This is a guest article from Natalie Schnotz*. Enjoy her web design tips.
Avoid flashy multimedia. Flashy graphics and multimedia may look nice, but they can make it hard for your visitors to get the information they want from your site, especially when viewing from a non Flash compatible device.
Browser compatibility. Make sure you check your page on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Netscape Navigator & their different versions. These five web browsers make up about 95% of the world’s browsers. So, test your site out on each of them.
Clean layout. Don’t fill your page up with ’stuff’. White space is good – it enhances the look of your site. Try to keep your content as the focus of your site. Use fonts that will be available on all computers so your page doesn’t end up looking messy.
Design for all screen resolutions. If you design stretch layouts that can fit any screen resolution, you can ensure all your visitors see a visually appealing and professional site. A site that is easy to use and appealing to the eye will encourage your visitors to stay longer.
Exclamation points! Typing millions of exclamation points doesn’t make your statement any more important than if you use just one!!!!!!! See, I told you.
Frames. Don’t use frames. While frames make it easy to have the same header or menu appear throughout the site, the address bar doesn’t change when you go from page to page – making it impossible for someone to link to a specific page.
Grammar and spell checker. Sure, people who are not good spellers will never notice you spelled calender (spelled calendar) wrong but literate people will notice. Try your best to fix up your spelling & grammar.
Hotlinking. Any pictures or music that you link to should be hosted on your own server. Don’t hotlink to other site images – it’s typically considered theft of bandwidth and you could be violating a copyright.
Just keep swimming. (Yes, that’s a Finding Nemo reference.) Don’t give up. Sometimes your ideas won’t work, but just keep swimming. Today people tend to quit or give up too easily. With a little hard work, you’ll find most of your ideas are actually possible.
Keep learning. Stay up to date with news by reading design blogs or try learning a new web language. There is no reason to stop learning about web design just because you’re page is up and running with decent traffic.
Load time. Make sure that your load time is low. In our fast-paced world, we don’t like to wait. I want to see your web page and I want to see it NOW. Try minimizing graphics, flash and scripts as they increase your file size. Also, make sure to optimize your code and delete any unwanted tags or unused scripts.