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WEB PAGE DEVELOPMENT TIPS by Alan Jones          3/3/98

CONTENT

Consider who your audience will be and what they will want.
Pictures? Data? Essays? Graphs? Links? Personal Info? Music?

State your intent clearly when you start, and keep it in mind as your page developes.

Hide confidential info from Web robots (/robots.txt)

Don’t insult or flame people, not even Pres. Clinton :-)

Don’t publish copyrighted material without permission

Provide useful content on each page seen by your audience

PAGE DESIGN

Put a title header on each page

Make a clear choice on the web page width (ie. 650 pixels or percentage)

HTML codes (TAGs) specify title, page description, search keywords,etc.

Date your pages (ie "last updated dd/mm/yy")

Put a link leading to a comment mechanism on every page (ie. mailto: )

Don’t make people scroll or unnecessarily use their browser controls

Should you use tables?

SPEED

Keep the average load time of your web site to 20 seconds or less.
People give up on slow pages.

GRAPHICS

Keep individual graphics to 50 K or less.

Keep down the number of graphics on each page.

Provide a warning if a link goes off to a web page with large graphics.

Keep the number of colors to a minimum.

Don’t use graphics which are located on another site.

Avoid message critical images, the page should give the message dispite a failure with image loading

Include alternate text for each message, so if there is a problem one will know what was expected.

Use images with transparent backgrounds to better integrate your images

Use bullets & lines sparingly and for a purpose

Background graphics should be kept very very small and light pastellish for quick loading and to avoid interference with the text

TEXT

Write about your subject as if there were no links in the text

Avoid using special fonts that may not be available to everyone.

Check your spelling

Don’t use the blink feature

Pare down your text

SOUND

Don’t make it automatic - not all have sound cards

It takes a great deal of space and time

MOVIE CLIPS

They take a great deal of time and space

Not everyone can view them

LINKS

Use meaningful words or phrases for links

Try to match the link text that someone clicks on with the title of the resulting page

Don’t change text link colors!

Test every link

REVIEW

Review your page on several different hardware/software configurations to help identify any problems. ie. 8 bit color, 16 bit color, 256 colors, millions of colors, etc. 800 x 600

SPECIAL FEATURES / EXTENSIONS

Special features or extensions can be neat but they may not work for all viewers of your page.

PRINTING

HTML was for looks not printing ! - check it out