8 Web Site Design Bloopers to Avoid

Written by Lisa Maliga

Designing your own web page or site is a project that can be as fun and creative as you like. You’re putting your work out there for potentially millions of people to read. Whether your site showcases your prized collection of stamps, your photos of family and pet[s], or you’re trying to build a new business; your web site isrepparttar best window of opportunity to make a good impression. Keep in mind that most surfers will give your page about 15 seconds. This means one thing: make it memorable! To do this, here are 8 important gaffes to avoid.

1. There are hundreds of available fonts fromrepparttar 134620 standard size Times New Roman to extra large and bold Goudy Stout. Using more than two, possibly three, fonts are not recommended. It’s fun experimenting withrepparttar 134621 right font for your page, but unless you’re creating a web site where you’re featuring fonts, keep it simple. Also, script fonts look awful when they’re done in all capital letters.

2. Withrepparttar 134622 advent of animated graphics [GIF’s], most of them available forrepparttar 134623 rock bottom price of nothing, people can go crazy decorating their site withrepparttar 134624 visual equivalent of Disney World. Some ofrepparttar 134625 animations do more than move; they make noise! Remember, folks, less is more! One or two appropriate animations per page can enhance it. Yes, animation is fun. But too much can be distracting.

3. Spell check your page. Read it. Then read it again. Even if you have a graphics’ intensive site, you will have some text. When that text is misspelled and/or full of grammatical errors, you’ll turn away a proportionate amount of traffic. I once discovered a site with TWELVE misspellings on one page! No matter what you’re selling or showing onrepparttar 134626 WWW, being able to do so in proper English [or whatever your language] is always appreciated. Most word processing programs include a spell check. And if you’re in doubt, have someone who likes to read and write proofread it.

4. Text only sites are BORING! If we want to read a book online we’ll go to an e-book company and download one! Or torepparttar 134627 library -- getrepparttar 134628 point? Even if you’re designing a serious reference site, there’s always a way to include an elegant little graphic, a non-white background, or a line to break uprepparttar 134629 paragraphs. The Internet is a visual medium for most of us [except those who run their browser in a text-only format], so make it look attractive. After all, you are inviting people to share something with you.

Create custom error pages and keep your visitors!

Written by Michael Bloch

HTTP 404 - File not found is a browser error message that we've all grown to know and hate. On a number of search engines, it gets to a stage where we feel that all their links will return this result? How is this happening, who is to blame and how do we fix it?

On reviewing my server logs, I had noticed around 1% of all requests from my site will return this HTTP error code. One ofrepparttar reasons for it was a stupid mistake I made around 6 months ago. I wasn't happy withrepparttar 134619 naming of a couple of my files, so I renamed them without consideringrepparttar 134620 consequences:

- The files had been on my site for a few days

- During that time a couple of search engine bots had crawled throughrepparttar 134621 pages. A search engine bot is a software program that scours web sites for content and returnsrepparttar 134622 results to a search engine database. The search engine interface feeds off this to return links and descriptions to surfers when they have entered their search criteria

- Since I changedrepparttar 134623 names ofrepparttar 134624 files afterrepparttar 134625 bot went through,repparttar 134626 pages in their original state no longer "existed".

- The search engine query results reflectrepparttar 134627 database entries, pointing torepparttar 134628 wrong filename, visitor clicks onrepparttar 134629 result - 404.... aaaaaaaaargh!

It would appear that some search engines only update their results once or twice a year, such isrepparttar 134630 hugeness ofrepparttar 134631 task of spideringrepparttar 134632 web these days. Last month,repparttar 134633 percentage of requests to my site that resulted in this HTTP error code was 2%,repparttar 134634 previous month to that - slightly higher. While I am happy that this is reducing, I am kicking myself that I didn't think things through six months ago - we live and we learn. 404 errors may also be caused through a malformed browser request (user error - wrong URL typed into address bar)

Save yourselfrepparttar 134635 shame and embarassment (and homicidal thoughts directed at you from frustrated potential visitors) - plan your site carefully before you promote to search engines.

If you do or have found yourself inrepparttar 134636 same situation as me, there is something that you can do about it (dependant upon your hosting service set up). Instead of a visitor being directed to those rather horrible "file not found" pages, you can create custom error pages. Here is an example:

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/aaaargh The above link is incomplete which triggers a 404 response on my server.

By implementing custom error pages, you have a good chance of retainingrepparttar 134637 visitor, especially if you includerepparttar 134638 standard navigation buttons. It also acts as a means of apologising torepparttar 134639 visitor forrepparttar 134640 inconvenience. It isn't just 404 error messages that you can apply this to. There are a number of error code returns that you could customise, all withrepparttar 134641 goal of alleviating visitor stress and encouraging them to further explore your site. A listing of http error codes can be viewed here:

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