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Ask the
EP Experts

Ask the EP Experts

Peter Kent
Wondering how to develop a low-cost, effective web site and/or having problems with your project? Ask Peter, author of Poor Richard's Web Site: Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site and numerous technical manuals, for help!
 Poor Richard's Web Site

 EP Web Site Development Q&As

Q.I have been doing some research and cannot figure out how to start a Web Page. I understand it is very easy but my problem is where do I get the page so I may design it? Will I need to get another program loaded in my computer to do just this? I have MSN and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
A. Figuring out how everything fits together is a real problem. Here's a quick summary.
First, you need space to place the Web pages; in order to be visible to other Web users, your Web pages must be stored on a Web server, a computer permanently connected to the Internet. MSN provides you with some free Web space on their server, but there are many other places to find free Web
space, such as Geocities ( and Tripod (
Next, you need an "authoring program," a program that creates Web pages. Web pages are created using a special coding system called HTML (HyperText Markup Language). You can learn HTML and create Web pages in a text editor, but it's far easier to get an HTML authoring program, a sort of word processor for Web pages. I use FrontPage, which is pretty easy to use -- though you'll still have to spend a few hours learning how to work with it.
The process is simply this. You create the Web pages in your authoring program. Then you transfer the finished pages to the Web server. So you have two things to do. First, find out how to access your free Web space at MSN, or sign up for free space elsewhere. Second, learn to create Web pages, preferably with an authoring program.
Good luck with your project!

Q. Dear EP,

Our web site,, is devoted to helping children become good readers, writers and learners. I'm in my fifth month of operation on-line. I'm just starting to move toward getting advertising but I don't know what the advertising rates are for web sites. Could you give me a range of rates for ads -- so I'm not too low and not totally out-of-sight. FYI, my hit count for last week was 17,857 -- how does hit count play into the calculation of an ad rate?
I've talked to folks at the Business Assistance Center in Fort Worth, TX (the nearest large city), but they can only advise me on traditional advertising.
I'd greatly appreciate any assistance that you can provide me!
Thank you very much for your time and assistance!!!
Joyce Melton Pages
A. Advertising rates are measured in cpm -- cost per thousand (the m comes from the Roman numeral for 1,000, M). I like to think in terms of advertising "units." If you could display 18,000 banners a week, then you have eighteen 1,000-banner units; multiply your cpm by 18 units to get your total income. For instance, if you sell ads at a cpm of $30, multiply 30 x 18 to get the total income -- $540.
However, you only say that you have 17,857 "hits." What do you mean by that? Strictly speaking a hit is a single transfer of information; each time a page is transferred, that's a hit -- but each time an image is transferred, or even an error message of some kind, that's a hit, too. So do you mean you have 17,857 page view, or do you really mean hits. If you do mean hits, then you have far fewer page views, and so you'll be able to display far fewer ads.
Next, how do you intend to sell ads, and how do you determine a price? A good way to start is by signing up with an ad network such as Flycast or . Such companies can help you pick a price, and will sell the advertising for you; you have to place the appropriate HTML tags into your pages, and their software keeps track of it all.
Flycast provides a great way to get a feel for what other people are charging. Sign up for an account to buy advertising, and install their software. Then you can view information about scores of other advertisers -- you can read their media kits, and view their prices.
As for coming up with ad rates if you have an electronic newsletter, the best way to figure those out is to find out what other newsletters are charging. Rates can vary from a buck or two per thousand (as low as around 50 cents, actually), to perhaps $35 or $45 per thousand. The more highly targeted and the more valuable the readership, the higher the rates.


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