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09-21-2004, 01:01 PM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
Things to consider when building a site
Now that you are at the point where you are ready to start building your pages, I?d like to give you a few things to think about. Addressing some of these issues now (before you get too much of the site done), can save a lot of time in the future.
It is no good filling a site full of scientific jargon if you expect your site to be visited by a group of kids. Not only will they not understand what it is you are trying to tell them, but they will find it rather boring and will not read much of the page before going to another site and never stopping to think about your site ever again!
Think about the people that visit your site, what will be the largest "group" of visitors that you will get? Once you have a better idea of who will be visiting, make sure that you work on the site keeping them in mind. Remember, what may seem perfectly clear and logical to you, might not be so obvious to the majority of your visitors!
As well as thinking about the types of visitors that will be visiting your site, you should take a while to consider what it is that will keep them coming back to the site. It is quite easy for a web site owner to have a loyal following of regular visitors simply by listening to them and making changes to the site based on their suggestions. Responding to your visitors ideas in this way keeps them coming back and makes them more likely to help you out when you ask for it; particularly if they know they will be taken seriously.
Page design and layout
If you do not stop to think about your page layout then you could very easily confuse your visitors. If you visit a site only to find that you cannot find your way around without clicking on all the links to see where each one takes you to, do you stay to try and find the information that you were looking for?
Your visitors won't either, so if you want people to actually get into your site then you should make it very easy for them to find what they want. Consider having some sort of search capability on your site if there are more than just a handful of pages. Putting a search form on each page can be a useful navigation tool for those visitors that know exactly what they are looking for.
Not everyone has the latest browser or plug-ins!
And you will do well to remember that! Through my own experience, adding a midi to a web site can cause havoc with a users computer; particularly if they don't have the right plug-in to be able to use it! (Usually a midi on a web page will bring my 400Mhz to its knees while it loads, if it loads, and just results in me turning off the sound in one way or another anyway!) If you need to use the latest technologies, try not to use them on the first page of the site, otherwise you are excluding a lot of your visitors who either can't or won't upgrade! Warn your visitors of plug-ins and special requirements early on, and then they can decide if they think it?s worth them getting the download to see your site.
As far as browsers go, you should always check how your site looks and works in Internet Explorer and Netscape as a minimum. Netscape is very fussy about its tags, and you should check that you close your tags properly if you want your page to be seen by your Netscape visitors. It is no use assuming that everyone will be able to switch to your browser of choice if it happens to be the latest version of Internet Explorer; the simple fact is some people can?t upgrade even if they wanted to.
See things differently
One of the biggest problems encountered by most web site owners is deciding what resolution to design the site at... the truth is that everyone has their preferred screen settings, but if you design your site for a 1024x768 screen and most of your visitors have a smaller screen resolution then they will have to scroll to see all of the page. If possible, check your site in as many screen resolutions that you have access to, this will give you an idea of the behavior of the site at these resolutions, then you can make changes that will make your site behave and look as you want it. While it may be time consuming to check various screen resolutions, it is worth doing. It would also be a good idea to do some research into screen resolution.
Author: Rosemarie Wise
09-22-2004, 10:29 AM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
Great article. Although all the new things you can do can sound great at times, you can't forget about the folks still using older browsers.The Web Hosting Show - The Voice of the Web Hosting World
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