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Good Design Consists of:
1. Text that is easy to read. Don't be afraid to use a large bold font against a light colored background. You can use any font with any background. There are no rules or laws here. 2. Avoid gimmicks. Construct your pages to download fast. Consider having a section just for photos and name it so that people will expect that portion of your site to download slowly. And for goodness sake, don't make people download a plug-in just so that they can read your page. 3. A clear statement on home page explaining what site is all about. 4. Something on home page that makes it clear what other pages are all about too. 5. A home page that is a home page - none of that "enter" nonesense. 6. An organized site that has some kind of structure that can be easily understood. 7. Entertainment value. This is where good writing skills come in. Think of your site as if it were a novel or a hit record. Somebody has to grab our interest immediately and then hold it by entertaining us. There's no better way than with your personality through your writing, and nobody can do that for you better than you can.
The bottom line is that web site design professionals usually prevent your own personality from shining through your web site. It's much better to be yourself and create something that they would call amateurish then it is to pay for something that they use a form and a program to create for all their clients. Think outside box. And then create your own box.
Peter Cross is a singer/songwriter/producer who was among the first to put music on the internet in downloadable format in 1996. To this day, he is one of the only musicians who has created and designed his own music web site in html, and at 104 pages filled with entertaining content, it's one of the largest. Check it out at: http://www.starcrost.com