Website services by Motuweb Design

Fast download speed

From the perspective of the site user (your potential customer or client), the most important factor is the time it takes to find the information they are looking for. In New Zealand, many people will still be using 56K dial-up modems, so they are not going to appreciate technologically sophisticated Flash animations, or stunning graphics-intensive works of art. Others will be using mobile devices and paying extortionate data charges, so images and scripts will likely be disabled.

I keep my web pages simple and re-use graphics whenever possible so that your message arrives within seconds rather than minutes. I don’t use unnecessary features just because I know how, or because I want to hike the cost as far as possible.

Websites I design have the following features:

  • Pages are simple to allow low bandwidth and consequent fast downloading.
  • Hand coded HTML5, valid to current www.w3.org standards.
  • Layout & presentation using CSS only (no tables, no frames).
  • General conformance with Accessibility Guidelines to make content available to groups with disabilities (eg: text resizable by user, text alternatives to images, pages functional without style sheets).
  • No reliance on JavaScript for essential functions.

Accessible to users with disabilities

Around 10% of web surfers have JavaScript disabled for security reasons – if the site navigation relies on it they are not going to get very far. Likewise, users may be blind and using screen reader software or may have turned off images, so sites which depend on a fancy graphical interface for navigation will also fail in these circumstances.

My sites are designed to work effectively under as wide a variety of conditions as possible.

Although not every site visitor has 20-20 vision, many designers disable text resizing because they think small fonts look “cool” (or sometimes they just don’t know what they are doing!). On all my sites users can resize text without problems – in Internet Explorer: View > Text size.

Handcrafted to eliminate redundant code

Because WYSIWYG editors tend to produce “Tag Soup” (look in the source code for hundreds of <FONT> tags), I do all my coding by hand so that I have complete control over the end result. In line with current best practice, I keep site presentation information separate from content in style sheets which are reused for all pages. I also avoid the use of tables (look for hundreds of <TD or TR> tags) for layout – another sure indicator that a designer’s skills are out-of-date.

If Search Engine ranking is important you will want the first section of the page to have your content with a high density of relevant keywords; pages that start with vast amounts of JavaScript, presentation details, and site navigation information are not going to compete as well.

Many sites require separate print pages, which unnecessarily add to construction and maintainance costs. All my web pages will print directly, removing navigation and other web-specific content automatically.