I started hosting websites and running web business back in year 2003. Back then during my newbie days, I made tons of foolish mistakes (and still often make mistakes now).
Yep, without doubt I learned faster from my own mistakes but you bet I wish badly for a mentor to point out and correct my mistakes before it turns into a disaster. If I ever have a time machine to travel back to the time when I first started, here’re what I’m gonna teach myself.
- Fail to plan is plan to fail – have a clear plan before you start any websites.
- Networking is important, no matter you’re doing business offline or online.
- Always, always, always work only with a good web host – read (and test) as much of reliable hosting reviews as you can before you really get started. If a good host turns bad, don’t feel hesitate to swtich.
- Read point 11th in Ian’s post here: Don’t, I repeat, don’t start with a dedicated server, spent the money in marketing or content instead.
- Any autorun audio files on your website is unnecessary.
- Use .htaccess (or Google Webmasters Tools for now) to clarify the WWW and non WWW version of your website.
- Splashing page sucks! No seriously, you don’t need that Flash animation to show how good you are in screwing web user’s experience.
- Minimize your website load time.
- There are a handful of web tools provided by your web host, use them! Building the entire web form from scratch doesn’t worth the time.
- There’s nothing wrong with a static website – simple is good, so stop working long hours on that fancy-randomized-banners just because your girl friend says it’s cool.
- Read your web stats always.
- Always update your web apps (if there’s any) to avoid hacker’s attacks.
- Use keywords in hyperlinks.
- Don’t build a mall, limit your website around a specified topic and drill deep down on the topic.
- Stay away from anyone who offer $X for 2,000,000 traffics, those are scams.
- Read (and contribute back) Webmaster World as much as you can.
- The numbers with Alexa is inaccurate.
- People steals content online – accept and live along with it.
- Don’t leave any space in your web file name, URL with s p a c e looks like this: s%20p%20a%20c%20e, which is ugly.
- Last but not least, always work with a robots.txt.
Now I have give you my list, how about yours? What will be the best advice for the 5-years-ago you?