Motuweb Design website specifications
Websites I design have the following features:
- Pages are simple to allow low bandwidth and consequent fast downloading.
- Hand coded XHTML 1.0,
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).
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 (although I must admit to the odd fancy tricks on this site) or because I want to hike the cost as far as possible.
Useable on a wide range of devices
Back in the 20th Century, you could be pretty confident that most website visitors were using a personal computer with either
Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator browsers. However, in the coming years they will be using PDAs,
cell phones, televisions, and who knows what other household appliances. They may have one of a dozen browsers.
Sites which are future-orientated should ideally conform to accepted web standards.
Click to see this
page on a Pocket PC
Handheld friendly websites!
All my sites work properly on iPhones, Pocket PCs and other smartphones - does yours?
You can easily see if a site has been built properly with a quick look at the source code (View > Source in Internet Explorer).
Somewhere in the first couple of lines of every page you should see the words
<! DOCTYPE html>. If it's missing, the page is not coded in accordance with web standards. You can easily check the code of any page on the web for validity by entering the site address here:
W3 MarkUp Validation Service.
Accessible to users with disabilities
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.
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.
Next: please check out some examples of my work.