Web Hints

Over the last few years I've had the good fortune to make my living from home building & maintaining web sites and advising others.  I've surfed thousands of web pages and have picked up a few tips & tricks you might find helpful.  Here's where I'll share my observations and secrets. Be sure to check in frequently as I'll be adding to this section often.

Simple suggestions for a better web-site:

1. Make sure everything works. 
Odd as this sounds, you'd be amazed at the number of sites that have graphics and links that don't work.  After uploading your page(s) double check everything. When possible, check the pages with several browsers and with a computer other than the one you built the pages with.  The number one reason for broken graphics is that the page is looking for the image on the author's local drive.

2. Don't use music without allowing the visitor to turn it off
While putting music on your site *seems* like a great idea, remember everyone doesn't have the same taste in music.  What you think sounds great someone else may liken to scraping chalk on a blackboard. Also keep in mind that people surf the web at all hours of the day and night in a wide assortment of surroundings.  My suggestion is if you use music, default it to OFF.  At the very least, make the control visible so the visitor can stop it if they want.

3. Don't over use BLINKing text or animated graphics.
A lot of folks find blinking text and an abundance of animated graphics to be extremely annoying. A few animated graphics can add some *sparkle* to a page but too many and it just looks busy and disorganized.

4. If it looks like it should be clickable, it should be.
With buttons, graphics, or even text, if the average visitor will think it should click, then it probably should.  The place this shows up the worst is with the use of colored text. When you build a page you select what color is used for links and what color is used for followed links.  No other text on the page should use those two colors.

5. Make sure you full URL is somewhere on the page.
This is one that is seldom mentioned but it's one that's used by smart webmasters. If all you use is relative links within a page then what happens if the surfer saves the page and tries to find you later?  They don't. So either in the source code as a comment or as a link within the page, make sure the full URL is available.  For example, if you look at the source code for the pages on this site you'll see that all the HOME links carry the full URL.  It slows down the site a few clock-ticks while navigating but if you save this page and load it later from your hard drive, you can return to my site by just clicking HOME.
More hints for your web-site
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