50 Surefire Web Design Tips (Part 2)
By Mario Sanchez

Tips On Writing For The Web

26. Write in layman's terms so that everybody can understand
    your content, unless you're running a technical site for 
    technical people. 

27. Reading from a screen is painful: use 50% less words than 
    you would use on print. 

28. If a page is too long, break it into several pages and link 
    to them. 

29. Don't use font sizes smaller than 10pt. for the body of your 
    page. Specify your fonts in percentage terms instead of 
    pixels to let users set their own size preferences using 
    their browser's text view options. 

30. Use a spell checker. Spelling mistakes are embarrassing and 
    hurt credibility. 

Tips to Know Your Customers

31. Ask for feedback: include a feedback form in your Contact Us 

32. Publish an ezine and include a subscription form in your 
    homepage. Give your customers valuable information and 
    encourage them to contact you.  

33. Include polls and other tools to gather market intelligence.

Tips on Linking

34. Make your links descriptive. They should indicate what the 
    user will be linking to, as opposed to just saying "click 

35. Don't underline anything that is not a link.

36. Underline your links and use a consistent color for them 
    across your site (preferably blue). 

37. Use a different color for visited links, so that your 
    visitors know where they've been (preferably purple or a 
    more subdued tone of the unvisited links color). 

38. When linking to a non-HTML file, such as Excel, Word or 
    Acrobat, make it evident, by including a small icon next 
    to the link. 

39. Don't link to "under construction" pages. 

40. Make sure that your links work and that you don't have
    broken links. There are free online tools that can help you 
    with this. 

41. If you use graphic links, don't forget to use the ALT 
    attribute. The ALT attribute should describe what you are 
    linking to. 

Tips On How To Use Graphics

42. Optimize your graphics. Use only .gif and .jpg formats. Make 
    your image files as small as possible while maintaining 
    acceptable quality. Use a free online graphics optimization 

43. Use thumbnails (miniature versions of a picture) and make 
    them clickable to the actual size picture. 

44. Avoid graphics that look like ads. People ignore them.

45. Use the ALT attribute on pictures, even if the image is not 
    a link. It helps users with disabilities and people who have 
   turned off graphics. 

Tips To Optimize Your Site For The Search Engines

46. Create short, descriptive page titles, to entice search 
    engine users to click on your links. 

47. Create a site map containing all your pages, and link to it 
    directly from your homepage. Search engine robots will follow 
    the link to your site map and will most likely add all your 
    pages to their index. 

48. Decide what the two or three main keywords are for each page 
   (the words you believe search engine users will type to find 
   your page) and repeat them often in your page title, 
   description meta tag and page body. 

49. Create a Links page and call it Resources. In it, place links 
    to those sites that have agreed to place a reciprocal link to 
    your page. The more inbound links you have from quality sites 
    with a topic related to your site, the better your site will 
   rank with the search engines. 

50. Use more text than graphics, and minimize the use of Flash 
    and JavaScript. Search engines heavily favor text and will 
    crawl and index your site faster. 

For more details on these tips, or for more tips, visit 
http://www.theinternetdigest.net . 

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.