The other day I was doing a random search using some keywords regarding a project and I chanced upon taking a peek at the source of some top ranked web pages. I was a bit surprised to see how some of them were coded. Getting more inquisitive, I tried a few different keywords and found web design and development sites showing the same trends.
This set me on to think, what should an individual or an organization hoping to get a web site designed and developed should consider before hiring someone or what should be a guided outline to follow if one has to design it him/her self.
Here are 5 things to consider as a start-up guideline.
1. Standard Compliance :
The code to be written should be in compliance with web standards, whether its plain HTML, XHTML, XML, or CSS. The main reason behind having a standard compliant code is that it’s very close to cross browser compatibility. I have seen sites look wayward in one type of browser and for the other it displays perfectly. With the browsers moving towards standard web compliance, you make your code a bit future proof and it tries to display the same across different browsers with fair accuracy.
2. Cross Browser Compatibility :
Just by writing standard compliant code is not enough to ensure that browsers will display everything the same. The website code has to be checked using different browsers for greater cross browser compatibility. You might have to look for some tweaks and hacks to achieve the desired result across browsers, or you might have to make changes to your code. The only way to check is to use different browsers when building and testing your site.
3. Screen Resolution:
Another aspect greatly ignored. Some Websites designed, occupy more or less, half the screen resolution on higher resolution monitors. With laptops and wide screen LCDs and bigger monitors making inroads, your design should be flexible. It should be fluid in nature to support a minimum or a maximum resolution. The web pages should expand and contract horizontally along with the content without breaking the page layout.
4. Text Reader Compliant:
Can you ignore text readers? Though your viewers would be limited in number who would use text readers to browse your site, but you cannot ignore them. Even if you are sure that you can safely ignore their limited presence, can you ignore Search Engines? Yes, Search Engines crawl through your website as if they are text readers to index pages to show up in search results. If your website is difficult to browse on a text reader, the same difficulty could be faced by Search Engines on going through your site.
5. Ethical Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Seeing top ranked web pages using unethical means to gain a higher position on search engine searches, is really what you should avoid doing. Not only is this a short term gain, it even might put off a potential visitor or client or your search engine rankings could drop suddenly when the search engines rectify the index. What’s worse is that the trend is fairly common among web design companies and it’s visible on their web pages. Repeating keywords on the top and bottom without any real or relevant purpose in small fonts or using same color as the background to hide planted keywords all over the web page are a few unethical ways to get higher rankings on Search Engine searches. What you should look is at building your content around the keywords you want to target and writing more content for your site that’s going to help your visitors and clients. You will gain a visibly higher ground in the long run on the Search Engine Searches.