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Getting Started with Your Web Site

Posted by Newsroom On April - 19 - 2013


Soap Box Rants


By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.


People often ask me, “How do I get started with a website?” I respond by asking, “Who is the website for and where is your content?” Many people have a desire to have a website, however,  some have no idea what they need one for.

Keep in mind that when you set up a site, it usually serves a purpose. It can be one of which to inform, educate or sell something. I’m sure there are other things it can be used for, but these are usually the main topics. Before getting started with your website, you should ask yourself “What audience do I want to reach?” Are they 30-40 somethings, high school dropouts, college professors, stay at home moms, athletes, musicians, doctors, actors, lawyers or overall general population. Is your site attractive to the hip, conservative, kids, grandparents, parents, women, men or siblings? No matter what, you should have an idea as to whom you’re talking to and who will be attracted to your site and content posted.

After you have decided who they are and what you want to share with your audience, start planning it on paper by creating a site map detailing what will be on each page and the hierarchy of the website. For example, a page titled “Dessert Recipes” could have several pages under it (i.e. Pound Cake and Cherry Pie.) They both fall under Dessert Recipes.” The main page that Dessert Recipes and Salads fall under could be your home page. It might have the title “Favorite American Recipes.”


After pulling all the information together, you can begin to add content to your site. I would start by coming up with an American theme since they are American recipes. That might include the colors from the U.S. flag or favorite national monuments used as motifs throughout the site.

Always use nice photographs that are sharp in contrast and rich in color. A bad photograph can ruin a great design. Use fonts that fit the theme. Do a search for American fonts, US logos, etc. and look at the fonts. Do any of them make you think about America or Recipes? If so, then that would probably be a good font for headings and sub-headings on the site. Text that viewers will be reading should be standard text. Don’t get too fancy with rows of text. Keep it “reader friendly” – simple and easy on the eyes.

If you’re not  a good writer, write what you can, and have a professional reviewer to edit it for you. Remember, once it’s out on the web, it is live and a reflection of you so always do a spell and grammar check before posting it!

And always provide a contact page on your site for visitors in case they have questions or comments.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

Soap Box Rants is a WEEKLY COLUMN to CopyLine Magazine.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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