-- up until April 11, 1997
I decided to go a little table-happy. If ya' got 'em, flaunt 'em. Tables are a godsend to site designers -- use them. There is a lot to know about them. Don't be afraid to invade other peoples HTML to learn what they are doing.
Visitors to my site couldn't figure out what additions I had made site (since the last time they had visited) unless they went in to each topic and looked for "new" articles. Somewhat painful. So I had two solutions -- add dates to the sections, and add a "What's New" section at the top, with a historical list of the last few things added.
I also decided to add a "News" section -- not to compete with the News sites, they have far more time for that than I do. But just to chronicle some major events, and put in my 2 cents on current events. Well, I'm so wordy, it's more like $1.50, but hopefully my insights could be a little different than everyone elses.
I decided to add "Reviews". I had written some Reviews already, so I just added them in. Then I found Eugene (he was doing a few reviews a month) and used his reviews to augment mine.
The Icons at the home page were taking too long to load (too many small graphics). I decided to spice up each sub-topic page a little, by embedding the icons in at that level -- and pulled those icons off the home page. Since the home page lost it's icons for each topic, I just used the control buttons to give it a little spice -- since those icons were already loaded for the controls, there was no additional "load-time" penalty.
I decided to use Matterforms QBullets (or a subset of them). To pretty up the site links and add additional information to things (better UI).
I also added a legend for the symbols I would be using at the bottom of the page, and give people a description of what each topic was for (and what might be contained inside). Hopefully making the site easier to navigate.
My hit count was doing pretty good (about 2,000/week) and I was up to nearly 20,000 -- which was double my goal for the year. I created a revised goal of 100K hits for the year -- but it was only April. Why?