The KISS theory (“Keep It Simple, Seriously”).
The design and layout should reflect your business, but don’t go overboard or people will not come back.
Things to consider are:
- Do not design your site for a screen larger than the most common screen size. As of today large screens or high resolution has become the standard, with the exception of smart phones, but this can be remedied through the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
- Too many colors will be too confusing (unless the designer is very, very good). Backgrounds are usually best when they are a single color or muted graphic or picture. If you want a picture or graphic as your background, make sure that the text will be easily readable over the entire graphic.
- While frames are neat and sometimes useful, they can make it very tough on search engines when they try to index your site.
- If you have more than one page, you will need a navigation system that is easy to use. While graphical is nice, simple text navigation works just as well and is easier to change if you tweak your design or colors.
- Pictures and graphics can take a plain vanilla site and turn it into a tutti-frutti one. Unless your site is about pictures and graphics, don’t let them outweigh your text. I used to say keep them to a minimum. Four or five 20KB-25KB graphic files are sufficient. With the advent of high speed internet you can use more but still keep them small in file size (low 2 digit kilobytes). The pictures and graphics should be pertinent to and complimentary of your site.
- Content is still king. It always will be. Use text pertinent to your topic for the page.
- Page height should be no more than two to two and one-half screens in height with less scrolling better. Ideally, a page should be less than two screens in height.
- Content should have the most relevant information near the top. Break the content into logical groups and place these groups on separate pages. Don’t make too many pages or your visitors may lose interest. Use your keywords in the body of your text, the file name, the page name and the description which is used by search engines.
Be aware that each browser displays HTML in a different way
Although they are getting closer to actually adhering to W3C standards. Microsofts’ Internet Explorer is the worst offender and has been since it hit the web. Even as such it still holds a significant share of the browser market (depends upon whose statistics you use.) For the sites I manage I have seen it drop from 80% to around 40%.
Feel free to add a comment about any other W3C compliant web browser that you use and enjoy and feel that our readers may want to know about.
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