~How To Update~
What should my updates look like?-- Your updates should be eye-catching, especially on a main page. They should be in a neat table or clean format of some kind, organized by date with a to-the-point title to describe what the update is about.
How long should my updates be?-- Your updates can be anywhere from a paragraph to four paragraphs, but it's best to keep it around two or three, unless there is a lot to discuss. When your update is short and precise, people can understand what they are about at a glance, and they can eagerly look at the new things you've added or updated on your site. Getting too detailed will cause visitors to overlook your updates and miss out on the new things you've added to your site.
What should I include in a typical update?-- In a typical update, you should have all the pages that you recently made or updated. Sometimes, to keep things fresh, include a featured page--even one that is not new.
Include a little about yourself, but try to mainly focus on what is new with the site. Give people hope about what you are working on for the site so they can look forward to new updates in the future.
Try to emphasize any new pages that you've made and published. Include the link to the page right in your update, or underneath your update, or putting the name of the page in a different font weight or color so it stands out. Now your guests will know where to go after they finish reading your update.
How often should I update?-- Update with the flow of your site. Some sites are very active and may have a new update every day or every couple of days. If your site doesn't have or need content to be changed as often, it may be more appropriate to update less often.
It's also important that you obey your affiliates rules about updating (if there are any). If an affiliate of yours asks that you update your site "at least once a week," then try to update at least once a week, otherwise you will be trying their patience and they may cancel affiliation with you. If you can not update as often as you need to, give people that notice, or ask a close friend to fill in for you. Bottom line: regularly update your site to keep a streamline of guests visiting.
Sometimes, though, you have been working on your site, but it's not visible to the public. Update and tell people this, either what you are working on or give hints. Maybe even let them know when you'll update the site's progress next. Although you haven't physically changed your site, you have not abandoned it, and this will help you guests to know you'll be back, since new visitors will often check the last update. If it was a long time ago, they will assume the site is stagnant and may not return.
Sometimes it's appropriate to have a live feed or Twitter feed instead of an updating table or in addition to an updating table. Then embed that in the side panel of your site so people can see the progress. A site with movement is a site that is alive. A site where nothing has changed for a long time may still have good content and be useful, but it will probably not get a lot of repeat consumers looking for new information. So having the Twitter feed active, even personal updates about small things, will make the site look active and people will return. Plus, you may get a new Twitter follower.
Where can I get an updating table?-- There are a few websites that will give you the code for free, allowing you to embed it into your website. Do a google search to see. There used to be a lot more anime, graphic, and fan sites that had this, and in the past 5 years, they have slowly closed down. So, honestly, you might have to really search for find one.
Otherwise, Stareon's Hideout has Updating Tables and PokéPlates, with the code and graphics included. If you'd like to request a custom one, fill out the contact form and let us know what you'd like. Or provide us with the graphics you'd like to have in your table and we will generate the code for you. And, don't underestimate a plain table with solid colors. It may look boring, but it gets the point across. Until you find the right table, you may want to try just a plain table.
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