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    My first two months' experience with web-building was some sort of a self-imposed crash course.  From the time I had my first web page published, I began to look for ways to improve it.  Content was no problem because, in the case of "Agustinong Pinoy" I already had a specific purpose in mind:  to make it a place for publishing my articles on Augustinian Thought and Spirituality.  With my first homepage here, I intended a site for my Biblical studies. 

     My first problem was on how to economize on the time I spent connected with the Internet.  It is much better to put up pages from one's web-publishing software and then to edit them on-line after uploading them.   To write one's page on-line can be heavy on the wallet (here in the Philippines, it can cost P30.00/hour if one has a dial-up connection.) 

     My second problem closely followed the first.  If I use an off-line editor, which editor would I use?  At the time of this writing, I have tried five or six different web publishing software, but I have leaned heavily on Microsoft Frontpage because it allows me three things:  to compose my text the way I would compose on Word and Publisher, to edit it as HTML and then to see my text as it would appear on the Net. 

     My third problem was that although my web pages would look great, on "preview" they'd look bad after upload.  This happened most often because of images that won't appear.  Later I discovered that Frontpage was writing my page's HTML and making links to my web graphics according to my hard drive's directory.  And I realized this only after I learned some things about HTML!  This was easily solved once I got to know more about my software.  With Frontpage, the hard drive directory to which I save my web pages should look like my homepage directory.  (Tripod has this advantage:  that its File Manager is Frontpage enabled).  Of course, I had more freedom with Frontpage once I got those HTML tags mastered.

     My fourth problem was how to make my pages more interesting.  I thought at first that animated graphics should do it.  So I tried to add images to my web pages.  But images should be properly placed and I just didn't know where on my pages an image would fit  (Can you imagine me putting an animated .gif of Tweety the Canary on an article entitled "Ten Augustinian Values for Students?")!  Later I tried Javascripts.  (After this, I'd give reference to some Javascript sources I took advantage of during those early days).  Now, I am beginning to understand that it is not really the images and the special effects that one has on a page that makes it interesting.  It is the content plus the integrity in which that content is presented.  (In web-building "integrity of presentation" is equivalent to "easy navigation.")  But of course graphics and Javascripts will always have their proper place...

      My fifth problem was, and still is, how to increase my hits.  Right now, I have no solution to this problem.  The problem, in fact, is not just one.  Involved are the following factors:   promotion (somebody must know that your web page is on the Net!),  getting linked (here, membership in the right webring, for example, is important), services rendered (more surfers go to places where they can get something).  After this is solved, one can go to the next:  how to keep your captured audience.  This is what the big boys like Tripod are doing.  In the case of this homepage... well, you be the judge.


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