10 tips on enhancing your website look

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look and feel of your web site
look and feel of your web site

We should all strive to look our best. Here are some excellent tips and suggestions for improving the look and feel of your web site.

Background color should be easy on the eyes
Some colors hurt the eyes and visitors to your site will leave quickly.

Colored text should contrast with the background so that it is readable
Don’t lose sight of the fact that text on a page should be able to be read.

Make Your Site Valuable to Your Readers
There aren’t any magic pills to create a great Web page that everyone will visit again and again, but if you follow these ten tips your site will be more popular and easier for people to read.

Know your audience, and keep them in mind when you write.
If your Web pages are frequented by people with slower modems then designing a page that looks best over a T1 is not a successful strategy.

Avoid lots of text.
People don’t read the Web, they skim it.

Check your spelling.
Use a spell checker, either in your editor or on-line.

Keep links current.
Check your links often to make sure they are still valid. Using a link checker speeds up pages with many links.

Keep it simple.
Visually, simple is better than complex, especially when images will only be seen a short time. Avoid the complex since it obscures your message rather than clarifies it. Use pictures, illustrations, graphs, etc. to punch up an important point, and to make complex ideas simple.

However, avoid literally mimicking what’s said in the text. The graphics must enhance and play on variations of the text to make it more interesting – but never stray from the spirit of the message. At their best, graphics add humor, emotion, reality, believability, and playfulness to help bring about understanding and agreement in viewers.

Keep text simple and readable, without overdoing emphasis. Use changes of size, style, color, and position, including bullets, symbols and other devices to highlight and organize your text in moderation. To avoid distracting the reader, limit the number of fonts to two or three in no more than three or four readable sizes. Keep the background simple, and use contrast to ensure legibility. Contrast is the noticeable difference between things, and can be as simple as bolding or underlining text in some cases. But don’t fill every bit of “empty” space, as well-chosen space can serve to “frame” graphic elements you may want to emphasize.

Take one last look.
No matter how careful you are there’s always last minute mistakes to catch: misspelled words, misaligned margins, or graphics that still need to be rearranged to lessen distracting “white” or trapped space. Use spell and grammar checkers, then print out sample copies to test overall visual effect until you’re satisfied with the results.

Check out your site on different browsers
Things will look different on a Mac than a PC. They’ll look different across browsers! I highly recommend http://www.browsershots.org

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