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I started writing HTML in May of 1996 and have done almost 600 web pages for our various sites; Fuzzy Faces, Faery Tail Corgis, MetaphysicalRealm.com, and my daughter's site, Irene's Winnie the Pooh Page (no longer on-line). I had over 2,300 photos on Fuzzy Faces and hundreds of web pages at one time when I carried more merchandise. I did almost 600 graphics on my daughter's Pooh site, and I have done over 2,100 graphics for Free Doggy Graphics, so I have done a lot of work with graphics, too. I am going to start with a few simple rules on building web pages and then give you all kinds of information and tips I have learned.
Keep in mind that I have a PC and use Internet Explorer as my browser, so this is how my writing is "slanted". You may have to search around for different instructions on a Mac or different browser (or what I have given you may work just fine on your browser). This writing is also "slanted" by the software I use. I have recommended what I use and tried to provide some good software alternatives when I know about them. It does not mean that there are not other perfectly good alternatives out there.
|SOME BASIC RULES FOR WEB PAGE DESIGN|
|1.||Take the time to learn HTML code--you will be far better off in the long run. There are HTML code editors out there that you can use without learning HTML code (WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get), but don't be tempted. Learn HTML code and validate your code to make sure it's written correctly. I learned HTML code from scratch and with a little time and patience, you can, too! You'll be happy you took the time, especially if you wind up writing more than one web page.
This suggestion may not be practical if you are only going to do a couple web page. In these instances, it is more practical to use the WYSIWYG web editors. However, keep in mind that these editors can write some really bad HTML code. I have actually crashed out of a site or two that were written *very* badly.
|2.||Keep your web page(s) simple. Don't junk them up with loud wallpaper, lots of bright colors or, worse, too many colors that don't go together, banners, too many animations, loud music, or anything else that is going to distract your visitor's eye or ear from your content. Make sure that there is enough of a contrast between your background color or wallpaper and your color of text so that your page looks good and is easy to read.
Choose all of your colors carefully and stand back and look at the page objectively when you're finished and see if it really does look good to you. I'm not particularly interested in looking at the latest technology if it makes a site look badly.
|3.||Your site should load quickly (see #4 below) and be as easy to get around in as possible. People do not want to waste time waiting for a page to load (if it takes too long, they may not wait around) or looking for information. Use as many links as you need to so that your viewers can find everything they could possibly need on your site quickly and easily. Make sure every page you offer is linked to your first page (think of your first page as your Table Of Contents) so that people don't have to grope around for information on your site. You don't, after all, want them to miss anything.|
|4.||Don't put too many graphics on one page. If you've got several photos you're putting on one page, it might be a good idea to split the photos between two or even three pages. Otherwise your pages may take too long to load. A good rule to follow is no more than 75 Kbs (.075 Mgs) of graphics on any one page. Another excellent rule is no more than 20 Kbs (.020 Mgs) per graphic; otherwise they take way too long to load. Your page may appear to load quickly when both the 'Net and your phone line are up and running smoothly, but keep in mind that there are occassionally "slow" times on the Net as well as people with 14.4 K modems.|
|LEARNING HTML - The Tools You'll Need
Some HTML Tips
Excellent Web Pages For Learning HTML
(Even if you don't use Paint Shop Pro, PSP, you will still
find some helpful graphics hints in here.)
|FINISHING TOUCHES - How Your Page Should Look|
|Find out what the most common mistakes are that people make with images on a web page, causing web pages to take *way* too long to load|