Maxmillian's Gold: Things to Avoid
In Web Page Design!
Article by Ronald J. Saunders
All of us have skills that we have developed in our
life as time has marched on. We have all gained skills
by going to high school or perhaps to college and then
have used the skills and knowledge to further our pursuits.
We have taken tennis lessons, photography lessons, word
processing lessons, and several other training courses
that have improved our ability to perform tasks. Web
page design is not much different than other thing that
you would like to become proficient at. It takes training
and practice and then some more training and then some
more practice. Yes, you can get something up on the
web with very little work and you are encouraged to
continue these efforts. You should never be dissuaded
from going to the tennis court because you never had
a lesson, and it is a good idea to walk out on the court
and hit some balls around even if it is your first time.
There are a lot of articles out there that tell you
that you do not need to know HTML. Usually they are
trying to sell you something such as and editor or a
web template, so their positions are somewhat overstated.
The truth is that you need skills sets appropriate to
the task. Like most things, except home surgery, you
can practice as you learn, so start looking for a local,
but inexpensive course, in HTML. It is very easy to
learn and is no where near as complex as programming.
In fact, it is not truly considered a programming language.
Being dynamic and very practical you will
want to get results on your very first web design project,
so with this introduction, let's get started on doing
it right the first time with a little gold from Maxmillian!
- Make sure you have the skills or a plan to have
the skills. Getting the training that that was discussed
in the introduction will keep you from making the
mistakes that are so common to a lot of internet sites.
The HTML scripting knowledge will allow you to understand
the changes that are being made if you are using a
full featured editor.
- Now that you are convinced about the skills, and
you have started building your site, you will need
to insert a back ground. This is one of the first
sets of HTML tags that you will insert into your web
page. Your new instructor will undoubtedly have you
do this and will send you off to one or more of several
hundred sites to choose one. You will experiment with
several and will pick one because you think it is
right or your deadline has approached and your time
is up. Before you choose, just consider again what
it looks like before you proceed. When in doubt, opt
out for a very clean look. There is some really ugly
stuff out there on the web. Make sure yours is not
one of them!
- One of the most enjoyable courses that you might
take is Flash. What a great way to combine programming
and artistic talents and come out with something like
a movie. And so dramatic too! So every web page should
have one; right? No, in fact, Flash should almost
never be used except for very special occasions and
never as an opening page. Consider the time it takes
to load and execute one of these great productions.
The people that surf your web will want to get to
the meat of what you have to offer whether it is something
you sell or something you have published on the web.
If they get bogged down on the opening page, they
will opt out of the site and move on. If you pay for
advertising it will cost you a lot of money for that
pay-for-click and you will not get an order or the
traffic that you wanted. Some of these first page
production are very amusing the first time but are
not interesting to repeat traffic. You might think
that having a skip button on the site takes care of
the problem but this is just rationalizing your decision
to use an animated introduction page. The bottom line
is; do not use a flash intro or any intro that wastes
the viewer's time.
- Blinking lights are very useful for drawing attention
when you are turning the corner in your vehicle or
for attracting attention in Las Vegas but they don't
serve a good purpose on a web page. They will annoy
the visitor and will eventually drive them away! The
same thing for scrolling text, sounds, and music.
Simply say no, because they will drive people from
- Links to other sites are necessary in almost every
web site. Just be careful where you link because maintaining
them is a lot of work. Broken links will cause your
visitors to close your site and go elsewhere. If the
link is necessary then make sure it opens in a new
window. If the viewer is not interested, they can
close the window and move on. If their interest is
high, they might take a ten minute detour, but when
the window is finally closed the view is again at
or image buttons. In the longer run you will be happier
with simple text style links put into a table that
repeats on every page. These are much easier to change
(and you will change them) and are much easier for
the robots to navigate and index your site properly.
- Let me close this list with one very important
rule. I have not seen this covered by other authors,
but I am sure someone else has covered it. Even is
you use blinking lights, scrolling texts, and outrageous
music (God forbid!), always, always SPELL CHECK. Have
you ever tried to do this with Notepad? If your editor
does not have a spell checker then copy the document
to a word processor and check it. Then make your spelling
corrections manually in your original document. Don't
copy and paste back to the original or you may have
some new problems introduced by the word processor.
In closing, just step back and look at your page and
check on various browsers and screens if you can. Ask
others to critique it for you. Then you will be ready
to publish! download this article