52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.
This Friday is about ‘why’ and ‘how’ to set up a ‘good websites’ file, even if you’re happy with the website you’ve got and have no immediate plans to make a change.
What’s a ‘good websites’ file? It’s either a paper or digital file or record of websites you like, including features such as design elements, functional features, text, images, organizational structure…it’s all fair game when you’re hunting for that perfect web inspiration. And don’t limit yourself to equestrian websites, either; inspiration can come from mainstream, non-horsey sites, too!
- Ever feel like you’re operating on ‘bucket in, bucket out’ system and can’t seem to remember things from one day to the next? You’re not alone. This is one of the BIG reasons for collecting website examples into a ‘safe place’ from which you can easily find and recover them when you need them; because frankly, who among us will remember the URL of that great website we liked from 2 years ago?
- Another reason is that when you go to design your website, whether you DIY or hire a designer, you’ll have a treasure trove of design elements and features to select from and inspire you. Pictures are worth 1,000 words, and when you’re paying someone to design a website, they can also be worth a few bucks, since they’ll help you be that much farther along in the design conversation.
- There are a few ways to go about this. The first way is to simply print out a copy, make sure what’s on the page looks like what’s on your computer screen (do you need to change the print orientation?), and file it into a paper file folder that’s clearly labelled. Then, put it with important papers like taxes and insurance papers. Websites change, and what’s there today might not be there tomorrow.
- Take a ‘screen capture’ and save the resulting image file to a clearly-marked folder on your computer. Here are instructions for screen capture on a PC, and screen capture on a Mac. A bonus for this method is that you can email the image files, so if your web designer is far away, you can still share & discuss the images you like.
- Probably the easiest method is bookmarking the URL in your browser, but this method leaves you open to frustration if that website you loved gets changed or even deleted.
If you’ve used the bookmarking system rather than a print/file system or screen captures, and a return to the website shows something different than what you remember, all is not lost!
The Internet Archive Wayback Machine has archived over 150 billion pages, going all the way back to 1996. Ever heard that saying ‘Once on the Internet, always on the Internet’? You can thank the Wayback Machine for some of that! Simply enter in the URL and click the Take Me Back button, and voila! A return to the website of yore. Be forewarned, the Wayback Machine doesn’t store everything, so if it’s an obscure or little-viewed website you like, the best way is still to make a paper copy or screen capture.
Getting in the habit of collecting website examples you like, as you come across them, will help you when it comes time to change up your website. It’s a time that usually comes sooner than you think.
What are some websites that you just love? Please click on the Leave a Comment button to send in a link, I’d love to see it! See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #8!