Free Website Content
15 Important Web Design Tips
By Sharon Housley
15 Important Web Design Tips
Here are 15 important website design
tips that you might not be aware of or have overlooked.
Consider taking advantage of them if you haven't already
1. Custom 404 Pages
Create a custom 404 web page, so that
any time your website visitor mistypes or misspells
a URL on your site, they will still be provided with
navigation options for your site (instead of getting
nothing but a "Page Not Found" error message, which
is neither friendly or helpful).
2. Redirect Non-www. To www.
Website visitors will often leave out
the "www." portion when they type a URL or link to your
website. Set the website up so that it automatically
redirects any non-www version of your domain urls (http://domain.com)
to the www version (http://www.domain.com) of your website.
3. Properly Sized Graphics
Size and define all graphics and images
on your web pages properly and correctly. Web pages
will load quicker if the graphics contained on each
page are properly defined so they don't require the
web browser to re-size them. Properly sized and defined
images can reduce the web browser workload and speed
up the page loading time.
Add a Favicon (favorite icon) to your
website, so that your company or product logo appears
in the URL box. This icon will also show up in a bookmark
list, and gives the web site an added level of professionalism.
5. Include RSS Auto-Discovery
If you offer an RSS feed for any content
on your website, be sure to include auto-discovery code
in the header of your website. This will allow many
browsers and RSS readers to automatically detect the
presence of an RSS feed and alert the visitor that it
6. Alternate Domains
Domain names are relatively inexpensive,
so you should register multiple domain versions and
extensions in order to protect your brand. The varied
domains can be parked on the main website, simply to
prevent others from obtaining them. Registering alternate
domain versions will help protect your brand.
7. Consistent Navigation
Navigation should remain consistent on
a website. As a website visitor moves through the website,
the navigation bar should remain in the same place on
each page. This will make it easier for visitors to
navigate your website, and become more comfortable as
they move through your site.
8. Home Goes Home
The main graphic, company logo, or "header"
at the top of the site should be included on every page
in the site, and should always return the visitor to
the home page of the website. This has become a web
standard, and most visitors now expect to return to
the main page of the site simply by clicking on the
main top graphic from any page within the site.
9. Copyright Notice
Include a copyright notice on the bottom
of each page contained on the website, and keep it current!
It may seem trivial, but an out-of-date copyright notice
can send a message to your visitors that the website
and its content may be out-of-date as well.
10. Meaningful File Names
Use meaningful file names for any files,
graphics, or web pages. Many search engines look at
file names as part of their search algorithm, and using
keywords in file names may help to improve search engine
11. Hyphens vs Underscores
When naming files and webpages, use hyphens
(i.e. web-page.html) rather than underscores (i.e. web_page.html)
for the file names. It is much easier for search engines
to separate and index the keywords when hyphens are
12. Alt Tags
Use ALT tags to describe what images
represent on web pages. ALT tags not only assist visually-impaired
visitors in knowing what the images are, but they also
help with search engine ranking.
13. Spell Check
Use a spell-check feature on the text
of all web pages in a website. A website that contains
mistyped or misspelled words just shouts "unprofessional".
Take the extra few minutes necessary to check the spelling
of text on each page of your website.
After making changes to a website, test
it! Many times, a webmaster will upload changes, confident
in their abilities, only to later discover that in their
attempt to fix one thing, they have "broken" something
somewhere else. Make testing a habit after making even
the most minor changes!
15. Keep It Simple
Simple is good. Remove unnecessary clutter
and distractions from a website and navigation menu.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
This article may be used freely in opt-in
publications and websites, provided that the resource
box is included and the links are active. A courtesy
copy of the issue or a link to any online posting would
be greatly appreciated send an email to email@example.com
Additional articles available for publication available