Web Design

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My ideas and preferences when it comes to web design are as follows:



Keep it simple so it's easier to maintain and loads quicker.


Modularise - I use Adobe (Macromedia) Dreamweaver 8 library item assets, (and started out with FrontPage 2003 webbot-includes) for my common code including headers and footers.

No frames - they were a bad idea for many reasons discussed elsewhere on the web.

Menus - ensure there is a text menu for when the fancy menus don't work.

Macromedia Flash and Shockwave - these have limited usage for pretty animations with relatively small download sizes. I'm not a fan of web sites that use them intensively. Ideally you should be able to skip them. They should not be used on initial pages and definitely not for navigation.


Coding Standards

All pages should conform to standards so web pages are accessible on all browsers. My pages are coded in XHTML 1.0 and use cascading style sheets. These should validate to the rules from the Web Design Group and the World Wide Web Consortium. Pages validate to the strict standard except some forms which require the "name" attribute to work. CSS validation is to CSS 3 with exceptions for internet explorer's non-conforming use of opacity. I have attempted to separate style from content.



All pages checked for compatibility with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Opera. Some JavaScripts only work on IE or IE and Opera but these are never essential. There are some compatibility issues with the Lynx text browser.


Pop-up windows and Redirects

Opening external hyperlinks in a new window is fine as long as the window is reused every time so that you only have one extra window open. Visitors should know in advance whether a link will open in a new window. Warnings can be via mouse-over-text or a different style for the link. On the whole I prefer to keep all the attributes of a new window available rather than hiding the menu, tool, status bar and resize options. An exception to this could be an image enlargement. Automatic pop-up windows for adverts and links are a very bad idea and just annoy visitors. Automatic redirections should be avoided as it messes up the use of the back button.


Photographic Images

My photos are saved in jpeg format. On my computer I typically use a best-quality / minimal-compression factor of 10 or 11 out of 12 in Photoshop, (2% or 5% on Paint Shop Pro). For publishing to the web or sending as email attachments I use a high quality compression factor of 8 on Photoshop, (40% on PSP). I also resize the images - typically landscape photos are 500 pixels wide and portrait 250 pixels wide. On request, I can publish a link to the original image for submission to an online developer, such as PhotoBox. Also see information on cropping.



Beersville UK uses (Java) scripts to enhance your viewing pleasure. The information remains accessible with scripting turned off or unsupported. I get the scripts from web sites such as JavaScript Kit and then customise them if necessary. Typical uses of scripting on this site include:



I don't use them; don't need them. Oh, they have their uses but I'm dead set against tracking cookies that watch where you've been. You should be able to navigate around a site without the use of cookies unless you're intending to buy something. Sites that use cookies should check and warn early on to avoid web pages failing and wasting visitors time. If you press a form button and get redirected to the same or previous page then the site usually requires to to enable cookies but didn't tell you.



This is the industry standard from Adobe, (formally Macromedia), which I have been using for some time now. It sometimes feels like I've only scratched the surface of its features list. It could do better with its in-built standards validation as this only seems to pick out the most blatant of errors. I would have liked it if it could have converted Frontpage webbot-includes into it's library item assets. I am also having problems with files it thinks have changed on the server but this could be an issue with my ISP. The GUI design interface is an improvement on that of Frontpage but I still like to get my hands dirty with the code.


Beersville Web Site Statistics

example snapshot as at 18th August 2004:

183 pages

24Mb and 98Mb of media files

1800 files of which 1540 are images.

4828 hyperlinks of which 1148 are external links


Previous Designs

Old archived versions of how the website used to look.