens... you get ill, your workload explodes... or a news event occurs in an area related to your site and it is bumped to the head of the review queue. You just blew your big chance as the reviewer spent 30 seconds reading your "Under Construction" notices and filed you in the circular bookmark file under his desk.

B) Many promotional resources will only accept your submission once. Why use up your 60 seconds of fame dressed in rags? You won't get another chance during the lifetime of that particular site!

Convinced? I hope so. The rest of this issue and the next will concentrate on the very basic issues surrounding your site.

Where to Host Your Site
If you're running a personal site for fun, just relax and enjoy your site wherever it is now. If you're on the Web for BUSINESS (no matter how small your client base or resources, you're out to make money online) two things are a must: a non-free server and your own domain name.

A site hosted on a free server gives your clients (and more importantly your potential clients) the impression your business is so under-funded that you can't afford a few tens of dollars a month for hosting. In the real (offline) world, even a business run from your living-room will usually have some small costs associated with it. Server space is your cost of doing business. Here's an article with all the information you need to choose where to host your site.

A domain name is important too. And at only $70 for the first two years (way long enough to find out if your site is going to buy you that Porsche you dream of) it's a pretty good investment. Here's more information about selecting and buying a domain name.

Your Site
There are so many things to do before your site is ready for prime time that it's best to just wade in and get on with it. If you're really confident that your site is ready, then skip the next couple of issues and come back when the promotion starts!

Where do your visitors go when they/you make a mistake?
I have visited many sites (including some of the most popular sites on the web) where I clicked on a broken link or tried to go to the wrong page, only to be confronted by a terse and mysterious error message in technobabble. "Error 404. The URL you requested..."

Wouldn't it be better to steer your errant visitors towards the main page of your site? You bet it would! Take a look at what happens when you make a mistake on PR2 (just click here to go to a non-existent page, take a look and then press the "Back" button on your browser).

Back already? Well, as you saw, it's important to always offer your visitors a way back to your site no matter how badly they type (or if you left some broken links... but you wouldn't do that, would you?!). Here's how to set things up... if you're on a free server you'll just have to live with the problem, I'm afraid, as the fix only works for a server you can "control".

Gosh, this has become so long that it's time to bid you farewell. Next time, lots of things to talk about (graphics, links, animation, etc.)

Until next time...

Edwin Hayward

Next: Issue 3

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