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A Guide to Tools and Resources
You need Java to see this applet.
Adding The Bells & Whistles
 Selecting To Add Extras To Your Page

Before you go running off and adding to your page all of the items we are going to guide you to, stop and think about what you need versus what you found visually appealling. Once you get beyond the locally hosted HTML and graphics, you get into delayed loading speeds and run a risk of page clutter.


The temptation to overfill a page with apps is natural, especially to the first time user. It is easy to get swept away with all the tools and apps available, so go easy and determine what will serve you usefully from what will be just page filler. While apps like these add a nice touch, be prepared for the days they don't work... just like our Y!GC pages! Remotely hosted apps are prone to bandwidth problems and often come under revision that takes them offline for anywhere from an hour to a couple of days.

Y!GC's Offerings

Let's start by looking right in our own backyard so to speak. Y!GC does include some apps worth noting.


Animation & MM

Graphics & Photos

Fun & Games

Instant Info & News

Forms & Search Boxes

Many of these tools are adequate, but not all are ideal for business pages. In selecting from this list be certain that you are not subject to Y!GC's branding all over your pages... it's not professional looking.


 Accessing Remotely Hosted CGI

Access to remotely hosted CGI apps is nothing new, the trade-off with most being having to post their branding and logos on your page. Before selecting an app, note if this is a requirement, check if it can be edited out of the app, then check the speed this app is delivered at.


CGI apps can add many benefits to your page, from checking links and exchanges, add interactive forms, voting booths with charted results, and more. These are useful in gathering and reporting information, plus they add interactivity to an otherwise dull page, in general CGI apps make some tasks easier and automated. Access can be provided for free, but some sites require paid membership.

To find hosted CGI apps you could check AltaVista or 321Free.com. While it's a good idea to know which apps you are after, browsing the lists can prompt great ideas.


A great resource is LinkCounter! which will show the hits on links that go outside of your page. Also highly recommended for their interactive forms is AskMe, a favorite but requires their branding. The largest offering is available at Bravenet with 16 CGI apps hosted at the time of this writing. Bravenet apps can be modified to remove the branding, but at least one link should be placed on your page as a courtesy for accessing these tools.


Good luck and happy hunting!

 Using Cut & Paste JavaScript

JavaScript adds interactivity to images and links on your page, it can control slideshows, mouseover effects, and many other functions of your page. Unlike CGI, JavaScript can not write to a document, it can only provide visual interaction.


JavaScript codes can be a single cut & paste insert, or it can contain two parts, one loaded into the header of your document, the other into the body. The coding is simple enough to read and edit to customize it for your application. Most require the code to be embedded in your document, some can be linked to from the page by calling up 'filename.js'.

There are several sites and home pages that offer free JavaScript, some are difficult to navigate, others are a snap, all are worth checking since you never know where a real gem might turn up.


Recommended sites for accessing JavaScript are JavaCity 2000, JavaFILE, JavaScript Planet, Website Abstraction. While this is not a complete list of sites offering JavaScript, it does represent the best sites for total JavaScript browsing, and are well designed with tutorials, FAQ's, and categorized types of scripts. Additional sources are listed at 321Free.com and most search engines.

Chats, Forums, and Clubs

One of the simplest methods of providing chat and message boards is to use the Y!Clubs which will provide the complete set up for you. The down side to this is it screams of Yahoo's branding and advertising, the message board does not thread messages, and the chat is restricted to text and the voice chat is lame.


Chats are not usually found on business pages, and since most chat room applications include advertising banners that refresh constantly, they are a complete turn off. If you must chat, the best method is posting your ICQ membername or number for your customers to contact you.

One of the best threaded message boards that include emoticon icons and the ability to have it password protected is provided by Bravenet Forums and can be customized with your logo and background.


Also available are such tools as Mailing Lists that allow people to sign up for newsletters and announcements, Counter Stats that give full details on who has visited your site, Classified Ads that allow your members to post classifieds to your page, and Vote Caster for running online polls. This is just a portion of what they offer, all are modestly branded, but head and shoulders over other tools.

Virus & Hoax Alerts
  DANGER!  

Over the past month I have received the Pretty Park.exe virus at least 5 times. Fortunately, I knew in advance about this virus and it has not had the opportunity to infect my system. Such a virus can get into your system, then mail itself to everyone in your address book without your being aware of it.


Unless you have a passion for reformatting your hard drive and reinstalling your programs, it's best to know what virus is current, which are hoaxes, and how to deal with them.


Virus Information
Hoax Information
Know The Laws
 WARNING! 

The biggest problem on the web is with copyright laws, this includes images and intellectual property. Never download a graphic without first confirming it's freeware, or without asking permission of the person holding the copyright.
Never copy material from someone else's content without prior permission, it's best to link to the original site than engage in a lawsuit because you copied something to your page without permission.



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