Now that we have handed out a reasonable number of Pooped Puppy Awards, it has become clear that some of the applicants have some major problems with their sites:

I wish to make it clear that I am no expert, not even a self professed one, in html coding. I may have a bit more experience than others perhaps, but certainly no expert; I recognize I still have way too much to learn. The more I surf though, the more I get annoyed by plain bad design and lay-out, bad grammar and poor spelling. The best suggestion I can offer for spelling is to use an editor with a built-in spell checker, or better yet, write the text first in a word processor that has a spell and grammar checker. MS Word is an example of a word processor that offers spell and grammar check and even the option of saving your documents as html files. And it's not a bad idea to have someone else read and check your efforts before uploading them to your server.

If you use the on-line editors provided by free website hosting services like Geocities and Tripod, do yourself a BIG favor and get control over your html by using a proper html editor, rather than one that works just from templates, such as Trellix for instance. An easy editor for most people is Microsoft's Frontpage, which I feel writes absolutely horrible code, but it's WYSIWYG and DOES give you much better control than Trellix for instance. When using Frontpage make sure you set the preferences for it to code for viewing in both Netscape and Internet Exploder, otherwise Netscape users may not see much of your site at all. These days I use Macromedia's Homesite 5, a great program, but definitely NOT for beginners. I make sure to have the program verify my code and I use TopStyle 3.1 as my CSS editor and style checker. Netscape of course still includes Composer in its Netscape Communicator suite. And that's FREE. For picture manipulation I use a variety of programs: Paint Shop Pro for major editing, Gif Construction Set for quick gif work such as setting transparencies, changing/reducing palettes and building animations, and Webgraphics Optimizer. The latter is very useful in reducing the size of your picture files, which helps the download speed of your site's pages.

Having said all that, here are a few sites you may find helpful in your quest to improve your HTML and CSS writing prowess.

Easy Submit Easy submissions to search engines

This site was on GeoCities at one time (some of it still is and will stay there until they cancel my privileges, it still drives a little traffic to the new server), but have grown increasingly malcontent with their service: a monthly 3G bandwidth limit (measured hourly), pop-up ads, pop-over ads, you can no longer use ftp and you HAVE to use your browser for uploading files if you do not use one of their PAID premium services. I now avail myself of a fee-based server for less money than the cheapest GeoCities premium package. I must admit I USED to like using Tripod because you can use ftp to maintain your site and they allow the use of subdirectories!?! While Tripod still has the pop-up advertising window, it only pops-up once and outside the main viewing window (obviously), making it easy and clean to do a site using frames. Most other free sites have something that displays on each individual page on your site and would therefor show up in every frame of your framed page. I have had sites on GeoCities (duh...), Tripod (for the modelrailroading goodies) and Fortunecity (for the birdie stuff), but we have gone for our own domain, it's banner free, advertising free, no bandwidth limitation etc. etc..