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One of the best things about a web site is the ability to update it economically and often. Search engines favor sites that are updated frequently, and updates give visitors a reason to come back.
But are you delivering web updates in the most cost-efficient way to your webmaster? If not, you’re creating more work for yourself, and increasing the costs!
First, if you’re sending your updates as Microsoft Publisher, Acrobat PDF, or PowerPoint files, you are NOT doing yourself or the designer any favors. To correctly post the content from any of these files, the webmaster will have to extract text and image elements separately. It may take longer to extract and correct the formatting from these files than it does to create the HTML code for them!
Second, if you’re sending updates to your web designer, do NOT try to “design” anything for that person. You hired them for their expertise—let them do their job.
Third, if you’re sending things via Word—which is usually fine—do not use special fonts, or bother with Word’s page layout options. Any formatting beyond bold and italic creates more work for your webmaster. Also, NEVER underline any text that is not a web link—underscored text on the web is assumed to be a link.
The best way to send your web designer content is:
Text: Plain text or Word files with minimum formatting (bold and italics are fine) for your written copy.
Tabular Data: Excel (preferred) or Word tables.
Photos: TIF or JPG format are generally best (preferably at 300 ppi. High resolution allows for resizing while maintaining a good online appearance. Photoshop files (preferably NOT flattened) are acceptable. Please do NOT resize or rescale them yourself, or grab them from web pages.
Logos: vector art (EPS or Adobe Illustrator) are preferred. Otherwise, high resolution TIFs or JPGs are acceptable.
Multimedia files: QuickTime, MP3, M4V, MPG, WMV, AVI and other common formats should be fine. For Flash, we prefer the original Flash files rather than resulting SWF files. If possible, please let us communicate with the people who created your multimedia files to determine the best way to deliver them to us for web use.
Please note that, in general, providing graphics or multimedia within PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, PDFs, page layout programs (InDesign, Quark, MS Publisher) may not work, or may result in poor quality results. When possible, provide us with the original media files.
Following these guidelines will make it easier for you and your webmaster, and reduce web update costs.
Coming in a future blog post… the best ways to transfer LARGE files!