General Guidelines for Web Designers
There are many designers who use software tools to generate web pages. However, they are likely to end up with a site that looks great on one browser, but can’t be viewed on other browsers. If such a site is used to sell products, this could mean significant losses.
The following are some useful guidelines for any web designer.
Use pictures sparingly
Pictures enhance the appearance of a page. However, it is not wise to fill your web pages with too many images. Most images have a large file size and would therefore make pages take much longer to load. Since many web users are not patient, they are likely to click away from the page. As a general rule, it is advisable to keep page sizes under 30 kilobytes.
Remember to include alt tags on every image you use. Such tags can be very helpful to users as well as search engines.
Functionality and navigability
Before you consider the artistic excellence of your site, you need to think about its functionality and navigability. There is no point of making your site flashy and attractive if visitors can’t navigate around it.
Be sure to avoid browser-specific functions. Some functions are supported by one browser only and not others. When you have to use such functions, make sure they don’t hinder the appearance of your pages on different browsers.
Avoid using many hard-to-find and fancy fonts. It is advisable to use common fonts such as Verdana, Arial, Courier and Tahoma. If you must use fancy fonts, have them in form of an image.
This is a technology which is often misused. Java has been known to slow down the loading of web pages, and crash certain browsers. Therefore, it needs to be used with discretion. Java should be used primarily for programming rather than creating images and photos.
Meta tags are important for directing traffic to your site. Having keywords in your meta tags will result in a high ranking for your web pages. However, there is need for discretion. Avoid having too many keywords on the same page because you may end up being penalized by search engines for stuffing.
Only the user should have the authority of opening a new browser window. Avoid cluttering the user’s screen with popup windows.