50 Surefire Web Design Tips (Part 1)
by By Mario Sanchez


1. Include your logo in all pages. Position it at the top left 
   of each page. 

2. Complement your logo with a tagline or catchy sentence that 
   summarizes your business purpose. For example "Always low 
   prices" is the tagline for Wal-Mart. 

3. Create a favicon. A favicon is that small graphic that 
   appears next to the URL in the address bar of Internet 

4. Have a consistent look and feel in all your pages. Use a 
   color scheme and layout that are clearly recognized across 
   your site. 

5. Have an About Us section, that includes all relevant 
   information about you and your business. 

6. Include a copyright statement at the bottom of each page.


7. Design your pages to load in less than 10 seconds (50Kb 
   maximum size, including pictures). 

8. Group your navigational options in relevant categories.

9. Use common names for your menu options: Home, About Us, 
   Contact Us, Help, Products. Avoid "clever" or "trendy" 

10. If your site uses Flash, also provide an HTML version for 
    users who prefer a less fancy, faster site. 

11. Provide simple text navigation links at the bottom of long 
    pages, so users don't need to scroll back up. 

12. Link your logo to your homepage, except in the homepage 
    itself. Put a link to your homepage on all your internal 

13. Display a "breadcrumb trail"; it is basically the path from 
    the homepage to the page where you are. A breadcrumb trail 
    looks like this: Home > Section > Sub-Section > Page, and it 
    greatly facilitates navigation. 

14. If your site is too big, provide Search capabilities. 
    Include a search box in the upper right corner of your 
    homepage, and a link to a Search page from your interior 
    pages. Freefind ( ) offers a 
    free and powerful search engine for your site. 

15. Set your search box to search your site, not to search the 

16. Create a custom error page that displays a simple site map 
    with links to the main sections of your site. That way, you 
    will not lose visitors that have followed a bad link to your 
    site or who have misspelled your URL. 

Tips On Layout And Content Presentation

17. Save the top of your page for your most important content. 
    Remember: good content must flow to the top. 

18. Lay out your page with tables, and set the width in 
    percentage terms instead of a fixed number of pixels. 
    That way, your page will always fit the screen, without 
    the need to scroll horizontally. 

19. Optimize your page to be viewed best at 800x600 (the most 
    popular resolution at the time of this writing). 

20. Use high contrast for the body of your page: black text on 
    white background, or white text on black background work 

21. Don't use too many different fonts in one page. Also, avoid 
    using small serif fonts (like Times Roman): they are 
    difficult to read from a computer screen. Verdana is the 
    most web-friendly font, since it is wide, clean and easy to 

22. Avoid long blocks of text. Use tools that facilitate 
    scanability, like bullets, subtitles, highlighted keywords, 
    hyperlinks, etc.  

23. Avoid amateurish features like: numeric page counters, 
    wholesale use of exclamation points, all caps, center 
    justified blocks of text, excessive animated gifs, busy 
    backgrounds, etc. 

24. Don't use pop-up windows. They distract your visitors and
    are immediately dismissed as ads. 

25. Test your site so that it looks good in different browsers 
    and resolutions. 

Mario Sanchez publishes The Internet Digest 
( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), a collection of web design 
and Internet marketing tips and resources to help you design a 
better website and market it more effectively.