I started the foray into web design in late 2003, and basically jumped in
with both feet. I eagerly read up on all the latest and greatest in web
design (and still do). From all of my research, I have developed some of
my own opinions about web design. When designing a website, I try to
follow these practices:

  • Write a well-structured document

    This means using the standard html
    tags such as <h1> to indicate the structure of the document, and
    tags such as <li> to properly indicate lists. Making a structured
    document ensures that it will be easy to read in many different formats,
    including search engines, which may use markup to generate a summary of
    the document. Search engines also base their page rank on these tags, so
    the proper use of them can increase page rank. (See this
    in depth article on web standards and search engine optimization

  • Use standards compliant and accessible markup

    The World Wide Web Consortium is an
    international collective of programmers and web designers who set
    standards for various web technologies. One of their goals is to make
    the web accessible to all people. They also provide ways for designers to
    validate that their websites are standards compliant. The orange and
    white logos found on most of my sites are proof that they have
    successfully been validated by the w3c.

  • Ensure that the site functions on as many platforms and browsers as

    The first step in making a site cross-browser and platform compatible is
    to validate it with the w3c. Unfortunately, not all browsers are
    compatible with the w3c standards. Therefore I also make sure to test
    that all my sites work on all the most-used browsers (Netscape, Mozilla,
    Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer).

  • Make the site easy to navigate for the user

    A good site should have navigation menus in easy to find places, with
    appropriate and meaningful names.

  • Use good urls

    If I see a link to a page such as, it is very clear
    that I am about to go to a page about examples of Robert Felty’s web
    design. This is not the case with links such as
    ‘’. Having good urls also
    helps users navigate more easily. And once a url is out there, it is
    important to make sure that it stays there. If at some point in the
    future the page gets moved, the old url should continue to work.

  • Don’t leave out the little guy

    While flashy sites with lots of graphics,videos, bells, and whistles can
    be appealing, it is important to remember that
    many people in the world still have dial-up internet connections, and
    viewing these pages for them can be painfully slow and frustrating. For
    this reason I try very hard to include images and videos sparingly, and
    to offer small and large versions whenever possible.

  • Design for the future

    This involves thinking about the future needs of the site before starting
    a project. Obviously one cannot foresee the future, but one can design a
    site with flexibility in mind, so that the style of the site can be
    easily changed, and so that one can easily incorporate new pages and