There are literally hundreds of ABBA websites
out there on the internet. If you're thinking of creating one, here's a few hints that I
hope will help you.
Make your site unique. There's an overload of
sites with ABBA's basic discography, lyrics to their songs, well known pictures, MP3
files, etc. For example, try creating a site that's specific to your own country, or a
detailed tribute to a particular song or album (but don't just regurgitate the contents of
The Complete Recording Sessions or CD liner notes). And be creative, don't just
title it "ABBA" - give it a title that describes the contents or intent.
Make it interesting so that visitors will want
to return. No one really cares to read that you have ABBA Gold, your favourite song is
Dancing Queen, Agnetha is your favourite member and this is your favourite picture of
ABBA. A site needs more than that to create interest. The promise of further pages,
regular updates or having some regularly changing feature will encourage return visits,
providing of course that you update your site as promised.
Don't make pages too long. Many visitors to your
site may get bored scrolling through long pages of text. Break them up into smaller pages
linked together, for example breaking pages at each year or different topic.
Make text clear and easy to read. Keep the use
of bold or italics text to a minimum. Don't -centre- all the
text, as it can be hard to follow, though centred text can be quite effective for headings,
captions or links. Don't make all of the text too big or too small - use larger text only for
headings or to break up text. Avoid using too many fancy fonts - many visitors to your
site may not have those fonts loaded, and will see text in default fonts such as
Times New Roman or Arial.
Don't fill pages with too many pictures that
take a long time to download. If putting several pictures on a page (for example, record
sleeves) consider making them thumbnails, but don't just shrink the full size picture down
to thumbnail size - these take just as long to download as a full size picture.
Avoid the use of "busy" background
images. This will often make any text hard to read, or the screen too hard to look at.
Keep a consistent look, and don't change the
style with every single page in your site. Different looks can be used quite
effectively for special sections, but can look shoddy if done too often.
If you're going to use frames, make sure that
any external links open either in full screen or a new window. There's nothing more
annoying than opening a link within the frame of the referring site. Conversely, try to
keep your own site uniform by always opening new pages within the frames rather than full
screen or a new window.
Don't "borrow" all of your information from other sites
without permission and/or crediting the source. One infamous website a
few years ago did exactly this, unfortunately for the owner using information from
many of the best known ABBA sites on the web, and the owner was flooded with irate e-mails
from the owners of the sites plundered until he removed it. Most site owners are quite
happy for information or pictures to be used, providing they have been asked as a
Web hosting. If you can, try to avoid free hosting
sites. Many these days fill pages with advertising, or even worse generate pop
up ads, which can be annoying for many visitors. Even worse, some generate
adware which infects visitors' own PCs. Some "free" sites offer premium
services which remove the advertising, for a small monthly cost.
Advertise. Create a banner for others to link your
site. Promote it on ABBA forums, but don't annoy others by promoting it
Finally, don't use the official ABBA
logo (with the first B reversed). Universal Music Group welcomes all unofficial
fan sites, but requests that they don't use the official ABBA logo, to avoid
confusion with the official ABBA site.
I've been guilty of many of these
"transgressions" myself over the years. Creating a web site is
something that's best learned with time, practice and with any assistance that can be