LAYOUT: I personally like the site design technique of using frames to provide an invariant menu and a separate, replaceable, display field. However sites with this layout as the primary page are not properly indexed by many of the search engines. This leave you with a number strategies. (1) Have an information filled, non-frame, introductory index.html page which then directs your visitors to you menu in a frame page or (2) Have a non-frame page named something like about.html which is the default page that you point the search engine to when submitting the page to the search engine. (3) If you are fortunate enough to host your pages with a Intenet Host Provider (IHP) that allows "server side includes", such as QWK.net, you can set your pages up as shtml pages. We have a lesson about server side indcludes among the BATW HTML Lessons. READABILITY: Textured backgrounds can make text unreadable. If what you have to say is important try printing out a hard copy version of your text over you background and see if you can read it. Remember different browsers are going to display things differently for your visitors. If you use a textured background - the more subtle the better. Always specify both the background color and the text color in the body tag. If you specify one and not the other some browser's defaults will leave you with an unreadable page. GRAPHICS: Although it is a great way to show off your graphical skills: avoid using the site design in which the first page consists only of a spectacular graphic presentation with a link for "enter here" or "click to enter" somewhere on the page. While this may get you some site design awards it is only entertaining to your site visitors the first time they come to the site. Useful sites are visited frequently and the visitor may become impatient if the site takes to long to load. Similarly sites that are seeking to sell things to visitors may be bypassed if nothing useful is displayed after a minute or two of loading. Speaking of loading times. Many of your visitors will not have high speed internet connections. Minimize the number of images on a site, this includes avoiding use of multiple colored buttons as links. Every image loaded slows down the opening of the page. Dividing a large image into many smaller segments does not speed things up generally, the important thing is the size of the files in bytes, not their size in pixels. If images are saved with fewer colors (smaller bitplane) then they will have a smaller file size. Thumbnails are a good way to present a preview view of a large image quickly, allowing the visitor to look at the expanded view of the image if they want to. Although the HTML img tag has "width =" and "height =" arguements these should reflect the actual size, in pixels, of the image. They should not be used to "scale" a large image into a thumbnail to fit the page. When they are used to describe the size of the image then all of the text on the page can load and become readable while the images are still loading. If you try and use them to scale a thumbnail presentation of the image two things happen. (1) It takes just as long to load the image as it would if it was being shown full sized on your page because it is the file size that is important. (2) Many browsers will not scale it correctly anyway, so for some visitors the page will not look the way you planned. QUICK PAGES: This page was set up quickly using <pre> and </pre> tag formatting. The <pre> and </pre> tags can be used to quickly set up text-only web pages. Links work from within a block of text delineated by the <pre> and </pre> tag pair. However some browsers do not properly parse the <pre> tag.
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Home ] [ An Introduction to Web Page Construction Tutorial on constructing a simple web page.
This is part of a set of HTML lessons from BATW.net and Bonnie Dalzell [bdalzell at Q I S dot net].
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