Other ... things often found on web sites are:1 ... ... not so common these days.2 Words marching across the page.3 Words marching across the status bar at the bottom oft
Other "unfriendly" things often found on web sites are: 1 "Blinking" text--fortunately not so common these days. 2 Words marching across the page. 3 Words marching across the status bar at the bottom of the browser. That's where I want to see the URL of the link at which my mouse is pointing, for goodness' sake!
These gimmicks, along with animated graphics, are extremely distracting, especially to the eyes of visitors who are much more interested in what the owner of the web site has to say.
SUMMING UP: Well, this series of articles deals with some of my personal prejudices. However, things that irritate me might not be important to someone else, and you don't have to take notice of them if you don't want to. Nevertheless, most of these faults ARE considered by genuine professional web designers to be serious ones. While some people insist a web page is nothing like a printed page, and web designers are therefore free to break all the rules of good page layout and design, the fact remains that if it looks ugly on paper it looks just as ugly on a monitor. Do you really fancy reading a book or newspaper with black pages and white, blue or bright green print, for instance? Well, then, why would anyone want to read something like this on a monitor? However, I'm amazed at the number of web site creators who expect me to do just this!
Certainly visitors who can't navigate your site are going to think you're less than courteous. They will probably think you're an idiot if they can't read your site's content because you haven't specified a suitable background colour and your type is the same colour as their default background colour. Also, if you don't specify the height and width of your images these will take ages to download and your visitors will give up and go elsewhere. I do. Likewise, if you don't use the ALT tag so that text-only visitors can read what your picture is about, they won't be tempted to ask for it to load. That's just common sense, surely!
Some of the unfriendliest web sites I've visited, incidentally, have been done with various versions of Microsoft FrontPage. When I mentioned this to a friend who knows more about web design than most professional designers, he made me laugh by replying with unrestrained vehemence that FrontPage is "evil". But statistics can always be twisted to say what you want them to say. The truth in this instance is probably that this program is simply more popular than others. And I have visited some very attractive sites made with FrontPage.
If you want to use web-creation software, then by all means do so. But first learn the basics of writing HTML, if only so you can get rid of all the redundant code (not to mention some necessary code that FrontPage leaves out, just because Explorer for Windows can do without it!) There are many tutorials you can use. You might like to try Alan Levine's excellent one, which can be downloaded at http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu ut/. It works exactly like a web site and you learn by creating a web site all about volcanoes.
I must confess that if you've explored my site thoroughly you will have noticed I've broken several of my own rules: my home page background is different from all the other pages; there are a few pages with purely decorative graphics in place of dividing lines; and elsewhere I used all capitals for my heading. But I'm not telling you which pages these latter are on!