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The ideal website can be viewed by everyone, with no problems or annoyances. The following items will, for the reasons explained below, restrict the number of clients that use your website.

Sounds - I recommend against using sounds or music on your website, unless your industry specifically requires it (for example, you are a music store, a recording studio, a band, etc.). A sizable number of people find websites that use sounds and music annoying. Yes, they could simply turn off their speakers, but in reality many don't. They just go elsewhere.

Video - I also recommend against using videos in your website, although for different reasons than sound or music. Many people don't have the computer software to view videos on their computer. So, one of several things can happen:

Bullet.gif (430 bytes)Their computer came with software pre-installed and they have no idea how to install the software they need to view the video, so all they see is a big blank space where the video is
Bullet.gif (430 bytes)They attempt to install the correct viewer, don't know what they are doing (or their computer is set up improperly) and mess it up (and maybe their computer too), so now they hate you
Bullet.gif (430 bytes)They have one of the newer Internet programs that automatically goes and gets the proper software they need to see your video, but the time it takes typically, to have the Internet program retrieve the video software is anywhere from 5 min to over an hour, so they get bored and go elsewhere
Bullet.gif (430 bytes)They have a slow computer, so the video looks lousy
Its just smarter to use animations, which work on all computers.

Java  - there are several reasons against using Java:

Bullet.gif (430 bytes)Some versions of America On Line do not implement Java and others implement Java in an odd way. America On Line is the largest provider of Internet access. Do you really want to cut yourself off from all those people?
Bullet.gif (430 bytes)A number of companies (and some individuals), as a security precaution, disable Java. Again, do you want to lose these customers?
Bullet.gif (430 bytes)If a site uses Java improperly or doesn't 'clean up' after itself correctly, then it can cause the NEXT Java website to crash the computer or Internet program. So, someone goes to a website that implements Java incorrectly. Then they go to your website. Although you have implemented Java properly, because the previous website didn't, their computer or Internet program crashes. They may not know enough about Java to understand this, all they know is they got to your website, it fouled up their computer and they are never going to your website again.
One of the techniques that is used is to make two versions of your website, one Java, one non-Java. Although this also means more profits for us, we recommend against this as well. If you have two versions of your website, one Java and one non-Java, what does this really say? It says 'well, the non-Java site isn't very good, so if you want to see something nice, you need Java'. Of course this is true, otherwise why would they have bothered to make a Java version? This is just the wrong approach to websites. Its smarter (and less expensive) to make one great-looking version of your website that everyone can see and use, whether they have Java or not.

Using Java may impress computer hobbyists or 'power users', etc. but who cares? That's not what you are trying to do. You are trying to sell your products or services. It can be a huge mistake (and very costly) to get caught up in the computer wizardry of websites and lose the critical focus of your website: to attract customers, serve them better, cut costs, sell your products and services, etc.

Frames - there are two reasons for not using frames:

Bullet.gif (430 bytes)Many people do not have Internet software that supports frames. The common way to get around this, is to create two versions of the page, one that uses frames and one that does not. Besides increasing your cost unnecessarily, what this is really saying is that the non-frame version isn't very good. Otherwise, why would you have bothered to have two versions? Its smarter to create one great-looking version of your website and not use frames.
Bullet.gif (430 bytes)While surfing the web, many people right-click with their mouse to create a bookmark (if they are using Netscape, or a favorite, if they are using Internet Explorer). If they do so on a page with frames, they can quite easily (and without them knowing it) create a bookmark (or favorite) to that page, but lose the ability to move from that page to the other pages in your website. Now you have a frustrated (or angry) customer and what good it that?
Stay away from frames. While some people don't have the ability to do so, with our many years of experience in the computer field, we can duplicate many of the features that frames offer.

Plug-ins - although plug-ins (the most common of these is probably ShockWave) are a quick way to do some interesting effects, we recommend against them. If the client doesn't have the plug-in you used, then it has to be downloaded. If his Internet software doesn't do it automatically, then the client has to find the right plug-in, download it, install it and then continue. A lot of people simply aren't going to bother. And, a surprising number of people on the Internet simply don't know how to install a plug-in. Heaven help you if they install the plug-in improperly and have problems. They will blame you.

Even if they have a newer Internet program that retrieves and installs the plug-in automatically, they still have to sit there and wait for the plug-in to download and install. This can take anywhere from 5 min to a half hour, or longer. In many cases, they will get tired of waiting and go elsewhere.

I will be happy to provide these and any other items you request - I simply don't want to try to sell you things that you don't need, or that work against you. Please feel free to contact me at (310) 589-7000 to discuss these, or any other items. I look forward to hearing from you and serving your Internet needs.

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