The look and feel of a website pages are always subject to individual tastes in the context of what the website is for. Those taste also orientate when users compare them against other websites. There are, however, elements of website design that is considered to be best practice, even though the details are often deliberated over.
A key area is the structure of a web page and “what goes where”. Humans read web pages in the shape of a capital ‘F’ to analyse the website, which is the natural, intuitive reading pattern for things like navigation and information. In design terms, website best practice is thus to follow this F with main navigation at the top and/or down the left of the page. One other method, which is equally popular, is to use plenty of white space (or blank space) in the design around non-essential items on the page and outside of the page barriers.
Many aspects of web design best practice is intrinsic to the back end programming and construction, like how the content is managed, which includes having working internal links, correct h1 and h2 tags, and making sure web page content is syndicated to the other channels of the website, such as blogs and social media outlets – all this, according to commonly accepted best practice, should be addressed at conceptual level, before anything is carried out.
Best practice also covers multimedia (or web 2.0) content. Having a website that has lots of flash embedded content can lose visitors – people who don’t accept long page-loading times (which is just about every visitor), and who will go elsewhere at the first sight of slow loading.
Also worth mentioning is the styling of pages, and the layout of content, from what imagery to use and what fonts to use – there are many best practice guides but all should be explored in the context of the website purpose.
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