I would say that the main consideration when building your own site is
to be able to view it as a stranger. Design your site to look like one you
would have been pleased to find while cruising the web for interesting and
informative Kyokushin sites. Don't let your newly discovered skills and
enthusiasm with HTML or Photoshop carry you away in raptures of inappropriate
There are probably several dozen things to consider when producing your
own site. I won't try to address, or even list, them all. However, you might
consider having a look at the website Web
pages that suck, which discusses good and bad web design in some detail.
Most issues can be divided into one of two categories, thought there might
well be some overlap. The two categories are general web design issues and
specific content issues.
- Cross-platform/cross browser/scalability.
- Try NOT to design your site for just one operating system or one browser.
Nothing's more annoying than having a site that says "this site
has been designed for Internet Explorer 6.28 with 800x600 screen resolution
and 16M colours" etc... What if I don't have a screen like that?
What if I'm using Linux, for which there's no IE? Sure, most people
have the required specs on their computers these days, but there's no
point in aiding Mr. Gates in his quest for world domination. Make it
portable and scalable, or at least make it so that it will still look
good if someone doesn't have a computer with the same specs as the one
on which you designed it. Try it out on different computers and different
browsers as well.
- Be consistent throughout the site. Don't change backgrounds and fonts
and colours randomly and drastically. By being consistent, people will
know that they're still on your site, and haven't been jumped somewhere
- Spelling and Grammar
- Sure, I tell people on the discussion board that they shouldn't be telling
people how to write and talk. However, that admonition does not apply
to a website designer. It's annoying, at the very least, to read stuff
on a site that COULD be interesting but for the fact that it's full of
spelling mistakes! I'm not talking about finger faults, or rather, "fniger
faults" - that sort of stuff happens all the time, there are probably
a even few on this page. Nor am I talking about the the "colour"
vs "color" or "sympathise" vs "sympathize".
That's a linguistic variation.
- It's those words that are actually wrong, but people just can't, or
won't, make the effort to remember, to spell them correctly. A few commonly
wrong words are: seperate, definate, arguement,
presumeably, accomodate, amature, and anything
ending in -full, when the "full" doesn't mean "not
empty". Then there are the misspelt/misspelled words that actually
mean something else if you misspell them e.g. effluent/affluent, effect/affect,
loose/lose. Another often hilarious group of mistakes can be found
with homonyms, i.e. words that sound the same but are spelt differently
e.g. stationary/stationery, allowed/aloud. Among of
the funnier instances I've seen of this is on a websites where someone
was expounding on what many Americans see as a fundamental to their existence,
to wit, the
right to bare arms". Sure, a lot of sites make fun of this pun,
but there are others that are meant to be quite serious, but just lose
it a bit because of this error. Here's another
Then there are the grammatical issues e.g. "people that
train in the martial arts", "there's a lot of people
in my dojo". "its very hard to train for black belt",
"with who are you fighting". The one I find the most
hilarious (and annoying) goes something like "Hey, I really like
your sight!" Sure, English is a living and evolving language,
but that doesn't mean it has to be allowed to mutate so rapidly! A few
basic grammatical pointers can be found here.
Basically, my point is that if you're smart enough to create a website,
you should be smart enough to use a dictionary, or at the very least,
be smart enough to let someone who's got a dictionary have a look at
it. Get a friend, or ten, to proofread what you've written before you
inflict it on the rest of the world.
- Colour coordination and colour sense
- Try not to use colours that clash with, or conceal, each other both
in the backgrounds and the images. The clashes will detract from the information
you're trying convey to the site visitors, and may well deter them from
continuing on with your site. Try to avoid too many animated .gif files.
They're really kewl the first 2 minutes of the first time you see them,
but they can quickly get on your nerves. The same applies to sounds and
- When choosing a background, make sure that the overlying text does not
blend with the background, thereby rendering it illegible. Try also to
avoid using fancy fonts, especially ones that were installed by your desktop
publishing program or whatever. It's quite likely that 95% of your site
visitors won't have that font. Stick to the standard font combinations
of "Times New Roman,Times,Serif" and "Arial,Helvetic,Sans-serif".
This pretty well guarantees that it will look much the same on most operating
systems. Verdana is used a fair bit these days too, but generally only
works of Micro$oft based machines.
- Make sure that people can always find their way around your site. Have
a tool bar or a menu on every page. Let these be links to represent the
major divisions of the site, and then in each of these sections, you can
further subdivide it. But at all times make it easy for people to backtrack,
even to the "front page" of the site.
- This is a really big no-no. I have seen soooo
many sites, including this
one, that have whole pages of information copied from this site word
for word, including mistakes, without acknowledging the source of the
information, and then having the GALL to put copyright messages on each
page. Apart from the whole issue of intellectual property, what's the
point of doing that, unless you're doing it in a language it hasn't been
translated to yet? The same applies to a lot of the images, though many
have asked me for permission to use them. There's another
FAQ for that.
- Useful information
- While your enthusiasm in wanting to spread the word of Kyokushin is
to be commended, your site should really try to contribute something new
to the sum total of Kyokushin information on the net. Local information
such as tournaments, dojo addresses etc..
- Dojo sites
- Dojo sites are useful. Use them to disseminate information to your students
and also use them to advertise for and recruit new students. Make sure
though that you make it clear where you dojo is.
- Contact details
- Don't just give a street address - the internet is international, and
are unlikely to know where it is without more geographical information.
Even including the city's name may not be enough. For example, if you
say you're in Perth, you could be in Scotland, Western Australia, Ontario,
or any of nine different locations in the USA! Be more specific, especially
if you're trying to use your site to get more students.
Make sure you include full contact details on the site. Some sites,
particularly dojo sites, only list their (incomplete) address, but no
phone number or email address. This further aggravates the point made
in the previous paragraph. I get particularly annoyed by websites that
don't have an email address. That's like having your advertisement in
the phonebook, but not including the phone number!
- Clear identification and ownership.
- "Contact email@example.com." How irksome!
What's wrong with saying who you are? Sure, it feels good to be known
as a "webmaster", but it still leaves a question unanswered
- WHO THE HECK ARE YOU? I'm reluctant to link to any site from my site
unless I know who the site-owner is, and where his or her interests and
loyalties lie. Anonymous sites are hypocritical - on the one hand, the
owners claim to promote kyokushin through the site, saying it's for one
and all and completely egalitarian (HAH!), but on the other hand they
won't tell us who they are. I find this type of behaviour very suspicious,
and seriously question their real motives. If you're IKO(1), IKO(2), IFK
etc... be proud to say so. If you're NOT (or you're afraid to), then maybe
it's time to leave and join another group, or, as currently seems to be
the popular option, form another group.