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Thread: Your don'ts

  1. #1
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Here's a list of my personal "don'ts" when making a site. Feel free to reply with your own.

    1. Don't use ASCII art like ::Home:: or //.Coolness. Just use different formatting.
    2. Never use iframes. No exceptions.
    3. Don't use dark colors unless it directly suits your site. In that case, don't use pure black, use a dark color with a very contrasting foreground (for example, dark gray and white with yellow for highlights).
    4. Never rely on Flash for key functionality. The same for Java and Javascript.
    5. Use stylesheets whenever possible for easier maintenance.
    6. Remember content is important, more so than looks.
    7. Use a simple domain name that conveys the purpose of your site; for example, webdesignforums.net clearly conveys what the site does. Xircomses, Ziotechness, or some other bizarre name does not state what your site does.
    8. Use text rather than images wherever possible to improve your search engine rankings.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    Seems like you got carried away and went with your "Do's" instead of "Dont's"

    I don't have a lot of dont's since the situation always changes the requirements.
    I mainly have two don'ts:
    1) Don't make the site impossible to navigate
    2)Dont' make the site in 4pt font because it looks cool
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

  4. #3
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Here's my list of DON'Ts:
    1. Don't use inverted text (white text on black bg)
    2. Don't use frames or iframes
    3. Don't use flash for navigation or content, or anything you want search engines to spider
    4. Don't use red & cyan, yellow & blue, or green & magenta color combinations... they are painful on the eyes
    5. Don't copy 2advanced.com.
    6. Don't make a forum site. Instead join one of the 1,000,000,000 other ones that already do what you wanna do.
    7. Don't make a blog. You're the only one who will read it.
    8. Don't make a site without a goal in mind. If you do, you're cluttering the web with useless garbage.
    9. Don't put popups all over or use a free host that puts popups all over
    10. Don't put a 1024 x 768 banner at the top of every page of your site
    11. Don't link to 1,000,000 sites that you like just because you like them. Link to another site only if the link is relevant to the context of the page.
    12. Don't add a music track to your site. Your life is not a movie, so neither should your website be.
    13. Don't put a counter on your homepage. I'm already at your site... you don't have market to me anymore.
    14. Don't put Japanese characters on your site unless you're targeting Japanese audiences.
    15. Don't make your primary navigation iconographic. If you have images that's fine, but have names for your links, too.
    16. Don't open your site in a new window!
    17. Don't stop reading this list just because it's so long.
    18. Don't put a contact form in lieu of REAL contact information (use a spam box email if you must).
    19. Don't use stock photography unless you can't physically take the photos yourself.
    20. Don't use a template from templatemonster.com
    21. Don't use a template from any other template site, either
    22. Don't argue with transio. His word is law
    23. Don't use design elements that don't fit the core concept of your site
    24. Don't put 1000 links on a page. Instead, divide the links up into logical sections
    25. Don't have unnecessary page refreshes (for instance, in a multi-selection process... use modal dialogs or iframes to avoid refreshing sub-lists each time a user makes a selection (e.g. year, make, model of a car).
    26. Don't make a "web hosting" site and host it with someone else
    27. Don't make a "web design" site and use someone else's design
    28. Don't plagiarize content
    29. Don't make your site dependant on any particular technology (i.e. javascript or cookies). It should display fine without them.
    30. Don't think this list includes everything you shouldn't do. There are lots more... I just can't think of them right now

  5. #4
    Senior Member GrandmasterB's Avatar
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    Transio...nice list, but you've contradicted yourself.

    2. Don't use frames or iframes
    25. Don't have unnecessary page refreshes (for instance, in a multi-selection process... use modal dialogs or iframes to avoid refreshing sub-lists each time a user makes a selection (e.g. year, make, model of a car).
    Not arguing with you, I'm finding that I need to get rid of my iframes. But it seems there are instances where they're helpful.

  6. #5
    Senior Member splufdaddy's Avatar
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    All of the suggestions above are valid and are seen way too much on the web. However, most of these rules do have an exception where it would be appropriate to do the opposite. Except free hosts, I hate 'em. (And arguing w/ Transio. That always makes for good reading :ichatcool: )

  7. #6
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    - always use external style sheets. for easy editing

    - always know your audience.
    If you are making a retail site then it has to give the audience a sense of security. And with a video game site, you would incorporate animation and flash to make it lively.

    - dont steal designs from others, its the best way to get a bad reputation.

    - Dont use 'mystery links' that dont give the user a clear idea of where its going to take them.

    - dont use animated gifs. They are the mark of cain

    - no .tk (unless your site is purely for fun)

  8. #7
    Senior Member Grommet's Avatar
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    Dont not agree with everybody else. (double negative )
    Dont go insane designing and start getting hobbys all the sudden that take away from designing.
    Dont forget to contract your work so no1 finagles there way out of paying you.
    Dont overdo it, you can take breaks.
    Dont forget to post your work on WDF to get comments and suggestions because this community (i think of it as a community) ownz and is very helpful
    Jason Anderson
    Grommet Designs
    Web / Graphic Design

  9. #8
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GrandmasterB
    Transio...nice list, but you've contradicted yourself.
    Oops !! You're right, I did. But you're forgetting rule #22 !!! Don't argue with me !!!

    By "don't use frames or iframes" I was intending it to mean "don't use frames or iframes for different pages of content".

    In short, frames and iframes are nice for applications that require them, such as having an invisible control frame that persists the data on a page (as can be seen at http://www.publixdirect.com/), or a frameset used to persist menu state and increase usability in a help context (as can be seen at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/ or in any RoboHelp web implementation).

    Hope that clarifies what I was thinking when I made the list. I guess I had forgotten about the first one when I wrote the second one... the creation of the list took me over an hour to do

  10. #9
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    I have to disagree transio, with number 7 atleast. There's a couple of blogs I read on a daily basis, so pffft you

    Here's my personal peeves:

    1) Don't use third party free software such as message boards or content managers unless you have a good understanding of how they work. If you can't be bothered to learn PHP or Perl, leave it up to someone who can!
    2) Don't stick paypal donation buttons on your site. If you need money, make it a subscription site or go get a job!
    3) Don't use Comic Sans, ever.
    4) Don't use Times New Roman as your body font - it just looks cheap.
    5) Use image formats appropriately. No photographs in gif format, no pngs for small, 1 or 2 colour design elements.
    6) Don't use flash splash pages that take ages to load, and then ages to play. NO ONE is going to hang about for that to finish.
    7) Don't vary your colour scheme around your site unless it is an important aspect of the design. Be consistent.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Sewolf's Avatar
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    Transio

    "no. 22 Don't argue with transio. His word is law"

    I thought filburt1's word is law, (here at least) That would make you his maybe servant? :-P

    Sewolf


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