If you are considering creating chapter web pages on the Wild Ones server, please consider the following guidelines.

  • To standardize the look and navigation of all web pages on the server, and to make life a little easier for creating web pages, you should not design your own header, footer, and navigational aids. These will be automatically added by our software, so that all pages will have a title and Wild Ones logo in the header, navigation bar on the left, and brief footer with copyright notices and a link to the webmaster.

  • Therefore, all your HTML files are considered templates and should not contain <HEAD> elements or the <BODY> tag. You may insert an optional </BODY> tag near the end of your template if you wish. The first line should contain the title of the page in a comment of the form <!My Title>. For example, the first line of the template for this page is:
    <!Web Page Guidelines>
    If you don't want the nav bar on the left, you can specify that like this:
    <!Web Page Guidelines><!NOMENU>
    The above should be the first line, starting in column one, with a carriage return at end of line to separate that line from the rest of the HTML code.

  • Create all your web pages with the ".htm" extension; our software will create a version with a ".html" extension which the public will see. This process happens automatically shortly after midnight. For example, if you create a page called "index.htm"; we will generate a page called "index.html". If you link to a page called "news.html", you should create "news.htm". For example, the template for this page is called guidelines.htm.

  • Avoid using a graphic image to represent words. The image takes up disk space that is not easily reclaimed, increases download time, is difficult for search engines to understand, and the words cannot be cut-and-pasted into another document. They also convey less information to blind readers unless we include <ALT> tags. Worst of all, the image is difficult to modify by anyone other than the original author who has the proper software to make the image. For example, if our toll-free number (877-FYI-WILD) is represented as the image on the right, it will not be easily cut-and pasted into a spreadsheet or database, and will be a pain to change.

  • Inline icons should be in gif format, with a transparent background, like the image at right. A white background color makes the icon stand out like a postage stamp against our background color. If your graphics tool cannot convert gif backgrounds to transparent, try our GIF coloring tool: http://www.for-wild.org/cgi-bin/colorgif.cgi.