The Most Effective Do's and Don'ts for CSS

Using CSS to build websites can be tricky, so here are my Do's and Don'ts when it comes to CSS.

I will be adding to this list over the next few months, so be sure to check back for updates

The Do's for Good CSS Webdesign

Improve the Font Contrast for the Main Points

Good font contrast will direct the readerís attention to the most important points. Remember not to use subtle colours that may look good but perform bad.

Always Create a Site Map

Not only will it help visitors navigate around your site but it will greatly improve your page rank in search engines. Google, for instance, allows you to submit your site map free of charge, making your sub pages more visible.

Use Heading (H1, H2..) on Your Page

Simple point, but using headings instead of customising a font tag can actually improve the accessibility of your page. They can also break up a long segment of text, which psychologically will encourage visitors to read it.

Setup a Print CSS Stylesheet

This helps visitorís print off just the information they need. How frustrating it is when you try to print a page off and it's spread over 4 pages broken up by banners, menus and large images. It's simple to do and it's a real visitor pleaser.

Show Visitors Where the Links Are

You can do this by making use of the CSS controlled link action. The Link, Hover, Active and Visited pseudos can all be customised to really make your text links stand out to the visitor.

Always Use utf-8 Encoding

Unicode is very important even if you are not a web developer. UTF-8 (8-bit Unicode Transformation Format) can handle every single character in existence and it can be extended as well when more characters are standardized. You canít get more bulletproof than that!

The Use of Scripts and CSS Scripts

If you can put your scripts are the bottom of html your page will load faster. Also, if you can replace your scripts with CSS scripts you will reduce the demand level allowing your page to run quicker.

The Don'ts When Using CSS to Design Websites

Using Colour Alone to Communicate Important Information

Relying on colour alone will make your website less accessible to visitors who have screens that can't pass that information on successfully. Refer to Accessibility Guidelines for more information on website accessibility.

Avoid Using Frames on your Site

If you use frames URLs can stop working, the back button fails, customers have trouble bookmarking, the list goes on and on...

Never use 'Click Here' for Links

This is extremely bad practice both for usability and accessibility reasons. Search engines attribute the page that is being linked to with the phrase 'click here'. This is never good.

Forget Using Tables for Website Layout

Tables should only be used for one thing, tabular data, thatís it! The use of tables is now actually interfering with building a better, more accessible, flexible, and functional Web.


Published by Chris Wood - © Acticom Uk - Online Marketing and Web Design