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Tips for Your Home Page

Whether you are a poet with a penchant for publicity or a corporate professional tapped to mount the company's presence on the World Wide Web, there are certain questions for anyone considering producing a Web page:

How well do you understand the Internet? As the Net explodes, so does the market in how-to books and manuals to get you easily through this first hoop.

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How much money do you want to invest? Which Internet access provider you use is part of this decision, because some will offer to mount your home page for free if it is small enough (from 1 megabyte to 5 megabytes), while others may charge. Also, will they charge for updating the Web Page during the month? $5.95 may not seem like a lot to access your Web page, but if you want to do it every day, those charges add up.

Who will design the page? If you're willing to invest your time, you can bypass a consultant and create the page yourself. Again, help is available at the nearest bookstore or on the Web itself. Go to the search engine and type either ''Web Page design'' or ''HTML Editors.'' Adrienne Parks, an instructor at California State University at Long Beach, points out that design can make or break a Web page and gives these tips:

* Consider your name carefully. It is the graphic equivalent of the storefront shingle.

* Make your main graphic the right size and make sure it's interactive (with buttons to push and games to play), not static.

* Everybody, big or small, has a tool bar. Make it practical and full of helpful, clear guidance for your visitors.

* Make sure the hypertext (text that links you to other information) is neat and has both internal and external links.

* Use HyperMedia (pictures, video, and sound) judiciously. It takes a lot more space and time to download than text.

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* Make sure you offer a link back to your home page on every subsequent page.

* Don't forget your address! Tell people who did the page and how to reach you.

Finally, don't forget to market and maintain the page once it's on the Web. Update the information, send e-mail to search program providers and post notices to Web sites that will advertise your page for free. The best page in the world won't help if no one knows you're there!

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