Design the pages. This entails both graphics design and HTML design (page layout). Some AMEs use animations, complex media and interactive "Flash" movies. If you subscribe to our Online Scheduling, the design of the calendar feature is automatic. Often graphics and HTML are done by different companies, but you could do it all yourself. There are infinite "how-to" tutorials on the web. Huge variability exists in cost and quality. At the cheapest end, you can do nothing and let your domain "point" to the template driven default page that FlightPhysical.com made for you (several AMEs are in the wait-and-see mode and are doing this). This means that when someone types your domain name into the address bar of their browser, they will be automatically directed to your template page hosted and compiled by FlightPhysical.com. We permit AMEs to add simple text headlines and compressed pictures to their default sites for free. With this option, you can and should still make some web page adjustments. We have been posting AME text and images since 1999. These adjustments (paid and for free) are best communicated to us through the familiar AME Modification form.
At the extravagant end of the spectrum, some doctors hire professional site designers for tens of thousands of dollars up front and hundreds per month in maintenance fees. Often your practice partnership or HMO will cover some or all of these costs. An intermediate option is to invest in software and training and learn how to use HTML generation applications such as Macromedia Flash or Dreamweaver, then you can do it yourself. A slightly less expensive, but less reliable technique is to design with the more familiar MS Word or Powerpoint then save as HTML. Quality will suffer, and bloated file size usually makes these pages load slowly, but for straight text and graphics, you might be OK. Insure that the web pages look acceptable across different platforms and Operating Systems (Unix, IBM, Mac), and the appearance should be consistent across browsers (Safari, Firefox, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc).
Graphics are often the biggest problem for do-it-yourself AME sites. Make sure your picture files are well-compressed and processed for the web. They must be optimized for the 72 DPI resolution of computer monitors, not 300 DPI used for printers or other media. Excess resolution imparts a tremendous file size penalty and degrades the web viewing experience (slow loads and poor quality Browser display). Users will escape just as fast as they can click the mouse. A digital picture file can be adjusted to an appropriate size with good compression and software enhancement via Applications like Adobe Photoshop or our or other commercial services. Remember there is always a trade-off between quality (file size) and download speed. FlightPhysical.com offers professional graphic optimization as an additional service ($10) if you don't have access to Photoshop. If you can use Photoshop, even early editions of that software do an adequate job of adjusting the 4 main parameters (resolution, size, compression, color bit depth) that determine ultimate file size, download speed and web "ideality". Aim for graphics file sizes under 100 KB.
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