Professional Web Pages
(c) 2000 by Joanne Glasspoole
your Web site doesn't project a professional and polished
image to your visitors, your credibility and that of
your products and services will suffer. Image is everything
-- especially online where your competitor is only one
mouse click away!
your first HTML code is written, you will need to consider
your Web site's navigational structure, color scheme
and page layout. Is your content developed? If not,
who is going to write it?
you have done the necessary pre-planning, then the fun
part begins -- coding your HTML pages.
are some steps to consider when laying out your Web
I highly recommend that you try to get your home page
to fit on one screen. Ideally, people shouldn't have
to scroll down to see what your site has to offer. You
may need to make your graphics smaller, but that's okay.
Smaller graphics mean a quicker download time.
Be sure to check your pages at all the various screen
resolutions. Although only a small percentage of users
have their monitors set at 640x480, you will want to
make sure your site looks good at that resolution. I
design my Web pages at 800x600, which is the average
resolution. However, more and more users have their
computer monitors set at higher resolutions, such as
1024x728. You will see that your pages will look radically
different depending on the resolution. I personally
have been horrified at how ugly my "beautiful" pages
look on different computer screens.
Browsers are another very important consideration. Netscape
and Internet Explorer both perform the same function
-- display Web pages -- but the way they do so is strikingly
code needs to be very clean and pretty much flawless
to display correctly on Netscape. If you miss even one
table tag (e.g., you forget to close a <td> tag),
you will be mighty surprised when you get nothing but
a blank page on Netscape.
Explorer is much more forgiving. It "assumes" what you
meant to do. Netscape, on the other hand, is unassuming.
If it doesn't understand your code, it simply will not
An excellent site to check your HTML code for browser
compatibility, as well as screen size, is Anybrowser.com
on your site because it's both functional and cool.
However, those technologies work better on Internet
Explorer than they do on Netscape. Many of the scripts
that you can grab for free at sites like Dynamic Drive
DHTML (http://www.dynamicdrive.com/) and Website Abstraction
(http://www.wsabstract.com/) are written exclusively
for Internet Explorer, so you will need to be very careful
when deciding what to use on your Web site.
the date and time. This script is supposed to work on
both Internet Explorer and Netscape; however, a couple
of days ago I noticed that the year on Netscape was
100 versus 2000. A 1,900 year variance is a pretty significant
The titles on all of your Web pages need to be consistent
-- not only in font style, size and color but also alignment.
Make sure the spacing between the title and the first
paragraph is consistent throughout your site. Make sure
your spacing is uniform on all pages.
If your navigation is dependent on graphics (e.g., image
visitors will have a problem getting around your site
if their browser doesn't display graphics, or if they've
chosen to turn graphics off on their browser settings
for faster surfing. It is extremely important to provide
text links in addition to graphic links. All of your
users will see your text links, plus text loads faster
It is an excellent idea to make your logo a clickable
link back to your home page from all of the pages of
your Web site. Many visitors expect to be able to use
the logo to go back home. Don't forget to also include
a text link to your home page.
are only a few considerations in designing your Web
pages, but they are very important. Don't let your beautiful
pages look ugly on your visitor's computer screen.
you are like me, you will find these issues among the
most challenging aspects of designing professional Web
Glasspoole is a Webmaster and freelance Web designer.
Visit her Web site for Internet and technology news, insightful
articles, and links to excellent Webmaster resources to
help you grow your online business. http://www.glasspoole.com