James Harvey Stout (deceased). This material is now in the public
domain. The complete collection of Mr. Stout's writing is now at
Jump to the following topics:
- What is a webring?
and disadvantages of webrings.
- Features of a webring.
- Creating a webring.
What is a webring? It is a group
(or "ring") of websites which have the following
- The websites have a common theme. For example, there is a
"country music webring," in which all of the websites contain
content which is related to country music.
- The websites have a banner which is linked to another website
in the webring. By clicking on this "webring" banner, we can
travel around the ring -- one website at a time -- to view all of
and disadvantages of webrings.
- A webring has no cost.
- A webring reaches a targeted group. Most webrings have a
specific theme, so all of our visitors are likely to be
interested in our related product or service. In fact, we can
join different webrings which are associated with our different
products or services; for example, on my website, I have joined
webrings which are associated with business (for Rapid-Fire
Internet Marketing), psychology and spirituality (for
Archetypal Fields and The Human Handbook), and
music (for my songs).
- A webring requires only a small amount of our time. We fill
out an application, and then we copy-and-paste the webring's
html code onto our website to create the webring's banner.
- A webring contains websites which pertain to the same
subject, so we are likely to find our competitors in the
webring. However, this does not have to be considered a
problem; after all, our company's ads are often in close
proximity to our competitors' ads -- in business directories,
phone books, etc.
- A webring has an image of informality, casualness, and
web-surfing; this image might not be appropriate if our website
has a crisp, professional look. Some companies join
webrings, but most webring members are hobbyists with their
personal web pages.
Features of a webring.
- Cost. Webrings are free.
- The quality of the webring. Check for:
- Dead links. If the webring has many dead links, people will
not be able to travel from one site to another; each dead link
is a "dead end" which requires the use of the browser's back
button. If there are too many dead links, the webring is
- The quality of the other sites. Our company will be judged by
quality of the other sites with which we are associated in a
- General quality. The other websites might be ugly and
- Potentially offensive content. The webring might contain
websites which feature pornography, illegal activities,
businesses scams, and other content with which we do not want
to be connected.
- The presence of other companies. If the webring is composed of
non-commercial sites, we might not want to join. Or, contrarily,
we might feel that we could gain many customers in a webring where
we are the only business for this targeted group.
- The presence of competitors. As stated previously in the
"disadvantages" section, we might not want to be in a webring
which includes our competitors. (If a competitor is in the next
position in the webring, we would literally be sending our
visitors to that competitor.) Contrarily, we might be willing to
accept this competitive environment.
Resources. These companies provide
directories of webrings which we can join.
Creating a webring. If we cannot
find a webring which is related to our topic, we can create our own.
- Allow for the time required for managing a webring. We will
need time for:
- Publicizing the webring (as described below).
- Instructing members in the process of cutting-and-pasting
the webring banner to their website.
- Maintenance of the webring (as described below).
- Responding to miscellaneous questions and complaints via
- Create the concept of the webring.
- The theme. For example, the theme might be "rose
- Membership qualification. For example, we might simply
require that the websites offer useful, free information
regarding the theme.
- Write the information regarding the webring. The description
can be on a separate page of our website. On this page, we can
explain the concept of the webring, the members' benefits and
responsibilities, the method of cutting-and-pasting the webring
- Create the webring banner.
- Create the html code which links one banner to another within
- Publicize the webring.
- If we register the webring with one of the webring
services, the service will add our webring to their list.
Visitors to the service's site will peruse the lists, which are
arranged according to topic, e.g., travel, religion, etc.
- We can describe the webring on our website.
- We can publicize our webring with the usual forms of
internet marketing: search engines, signature files, etc.
Maintain the webring.