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Web Design - Focus on Simple Things
When you are in the process of doing only basic web design, you are advised to think small, may be, 10 to 12 KB per image. It is a fact that the number of broadband users is increasing. But if your pages are annoyingly slow, you should understand that huge images slow down the pages. Hence you should optimize your pages which is definitely easy.
Always use graphics that fit the content. You should not try to use the photos you have, however great they may be. Only in "design" images, you can use any photos because these are not intended to be in tune with the content.
Images should be very minimal and even if they are used, they should not move or rotate or do all sorts of gimmicks because such images distract the attention of the readers or they may be annoying to a few people.
Layouts should be standard ones. 3-column lay outs can be used though some people feel it is boring. But people usually like and understand only simple lay outs.
White space is not only a CSS property but a function of the lay out. In fact White space is important in a Web lay out as well as in a paper lay out. Graphics must be used as elements in the lay outs.
It is suggested that you use Serif Fonts for the headlines and Sans-Serif Fonts for the text. Sans-Serif Font is easily readable on a computer monitor because of low screen resolution. More number of Fonts should never be used because it is unprofessional to do so. Fonts like Verdana, Geneva, Arial and Helvetica are standard ones and though they are boring, your pages will look good.
Too much of advertisement on your site is not advisable. People visit your site not for reading the advertisements but to read the site's contents. It is not wrong to earn money from advertisements but if the number of advertisements exceed the limits or if they are flashy, it will drive away those who visit the site.
Your pages must be tested on multiple browsers. Further, the contents should be relevant and what the readers expect. You are not creating your web page just for yourself. You are creating it for the sake of your readers. You have to remember this when you create your web site.