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by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective

How To Build A Successful Web Page: Part I
by Steve Siercks
November 18th

Have you ever tried to make a cool web page, but seen it fail? I know that's happened to me, but I found a way to change all of that. I came up with 5 "steps" that any teen (or adult) could take to create and maintain a successful web site. Want to learn more? For the next 5 weeks we will be airing these 5 steps that will help you to create a really great web page.. Without further ado, let's begin!

Step 1: Brainstorming

The worst thing to do when creating a web page is to start out with a bad idea, or to make a web page about something that doesn't really interest you. To really like your web page it has to about a topic that you really enjoy. This is where our first step comes in..

The first thing you should do before you even think about starting to design a web page is to brainstorm what your page is going to be about. To do this, you need just a piece of paper and a pencil (or a computer..) Write down your top 20 interests (in any order). If you don't know what an interest is, it is something like bicycling or ant frying. If you can't think of 20 interests, try to write down as many as you can.

After you have written down these 20 ideas, STOP. Put the paper down and don't touch it for a couple days. What this does is it makes you think about your interests and question if you should add or subtract some of your interests. On the third day (and no cheating!), get your paper and start making some corrections to it. You can add and delete from this list as much as you want.

These next mini-steps are probably the hardest to do. What you have to do now is narrow down your list by crossing out your least favorite interests. You can do this really quickly, or you can take your time doing it. Remember- the more time you spend on this process, the more fun you will have when you actually get to create the web site and maintain it.

Once you have eliminated about 10-12 of your interests, STOP AGAIN. This is another break period. Put the paper down for another 2 or 3 days and just reflect on the choices you have made. Many times people will go back to their lists and uncross certain interests and cross out others.. This is perfectly all right. The only down part to this process of waiting is that it's really hard because you want to just get out there and start designing the site (I know I did when I first started this process!) Try and maintain these urges because the less time you spend on this step, the less fun you will have in the next 3 steps.

After you have spend 2-3 days pondering about your choices, it is time for the final cut. Narrow your list down again to about 3 interests. These should be your top 3 interests and should be the ones you really enjoy doing. For me, this step was really hard because I had 5 of my favorite things to do and I didn't know which ones to weed out, but I spent some time thinking about it and I finally got to my top three.

This next step is probably the most fun step in this lesson. Write down things about your top three choices. Here's an example (Bicycling- 1. different kinds of bikes 2. my love of biking 3. all my friends love biking) Write down these kinds of things for each of the three interests that are remaining.

Guess what you do now? Yep, you got it, STOP! This time take about about five days to think about your final decision. This is the biggest decision you are going to make in the process of building your web page, so why not make it a good one! The more time you spend, the more fun you will have later on. I know, you're sick of me saying that, but its true! If you follow my instructions you'll most likely have a great time with your new baby..err. . web page.

Have you thought good and hard about your decision? Good.. Now it's time to make the final decision. Some good questions to ask yourself before deciding are "Do I have enough stuff to make a web page about this interest?", "Will I have fun making a web page about this?", etc. Hopefully by this point you will be able to make a good decision as to what your web page will be about.

After you have made a decision, its time to start researching! Check back next week for the next lesson on how to research on the Internet and in the library about what kind of stuff to put on your web page.

See ya then,


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