Web Authoring Standards
Maximum exposure on the Internet requires following guidelines to maximize appeal. Root Solutions follows a strict regiment of best practices when optimizing your Web site. Below is a list of just some of our recommendations for the best impact on the Internet.
- Unless you are building a site for a specific audience, check the latest screen resolution stats at TheCounter.com and author to lowest common denominator of the top 90%.
- Minimize the use of Java applets. Some browsers and older computers take an exceptionally long time to start the Java Virtual Machine, which interprets the Java byte code.
- Minimize the use of frames
- Do not use blinking objects or text. It detracts the eye away from what's really important... the content.
- Minimize the use of ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. It looks like you're shouting at your users.
- Minimize the underlining of text when the text is not a link.
- To minimize download time, individual graphics should be no larger than approximately 30 KB, with the total size of one page not exceeding 60 KB. (This can be a little more relaxed for intranets, depending on the company's network.) Always optimize images as much as possible.
- Minimize use of nested tables. Tables are very difficult for browsers to draw. This causes a delay before the user sees anything on the page.
- Minimize the need for scrolling wherever possible.
- All images should have the width and height attributes specified. This makes it easier and faster for the browser to layout the entire page.
- All pages need <HEAD> meta data. The required data are a title, keywords, and description. Title is what you see at the top of the browser; keywords are used by search engines, and description is what users see in the search results (with some search engines). When using frames, this meta data should only be included on the FRAMESET page (the page that holds all the subpages in its frames).
- Test pages in the most current and older Web browsers. See our Design Tools page for recommended Web browsers.
- Always test pages with different system color resolutions, from 256 colors (if available) to 32-bit color (or the highest your video adapter/monitor can go).
- For font faces, use common fonts (arial, helvetica, sans-serif, times new roman, georgia, serif, times, courier new, courier, mono, verdana) and provide alternates for the primary font face you want displayed. For example, if you want to use arial, use <FONT FACE="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">. If a user does not have arial installed on his/her system, the browser will try to use helvetica; if no helvetica, the browser will use whatever font is defined as the system sans serif font. If you choose to use a more stylized font, make sure the page also looks okay using one or more of the common fonts, and use the common fonts as alternates.