Although a relatively new medium, the Web is more than a decade old (at least as far as the public is concerned); it has opened up avenues of communication not possible previously. It allows for communication with customers around the world no matter where you happen to be located. It allows you artistic expression and the ability to express your own personal sense of style.

When the Web was a new entity, more than a decade ago, that style came from all sorts of places. Although once cutting-edge, some of these practices are now old and should be abandoned for fresher, newer approaches.

First one, remember that the ‘T’ in HTML stands for ” text.” Except for your company’s logo, don’t use graphics of words. This is important for several reasons. First of all, your text can be selected and copied, then pasted by visitors. Graphic headers cannot. The second reason graphics of words should not be used is because graphical headers won’t change size to match your customer’s target resolution; a font-based system will. The third reason is that many browsers still allow users to shut off graphics, especially if users are using mobile devices, in order to save bandwidth for download.

When you’re working on graphical design for your website, don’t use fancy fonts. Since your site is designed for reading, you can you several fonts that are designed to be read onscreen with a minimum of eyestrain. Among these are Georgia, Verdana, and MS Times New Roman. Another thing you can do to make your life easier is to set your fonts in a cascading style sheet, or CSS file. In this way, you can make one change to a file list and it will affect all of the fonts on your website. Most modern web design tools will also handle the CSS file for you; you need little if any expertise, and how much you want to deal with this is your choice.

You can also use CSS to avoid two other common web design drawbacks dating from the late 1990s. The first is using a lot of tables or tiled backgrounds, often in very bright, even garish colors. CSS lets you specify backgrounds that flow around text and don’t choke the browsers with tables or other clunky elements. Although tiled backgrounds were once the rage, it’s no longer true that this is the way to go. These days, most web pages should have a light gray, white, or “gray-blue” background. That is the easiest background for text to be read on. Although very avant-garde and stylish, white text on a black background is very hard to read. If you must use it, use larger text with a dark background, because it will make it easier to read.

Don’t use animated GIFs and the Blink tag. These things are best handled with CSS and JavaScript rollovers. Again, most good web design software can already handle this for you, so you don’t need to know coding in order to do this yourself. In general, GIFs should be avoided altogether; you should use PNGs instead, if you need to go with a transparent background or an animation; they’ll combine everything you want from a GIF yet provide the color and depth of a JPG.

Finally, think about how you want to organize your website. Make sure that you have a way on every web page to get back to the site map or home page. This is because people will mostly come to your web site from a search engine result. It may be tempting to do a lot of search engine optimized landing pages in order to get your page ranks in the top 10, but remember that the people you’re writing for don’t care about web spiders. If people can’t read your pages and flee because they’re so badly written, it doesn’t matter how well you’ve optimized your pages for search engines.

Similar Posts