BUILDING YOUR OWN FISHING WEB SITE
by Daniel Kiazyk
Every time I'll start my Internet browser and do a bit of surfing in the fishing cyberspace, I'm amazed at the shear number of fishing sites that are initiated on a monthly, weekly, daily basis. If you fish, you'll probably have a photo of yourself on line or you'll have one in a short while. It seems as though fishing web site production has become a trend of the present and near future. It appears as though this trend will continue. Should you want to get on the band-wagon you've got some things to think about………..
So, where do you start? Even before getting into the world of HTML, an important consideration for web page construction is the purpose of your proposed site. Is it going to be commercial, informative, instructional, or do you just want to share some experiences with who ever wants to read about it? Knowing the prior will have an impact on the actual page(s) that you will construct. A commercial site will have information that other sites need not have. The latter site tends to be more complex as its intent is to convince prospective clients about the suitability of the service and it's guide for them. Informational and instructional sites are based on your experiences and need not be as complicated as a commercial site. In general, I've seen a wide range of sites in this genre ranging from simple to something more complex. Many make these pages as a first foray into html and web page creation.
What follows for website creation can become as complex as you wish it to be. Issues and the decision you take with regards to "domain" can at some point prove crucial. In effect the adage, "you get what you pay for!" may come to haunt you if you don't choose wisely. If you decide to go via the free domain/website creation route, choose wisely – I suggest a larger provider e.g. Yahoo or MSN or Homestead. If you go via an owned domain name etc. you'll have a bit more flexibility and options open to you. I would suggest that anyone just starting out should go the free rout to start and then consider the private domain option.
Knowing html is a significant advantage in the creation of a web page. Html is the programming code that allows us to "see" most of what we "see" on the net. Most web site creation services (as a part of some free domains) don't require that you know html. Their services will give you a fairly wide range of web pages. All that is necessary in this context is the information and images you wish to insert within the page. Having knowledge of html, however, will allow you to create the look "you want". Other languages will creep in as you get more involved. Don't worry about them, you'll probably not need them anyway.
Creating an effective, visually pleasing fishing website is no easy task. Actual html "checkers" exist on the Internet to help you create error free web pages. These services will "check' your html code and make suggestions at to how you might improve your site. Perhaps one virtue to develop when producing a website is to keep it simple and smaller, quick to load. Many visitors will click/surf on if your site is too slow or requires a powerful computer to run well. Another suggestion for improving your site is to submit it to organizations that have established criteria for winning an award. LRSA (an organization which does the prior) will check over your site to make recommendations on how to improve your site. This organization is run by fishermen and that makes their criticism a little easier to swallow after the millions of hours it took you to create your site.
Of course, once you get rolling, you'll notice there are components to your computer system which previously you had no need for, which now seem indispensable e.g. a digital camera, scanner. One side note to add at this point …. No computer system is bullet proof. Good back-ups are a necessity and renewing items such as your hard drive every once in a while is a good idea. Take it from me, you want to consider the latter (especially when all your stuff is on the computer!)
So what does a successful fishing website include? Images, text, links. Perhaps most important in my opinion with a fishing website is that your site be interesting and informative. Apart from the latter, I've seen the simplest of sites catch and hold my interest for a long time. Another excellent means of getting an idea of what your fishing site might entail is to look through "fishing rings" and fishing search engines. Most of the sites you'll see are commercial but no site is without information or points of interest. Be creative and have some fun doing it. It usually says something about the creator when you visit their site (well not always in the case of professional web site developer).
A final consideration once you get you site up is to have it added to a number of fishing lists, fishing directories, and search engine directories. This can be accomplished via various means, some are free and others you'll have to pay for if you're going to get noticed. I've noticed that long hours of just personally asking other web masters has yielded excellent exposure for my site on the net. I've also found that in creating a credible electronic bulletin board, I nearly tripled the amount of traffic on my site. Maybe you'll find a way that I haven't described (or perhaps I've forgotten to mention) but that the beauty of the whole operation …. It all depends on what you want to do and where you want to go with it….GOOD LUCK!