Would you like to boost your technical training? Book one of our InDesign training Chicago classes and get going. We also feature InDesign training as well as Dreamweaver training in our classrooms or at your venue.
Note, Dreamweaver is a useful program, far newer than what I used, and much more powerful.  This is an advertisement, but Dreamweaver is worth learning if you work on the web.


Basic Tutorial for Mediator Web Site Design


This is a simple tutorial about the basics for Web Site Design.  If you are looking for more detailed information, techniques, artwork, etc. you can read the additional essays on this site, visit Mediate.com, or contact a design service provider.  Favorite design service providers of mine include:

link to mediahog.com  and Link to College Hill   and Blue Light -- all of whom may no longer be available when you contact them.  The website for the lawfirm that I am with was designed by imchat.com and you might consider the possibility that we used the best possible firm for our needs at the time.  I would also note that mediate.com hosts many mediators. Contact some of their clients, look at some of their sites and consider if they might meet your needs.


A simple web page is a cross between a glorified yellow pages listing and a brochure.  Generally it will have the following structure:

Introduction -- Your business card.
Professional Statement -- Your introduction.
Resume -- Your qualifications.

It may use the following structure
-- using two pages instead of one
Bio Resume

Your Services -- What you can do.
Other -- Links, Sample Essays, Etc.

This is what you are going to design.

First Steps

Take five sheets of paper.  Take each of the five areas and write it down a the top of one of the sheets of paper.

First, start with the "easy" one -- put together a current resume or vitae.

Second, tape a copy of your business card to the "Introduction" page (you will be coming back to do more).  You'll want to flesh this out (think of everything you would want to put on your business card if you only had room).

Third, summarize the services (and the prices) you offer and how you offer them.

Fourth, write a brief statement of your philosophy and outlook on dispute resolution.

Finally, consider anything that makes you unique or different or that you do.  Are you a family counselor?  Have you served as a union representative?  Think long and hard.  If you feel it is appropriate, write it down on the last sheet of paper.

This last area is your call.  If you teach karate, some people will be put off by it, others will consider it an important feature in dispute resolution (consider if two martial arts schools have a conflict).  Your GAVSD trainer (Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense) certification is a real plus.  Holistic aromatheraphy treatment may or may not be close enough to the topic -- depending on whose conflicts you wish to mediate and what you want people to think of you.

If you draw a blank at these steps, you might want to read Marketing Without Advertising (published by Nolo Press) or a better similar book -- or, you might want to go to the links page and look at some sites.   Larry Dragon and Dianne Saxe, D. Jur. can give you some ideas of how a site can come together.  For the biggest collection of ADR links try Ginger McCarthy.  For a good, clean example of a complete page, look at conciliation.org

Second Steps

Start AOLpress 2.0 on your Mac or PC or Unix box and read through the tutorial.  Then, open a new page named index.htm (that is your first page).  Type in your introduction.  Create links at the bottom of the page.  You can use a box something like this:

Home Philosophy Vitae Services Links

(In fact, with AOLpress you can copy this box and use it as it is to make a starting place for what you do).

You do not have to use all four areas.  You can also consider graphics, etc.  AOLpress provides a number of template collections on their web site, and a very simple collection of graphic approaches is found at graphic 9 and graphic 7 -- two collections that illustrate mistakes to avoid.

Final Step

Load your site to the server and look at it. I use WS_FTP (available for free) to connect to my server. Once you have a page online submit your site to search engines. Do some on-line research at search2.

[rating services for web page hosting services][In depth resources for web page design]


Alternatives include the one page "signpost" and the business card, feel free.  You can always expand, change or delete your site later.  A good book (now out of print/SAMS Club for $23.99) is Laura LeMay's Creating Commercial Web Pages -- see < http://www.lne.com/lemay/ >. A great book for beginners is at http://www.poorrichard.com/ -- visit the web site.

For some starter background samples and more textures, good and bad or Art Topos and Free Art.  You can really go wrong with some graphics, see: A group of really terrible background graphics   While at Caveats I suggest that even $25.00 a year might be too much for the benefit people obtain, the free space that probably comes with your internet account is even cheaper.  Use your free space, though keep having your own url or using a professional strongly in mind.

More Caveats
Another Example of a Comparable Service
In depth resources for web page design
Free Web Space Providers

Mediation Bulletin Board Link
Link to Dispute Resolution Related Book Reviews

Copyright 1998-2000 Stephen R. Marsh

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