Ken Ward's HTML Tutorial ...

Doing it with Style!

It is one thing to know HTML. It is another to produce stylish web pages. Style, like art, is based on personal preference, and there can be no infallible rules. Yet, a style that appeals to many people is one that will make your web site more popular. These are my ideas;

Web pages should;

  • Load quickly. They do not load quickly if they have;
    • Large images or many images
    • Large Java programs
  • Be easy and pleasing to read.
    • Use simple readable colours without background images that obscure the text.
    • Be formatted using section headings.
    • Have plenty of 'white' space.
  • Be easy to navigate. This requires the correct use of hyperlinks.
  • Be neat. This is achieved by using section headings, lists, appropriate colours, etc as appropriate.
  • Be functional. This can override all the other requirements. If the purpose is to show a big image, or to please oneself, then this will affect all the other criteria. Normally, if we are hoping to affect others, then the page should clearly lead the reader to a choice point where they can decide whether or not to take the action desired by the writer, instead of having to search and wonder how they can get or do what they want. Have you noticed how some big and famous sites can be a nightmare trying to find what you want?
  • Be easy for search engines to rank and classify. This means they have;
  • Be free of grammar and spelling mistakes! These errors can arise because of the difficulty of reading a computer screen, so spell checkers are essential! Remember, however, that spell checkers won't pick up wrongly used words, if they are correctly spelt. For example, 'their' and 'there.'
  • Date and put your name on each of your pages. If necessary give the status - complete or rough draft!
  • Put in HTML comments a reference to your page. Sometimes, when pages are saved the reader has forgotten where the page came from and finds it hard to find your site. Put, in HTML comments, the absolute URL of each of your pages. Another way to solve this problem is to put an absolute reference to your site in one of the links. That is, instead of putting the reference to 'index.htm', put 'http://www.MySite/index.htm'! The hyperlink to this tutorial at the top of the page is an absolute URL.

In summary, web pages and web sites should load quickly, be to the point, and pleasing on the eye.


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Most Recent Revision: 18-Oct-98.
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