As well as being a wizard with the shot put, PanAm champ O’Dayne Richards is something of a techno geek. The big Jamaican gives his five-point guide to building website.

1. Keep it Simple

“I would say get the basics right. For example, there are different scripting languages such as HTML and XHTML, and there are more complicated languages which can help make the website look amazing.

“However, before moving on to these languages it is important to have a good solid background in HTML to understand the basic scripting concepts.”

2. Know your content

“I built a website for JAAA [Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association]. I know track and field well, so I knew the website from an athlete point of view most have important elements such as the schedule.

“Meanwhile, I was also aware from the administrative side it had to have other basic info for the event. So what I am saying is, know the subject matter and know who you are building it for.”

3. Have it tested

“It is very important that someone else tests the website. Sometimes the designer can be too close to the website and become blinded by mistakes, so having a fresh eye can be crucial.

“It is important this is carried out when the skeleton of the website is created and the tester – whether that be a second programmer or in this instance an athlete – checks that all the particular functions work. It is important to have a fresh perspective.”

O'Dayne Richards ()

Think Jamaica only has success in sprints? Think again. Richards is the PanAmerican and Commonwealth champion, and won world champs bronze in Beijing

4. Make the changes

“Once you’ve gone through all your systems and evaluated everything it is important to make the necessary changes and to correct any errors. For example, one [mistake] that was made on the JAAA registration website, which I designed, was that, initially, we didn’t allow for athletes to enter for multiple events.”

5. Repeat again

“The final step is to check everything once again – almost as if you have designed the website from scratch. Then, once you have done this, it is a case of polishing the website one last time to make sure every element is working as well as possible.”

O'Dayne Richards ()

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