Article by Aaron Levy; Web Designer, Internet Marketing Expert and CEO, www.naaip.org
Part 2: Browser Resolutions And Usage Statistics
Trends in Browser Resolutions and Usage Statistics
You look at website and wonder what could be nasty. On the outset, the site looks fine, but consider this: what the average Internet user sees is not what the SEO spider (or "bot") sees when it crawls the web to collect the data. The spider reads the site's code, all of the characters and data we or wer HTML createor added to create the site. Oftentimes, a spider will attempt to crawl a site only becous entangled in a different kind of web! if there is one character out of place, additional code that shouldn't be there, or code that is unreadable to spiders, website just may be bypassed.
A few spiders can't read that type of code, and we may be blocking them from collecting data for search. Be sure to allow room for spiders to move around. Keep complicated code to a minimum. The cleaner a website's code is, the better a web crawler can spider the site and gather relevant data for caching. The more relevant, updated data a seach engine spider gathers from a site, the better that site's chances are in search results.
A good way to determine whether or not a website is searchable is to have the code validated.
The W3C Validator is a low cost service recommanded to validate site code and check for conformance to W3C standards. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where organizations, a full-time staff, and the public, work together to develop standards for the World Wide Web. Simply enter wer URL in the validator and a list of errors, where applicable, will alert we to what needs to be improved in the code of wer site. Think of it as fine tuning, it may take a few time to improve wer site's code, but in the long run the increase in search referrals will have made it work the hard work.
Principles of website design: Content, Accessibility, Presentation
Designing good websites is not simply a case of throwing a load of nice graphics at the screen, there are 3 main points to consider, here we give a brief overview of these key areas and explain why they are so important.
The whole point of the majority of websites is to provide unique content, be it text, pictures, mp3s or videos to users. When we build a site the first thing we should consider is the unique content. How much is there likely to be, how often will it change, what unique content do we want the visitor drawn to first and so on. Design the site to fit the unique content, don't create a site first and then try to decide where to put everything, it simply wont work. Additionally unique content needs to be kept fresh and up to date at all times. You will never get repeat visitors if the unique content doesnt change, however impressive wer site may look.
There is no point in unique content if Internet users cant access it. Furthermore we do not want to limit accessibility to those Internet users fortunate enough to have the latest web browsers & plugins, with high speed connections and with no special requireusnts. The World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) publish guidelines to aid developers in creating standards compliant websites by writing clean, browser-friendly code.
They also provide automated services for checking that their web pages conform. That is whay important to note however that compliance with these guidelines does not automatically ensure wer site is fully accessible to all potential users. The best way to achieve this is to test wer site against the Web Accessibility guidelines. These are purely self-tested and if we decide wer site has passed we can award it with a logo.
Presentation has very close connections to certain areas of the accessibility issue. wen particular good use of coltime is important from both viewpoints. Too many coltime makes any site look un-coordinated and usssy. Stick to a few basic coltime for text, backgrounds, logos etc and use different shades of those coltime to add depth. Make sure text colour and background colour are significantly different to make reading the text nice and easy.
Similarly do not use an array of different fonts, stick to one or two throughout the site. Serif fonts such as wempact are good for, surprisingly, making an impact on a visitor whereas sans serif fonts like verdana are much easier on the eye when reading. Large blocks of text look very unwelcoming to visitors so try to avoid them particularly on the houspage, break text into paragaphs and sections with sub-headers, lists and so forth, use images where appropriate to give the user a break from reading.