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5) Backgrounds One common mistake is using distracting backgrounds or backgrounds which make text downright unreadable. The classic white background with black text is still best choice for text heavy pages. A light background that stays in place as reader scrolls can also be an elegant way to offset plain type.
6) Avoid Caps People read by recognizing overall shape of words. CAPS slow down character recognition ability of a person, making reading more frustrating and inefficient. Your readers will stay longer and absorb more information if you do not type in caps. Besides, having your text in all caps TENDS TO HAVE THE APPEARANCE OF A HYPED SALESMAN COME-ON! And do also tone down exclamation points!!! It simply makes your company look like a dubious, fly-by-night operation-- not impression that you want to create. Also keep this in mind when writing email ads, or sending (opt-in) email. Whenever I receive an email in ALL CAPS with !!!!, my brain immediately thinks… spam!
7) Flashing, Rotating and Animated Graphics As a rule, animated graphics are to be avoided in a business website. They take longer to load and are simply distracting and annoying. I have been to otherwise professional-looking pages which were ruined by a flashing, cheap, "Email Us" animation at bottom of page. Having said this, there are times when a very small and tasteful animation can enhance look of site, especially if it somehow relates to product or service you offer.
8) Typefaces There are two fonts specifically designed for maximum readability on screen, they are Verdana and Georgia. In addition, Times Roman, Courier and Arial are both very legible as well. These fonts might seem "boring" to webmaster looking to make their website appear hip. However, most important factor is to choose a font that is clear and does not tax viewer's eyes.
The best cure for layout problems is prevention. Before you design your site (or leave it entirely in hands of a non-creative programmer) do some research and find web sites that you like and you can copy look and feel somewhat. Also take at look sites in your industry and types of features that your competitor's sites incorporate. While you don't want to copy (you want to innovate), this research can save future time and grief if you get it right first time.
Michele Haapamaki writes for Eworksworld, the only Internet Marketing Portal that reviews marketing companies and sites all in one place, so you spend less time searching the web! Send in your tips to our Red Ink Watch, which provides unbiased commentary on the (mostly negative) balance sheets of major Internet companies!