When most of us visit a web site, the first thing we look for is content. I visit a site to learn things. I'm looking for information, and I want to find it
quickly. That means that a site should tell me where to find the information I'm looking for right away. I shouldn't have to dig around too much to find
I'm amazed at the number of business web sites out there that don't tell you the most basic things, such as what the company does what they make,
what it's for, what it fits and their street address, phone number, and E-mail address, in their first page or two. There have been many times when I've
gone to a company's site just so I could get their phone number or E-mail address, and then hunted around for ten minutes without ever being able to find it.
Tell everybody who you are, what you do, where you are and how to contact you in the first page or two.
Now my opinion on things like Java, CGI, and Perl scripts may change someday, but from what I've seen so far, they add very little that's of any real value
to a web site's visitors. Java scripts can really slow down the time it takes to download your pages, and also make your visitor's computer much more likely to
I'm not going to be any more likely to read your catalog, letter, magazine or newspaper if you put an animated juggling clown on the first page.
Things like blinking text and pages that use more than two colors of text make a web site look like it was designed to get the attention of young
Are the graphics you provide on your pages relevant? Are they just for decoration, or can we learn something from them? Are they unique, or uncommon?
Are you using happy face logos, and those lame, yellow-and-black-striped "Under Construction" signs on pages you feel insecure about, or that tired,
stupid-looking animated image that shows the hand reaching out of the mailbox to grab a letter? Are you really that desperate to look like an idiot?
Now let's talk about links. When I first started putting this site together, in addition to searching with search engines, I looked at other sites to see
what links they had. In fact, since I will admit to having a link fetish, a new site's links are one of the first things I look at.
The links you have to other sites say something about who put the site together "how many of their friends they're willing to introduce you to" is
one way of putting it. It is perfectly acceptable for a business to have no links to any other web sites. If you only have five or ten links to other sites,
that's fine too, assuming that they're relevant and they all work, and you check them every month to make sure they still do. (And you certainly don't have to
provide thousands of links like this site does. It just so happens that it was put together by one of the relatively few people who actually enjoys doing
research and compiling a lot of information in a way that makes it easy for people to quickly find out something in particular.) But if you do have a lot of
links, are they arranged in a way that breaks them down into categories, and then put in alphabetical order, so that people don't have to wade through a lot of
things they're not interested in?
By the way, you don't ever have to ask permission to add a link on your site to another site. And if you haven't already done so, please add a link to the
first page on Roadsters.com.
Don't expect people to load a different browser or change their monitor's resolution so they can view your site with the browser you've optimized it for.
Nobody does that, and it makes you look arrogant if you tell them to. Make your site work with Firefox, and let their competition deal with any compatibility
People won't ever adjust their screen size unless they really have to, so don't ever ask them to or expect them to. That's like running a business and
telling a customer they can't come into your shop until they go home and change their shoes.
Make your site easy to navigate, with continuity in its layout between all of its pages. You'll notice that this site has an index at the top of every page,
and a link to its first page at the bottom of every page.
Never overestimate the patience of your site's visitors. Never underestimate the value your visitors place on their time. If you frustrate them, you'll lose
Make the people who visit your site happy to be there. Treat them with respect, without being patronizing. Remember, there are millions of other web sites
that they could be looking at, so be grateful that they chose to spend some time at yours. Don't make them wait for what they want. Make their visit to your
web site an educational, entertaining, and worthwhile experience. Give them something that will make them want to come back.
As far as frames go, I hate them. Everyone I've talked to about them hates them. I would never use frames on any web page I put together. If I was
ever asked to evaluate web sites, I would automatically deduct points from any site that used frames. Truth is, I virtually never spend any time on web sites
that are made with frames. Here are some of the reasons why:
We can think of a web page as being a page from a letter, a magazine, a catalog or a book. When we are holding a magazine in our hands and reading it, in
effect we are using a two-page color monitor. Of course when we're at our computers, most of us don't have the luxury of a 21-inch monitor. I'm opposed to
anything that reduces the effective screen size of a monitor and gives us a smaller window to peek through.
Images displayed on pages that are made with frames must be smaller than the window the frame provides, or visitors will have to scroll around to see all of
its parts and then try to visualize what the whole image looks like when it's all put together.
Sites built with frames often "hold us hostage" to a site when we follow one of its links to somewhere else, by keeping us from even knowing the URL of
where we are (unless we looked at where the link pointed to and wrote it down, or typed it in ourselves to get out of the frames).
You often have to "right click" to get a framed page to appear in a new window, or to bookmark a site that's linked to a framed site, but most people don't
know that they can do this.
Some of us who don't have state-of-the-art computers on very quick connections will sometimes surf the web with "Load Images" turned off on our browsers,
and when we find something we want to see, we click "Images" on the browser to show all the images. But when you're at a site that's made with frames, you have
to click on a frame and load the images in that frame, and then click somewhere else and load the images in that part of the screen.
Frames often slow down page loading.
For some reason, sites made with frames tend to cause computers to freeze up or crash far more often than sites with no frames.
The only people that seem to like frames are people who create Web pages for others and especially the kind of web page designers that like to show
off what they know how to do.
I wish frames had never been developed.
The only frames that I would ever use are made of steel, preferably seamless 4130 chrome-moly tubing.