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Web Design Tips

No one person can tell you how to make the perfect webpage. Why? Because it all boils down to personal preference. No one can be an expert of what YOU like but YOU, if you are working on your own personal site, do whatever makes you happy :)
Take what you want and leave the rest. If you can incorporate some of these tips in your pages, that's great, but above all else....have FUN!!

Images


Graphics can be an important part of a webpage, they can add beauty and style or they can cause a loading nightmare. There are a few things you should know when using them, to make your visitors viewing experience as pleasant as possible.
LOADING TIME: Images/Graphics will usually take more time to load than text, and the time will always vary on the persons' modem and Internet connection. It is wise to keep in mind that the average person has a 28.8 / 33.6 / 54.4 modem and even though a 300 kb image might load on your computer in seconds, for the average person it will at least two minutes or more.
SIZE: Another important thing to keep in mind is the size of images. Most monitors are set for 800X600 and 640X480 pixels resolution, and if a graphic is much larger than the maximum width of the screen, the viewer will have difficulty seeing it. It is recommended to shrink such images with an image editing program.
TAGS: Including HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes within the image tag speeds up graphic display.

Text

Try to keep your text a reasonable size. You do not want it so small it cannot be read or
so big
that it overpowers a page. If you use a pretty font on your page that is not a windows default text consider offering the font on your site or at the very least specify what the font you are using.

Fonts

For a tutorial on installing new fonts to your computer see my
~ Fonts Installation Tutorial ~

Colors


The major browsers, Netscape and Internet Explorer, use the same palette-management process to pull colors from the system palettes. So, if you specify colors by randomly choosing by favor, those colors will be forced by browsers to display incorrectly using the color in the system palette.


Protect Your Email From Spam Robots

There is a way you can prevent hackers from gathering your email address, since their spiders comb the source code of your site, and not the browser display. What we'll do is chop the components of an HREF Mailto Tag into separate source pieces using a simple Javascript. Consider this script:

<script language=javascript>
<!--
var showlink = "Contact Us";
var showname = "yourname";
var showhost = "yourhost.com";
document.write("<a href=" + "mail" + "to:" + showname + "@")
document.write(showhost +">" + showlink + "</a>")
//-->


Music


Add a Control Panel :
Make sure your viewer can 'stop the music'. Some viewers do not like to hear sound files so adding the option of turning it off is always appreciated by those viewers. Also, if you are into awards, some site award programs will not consider your site if you do not provide a way to shut it off on your page. Here is a good code that works in both I.E. and Nestscape:

<CENTER> <embed src="midiname.mid" WIDTH=16 HEIGHT=16 autostart="true" loop="true" nosave="true"> </CENTER>

Navigation

The Next Button: Splash pages are fine but anything beyond the first page should have some form of navigation. A menu, a link to an index page, something other than a NEXT button. Just because a person is not interested in one of your pages does not mean they would not be interested in one of your other pages if given an option. Most people who are not interested in the first page they see will click off your site if all they are offered is a NEXT button.

Java menu options: Java menu's can be very useful but some people cannot view Java, try adding some simple text links at the bottom of your page or offer a link to an index page where all of your pages can be accessed by non-Java browsers.

Links

Broken Links: Make sure your links actually go somewhere other than a 'page not found' page. Many sites have broken links and there is nothing more maddening to to be led to a nonexistent page. Periodically browse your site, clicking each link to ensure they work. Your visitors enjoy your site more if every link works.

Size

Keep in mind 75% of the web users are using a screen resolution of 800 x 600. In light of this, you should try to design your webpage using that same screen resolution.

Testing

Testing your site with other browsers is a good idea, testing your site with other viewers is a GREAT idea! Ask friends to view your new page and to let you know if it views properly. Here are some sample questions you might ask:

Does the page flow? Is the font color appropriate with the background?
Is is easy to read, font too big or too small?
Does it appear to be centered, left aligned ect?
Are all images showing?
How long was the load time?
Did you experience any freezing of your browser?


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