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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dos and Don'ts of Web Design

  Here's an excerpt from my freelance web design site at

  My Dos and Don'ts of Web Design:


  • Have a unified visual theme. Have a certain colour scheme and consistent look to establish a bold looking presence for your brand, whether your website represents a business, organization or individual.

  • Make sure your spelling and grammar are perfect. Scan your text for typos as well. When I design websites for myself and others I always make sure my text is perfect and effective.

  • Make sure your webpages display well in as many popular browsers as possible. Some HTML tags only work in certain browsers, and some other HTML tags display a little differently in one browser or another. There are even some tag attributes that aren't standard! I always test my web design in different browsers and at different resolutions because I want my web design to always look good.

  • All of the information and important webpages on your website should be quickly accessible. If your visitors have to go through twenty links on your site or if they have to study your 'site map' to find something, they'll be very frustrated with you.

  • Check your web design for tags that haven't been closed, and for broken or incorrect links. These are mistakes that even the best of us make.

  • Keep your website frequently updated. If your visitors see 'Last updated on June 5th, 2006' somewhere on your site, it doesn't look good. Also, check any links you have to external websites because often those become broken.


  • I know most people my age or younger think that 'txt speek' is okay or cute. That's a total fallacy. Incorrect spelling and grammar makes a webpage difficult to read. It's also the quickest way to look unprofessional, unintelligent, uneducated and ignorant, even if you don't deserve that impression.

  • Don't repeat the web design mistakes of the 1990s.

  • Don't have a photo of you and your cat tiled for the background. There are some black spots in that graphic and the black text that goes over it can't be read, either.

  • No happy animated .gifs announcing that a page is under construction. If you're still working on a webpage, don't upload it yet and don't link to it in your site until it's ready.

  • And another mistake from the 1990s- don't let your users get stuck in your frames. If a visitor clicks on an external link in one of your frames, the outside webpage will be stuck in your frames if you don't set the correct attribute for your link. See how seldom frames are used these days?

    • One last mistake of the 1990s- don't have a .midi file of Spice Girls' Wannabe automatically start playing when someone visits your website. As much as I love the Spice Girls, what if someone's listening to THEIR music or a podcast while they stumble upon your website?

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