Web Site Design Tips for SCS Webmasters

Introduction - Planning
Purpose - Structure - Basic Web Site
Design - Navigation - Accessibility
Place Content - Update - Evaluate

Evaluate

Evaluate your site often. Are your visitors looking for information that is not on the site? Provide an easy way for visitors to let you know what they think about the web site. A mailto link for the webmaster should be on every page of the web site. You might also provide a fill in the blank form so their opinions can be directly emailed to you. There are many online resources for this service (check out Response-O-Matic).

Loading times

As you add items to your design and navigation, keep in mind the loading time for your pages. The home page should not be larger than approximately 15K. Inner pages should not be larger than 40 - 60 K (in most cases).

Are any of the pages becoming too long requiring long loading times? Here are some ways to cut down on file size and/or loading time:

  • Decrease the number of images

  • Use fewer colors in your images

  • Split the content into separate pages

  • Slice large images into smaller, faster-loading images

  • Include WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes for all images

  • Optimize graphic file size for Web display (maximum of 20K per graphic)

  • If you are using an image for a background to your page, keep it wide and short (700 X 16 pixels is a common size). It should be non-interlaced and under 1K.

  • If you use color on your page (in tables or as a background color), use hexidecimal equivalents to specify the color. The color white would have the hexidecimal equivalent of #ffffff. Black is # 000000. If the words for colors are used ("white," "black"), it adds time to the loading of the page.

  • Remove animated images

  • Replace large images with thumbnails linked to the full-sized image (great for scrapbook pages)

  • Break up large tables vertically. One huge table takes longer to display content than stacked smaller tables which display one at a time.

  • Optimize your HTML. Remove excess spaces, comments, and tags. This is especially important on the home page to minimize file size and download time. Some web development software will do this for you. Software is available for purchase which will optimize graphics simply.


Time to grow

Once you have decided to add new pages and new content, do not forget to add links so visitors can access the information. You can advertise the fact that this new information has been added to your site by listing pages updated on a "What's New" page. You will soon find that page being one of your most visited pages. It is extremely helpful to the users of your web site.

 

Introduction - Planning
Purpose - Structure - Basic Web Site
Design - Navigation - Accessibility
Place Content - Update - Evaluate