The Do's and Don'ts of Web Site Design
Let's discuss an important point about online content/text versus
print. People read text off a computer screen at about 1/4th the
speed that they do paper. This important fact tells us that we
should keep what we want to say on the web short and sweet. If
some of my articles have been too long, I apologize for my
flapping mouth and keyboard!
My goal with Killersites.com is to teach how to build great sites
while making it as easy as possible for people. I'm trying to do
this with "to the point" articles and newsletters. As such I have
avoided a diatribe of things like the history of HTML and left
out some of the marginal options in web design. Instead I've
focused on those things that have come up often in my own
experiences over the years.
There are many options available when creating web pages, many
good and many bad. The following is a list of some of those
options and how I think you should deal with them.
Some things you should do and not do in your web pages:
1. No page counters: Page counters do nothing except make you
look like an amateur, mess with your design and tell people
information about your site you probably don't want them to know!
If you want to know how many people are hitting your site, just
ask your host for server stats. Any host worth it's salt should
be able to provide you with detailed stats that make page
counters look stupid.
2. Forget blinking or flashing text: The only place you see
blinking and or flashing text is on the neon signs of naked bars
or circa 1995-96 web sites! People don't like them and expect to
see naked people inside sites or buildings that have them -
3. Make your titles on your web page make sense: One of the core
attributes of a web page is its title. In between the <title>
</title> tags you can specify the page's title as it appears in
the browsers top title bar and in the search engine results.
People pay attention to page titles, so you should make sure that
they are clear. If you have a page on how to take care of dogs
and you happen to have a dog named "Jimmy" don't title your page:
"How to look after Jimmy and his furry friends." You should title
you page something like: "How to take care of dogs."
4. Don't force people to download a new browser of special plug-
in to see your site: Unless you have a site that people are dying
to see, why limit your audience because you want to use some
special features in a browser or a plug-in like Flash. Today,
with proper use of CSS and HTML you can present fantastic looking
pages without having to jump through the hoops old timers like me
had to when garbage browsers like Netscape 4 were being used in
5. Think twice before using framesets: In the olden days you
could argue a use for framesets because of HTML's lousy layout
capabilities. Today with CSS positioning being well supported by
all the major browsers there is no need to use framesets for just
about 99.9% of websites. Why don't you want to use framesets you
ask? Well beginners tend to have trouble creating and using them
properly. Framesets tend to make websites more complicated than
they need to be and finally they can cause you all kinds of
problems with the search engines.
6. Don't try any stupid cheat tricks in an attempt to fool the
search engines: In the past we webmasters developed various
nefarious (disreputable) methods in an attempt to get higher
rankings in the search engines. Tactics included putting hundreds
of key words on the pages as invisible text etc - These tactics
may have had some limited success in the past, but those days are
long gone. Try to fool Google (the king of search engines) and
you and your web site will die a horrible and painful death! I
will not describe how to get high rankings now, but keep this in
mind: good content honestly presented is the foundation of high
rankings and high traffic for your site.
7. Chat rooms: Most people don't give a crap about chat rooms.
And worst than having a chat room is an empty chat room! Who
wants to hang out at a club that has nobody inside? So unless you
have a web site with tens of thousands of visitors a month and is
of a subject that might necessitate a chat room, don't do it.
8. Flash intros: I am guilty of this as much as the next guy. A
few years back Flash intros where all the rage, not sure if
anyone knew why we "needed" them, but as it turns out the "skip intro" button is the 2nd most clicked on the web today. Don't
waste your time on Flash intros and in my opinion Flash should be
only used in special situations.
9. Under construction pages: Just forget it, if the page is not
ready, don't put it up. If you have links that are pointing to
the pages, disable them until your page is ready. If your page is
truly "under construction" and has content on it that is ready to
be seen by your web surfers, just post a "last updated" date and
make sure you get the new content in place soon. What ever you
do, don't put one of those cheesy "under construction" images on
. . .
Article by Stefan Mischook - Copyright 2003
Stefan Mischook operates http://www.killersites.com, the official
website to David Siegels book 'Creating Killer Web Sites'*. In
addition to all the books' material, we now have a web site
designers forum, newsletter and new articles! Killersites.com is
now more than ever, a web designers resource on creating web
sites and database driven web applications.
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Free Insider Report|
Receive free monthly marketing updates, tools, tips and strategies to help your online business succeed. Get immediate access to our bonus ebooks AND 150 back issues.
Site Navigation Guide
Copyright © 2000-2009 by Startup Internet Marketing Services* All rights reserved|
104 Main Street. Kirkland Lake, ON, CA P2N 3E8 705.567.5850
This site is powered by Host4Profit.net