A Plea to Pagan Webmasters

1.   Please don't put 17 large graphics on the first page of your site.   We have lives to live; we shouldn't have to wait three minutes while the artwork that you stole from other websites works its way up the wires.

2.   Please don't use tiny, tiny fonts.   Some of us middle-aged folks have already been straining our eyes for so many years that we've switched to trifocal glasses.   Have mercy on us.

3.   Please don't use a "busy" background that makes the text hard to read.

4.   If a font is illegible, don't use it.   Reading over your website should be fun, not work.   For example: Do you see what I mean? I'm talking about this kind of shit.   The cleanest, clearest fonts are

arial, verdana, tahoma, georgia, and times new roman.  

And I am also fond of a font called perpetua.   I already mentioned tiny fonts, didn't I?

5.   PLEASE learn the basics of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.   It does no honor to The Craft to publish some dissertation that looks like it was written by a second-grader.   Take one extra minute and PROOFREAD.   And   -   "alot" is not a word.   "It's" is a contraction of "it is;" it's not a possessive pronoun.   And learn to spell the word DEITY.   There's no such word as "DIETY."

And learn the difference between "alter" and "altar."

Want me to proofread your site?   I'll do it for FREE.   Just send me an email.

6.   Learn how to end a sentence.   I do it with a PERIOD.   Learn how to avoid run-on sentences, they indicate sloppy thinking, just don't do it, I really appreciate your cooperation, thank you very much.

7.   Check your site by going to someone else's computer and calling it up.   You might be surprised at how it looks.

Every month or so, go through your site and click on the links.   If a link is broken, fix it, or remove the link.

8.   Don't tell people that they need to have an open mind in order to visit your site.   How about YOU being open-minded enough to accept people who aren't open-minded?

9.   Don't hook up music to your page so that it starts automatically and "surprises" people who drop in.   And keep your animated gifs (and blinking text) to a minimum.   We spend all day being worn out by advertisers using "gimmicks" that scream for our attention.   Let your website be an oasis of peace.   If you want to impress us, impress us with content.

10.   If you're considering putting a page on your website called "Pagan Humor" ... well, take a good look at your "humor" material and see if it even comes close to being funny.   There's (a) laugh-out-loud funny and there's (b) *groan* funny and then there's (c) wrinkle-up-your-face not even slightly funny.

11.   Don't steal from somebody else's website.   Send him an email and ask permission to use his stuff.

12.   Help us to navigate your site; every page should have a "Home" button on it somewhere.   The reason for this is simple: when you become "prominent" on the web, someone who's searching for "green lightning fountain pen werewolf" may accidentally "hit" one of your pages (you'll submit your index page to the search engines, but they may "spider" your whole site).   Your website (he landed on the "poetry" page, not your index page) wasn't what he was looking for, but he's somewhat intrigued, and he wants to spend some time reading your site.   The first thing he'll want to do is go to the HOME PAGE where he can look at your menu.   Make it easy for him.

13.   Please learn how to WRITE.   Just say what you have to say, and don't embellish.   Don't start off by saying, "This subject has generated much controversy over the years. Many wise men have debated about this, and have never come up with an answer that satisfies everybody. Many people have many different opinions ... "   Blah, blah, blah.   Get to the point!   Here's a good opening sentence: "Paganism means one of three things: (1) a religion based on the concept of an Earth Mother; (2) the practice of ceremonial magick ..." [etc.]

Figure out what you're going to say, and JUST SAY IT.   Don't waste my time.

14.   From time to time, you'll be asked to describe your website (for instance, when you sign up for a web ring).   Do yourself a few favors: (1) Don't beg people to sign your guestbook, (2) don't be gushy, and (3) don't use the expression "and much more!"   Here's the description of a website that I wouldn't bother to look at:

"A site about witchcraft and so much more! Hehehehe! LOL!! Something for everyone! Lots of links! Come read all about me 'n my buds! Vote for my site in the slammin' sweeps! Adopt a virtual dragon! I'm always adding stuff, so stop by often!"

15.   And one more thing.   How about putting some MARGINS (left and right) on your pages, especially the pages that have paragraph after paragraph of text?   One can quickly get a headache if he has to swing his neck back and forth, from the far western side of his monitor to the far eastern side as he's reading your prose.

An example of a bad webpage