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Dos and Don'ts of website building

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Music

Don't add music to your site that plays automatically. This is the fastest way to get someone to leave your site. Remember that people might be browsing the internet from a place where sound is unwelcome (an office, library etc) or they might have their own music playing and yours will only interfere. If they can't find an obvious way to turn the music off, they will simply close your site immediately!If you have a music site, give your visitors a media player and allow them to turn it on and off as they wish.
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Moving Images

Try not to add objects that flicker and flash. These are harsh on the eyes and can negatively affect people who suffer from certain types of headaches and seizures. It can also make your site look childish and unprofessional.

Use attractive, high quality images from sources such as Fotolia. We have a great integration with Fotolia where you can buy Fotolia stock photography.

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Text

 
Copying and pasting fancy fonts will only show in some browsers, and they could break your page.Use simple, consistent and carefully selected, browser-safe fonts. The Yola text editor contains the complete set of browser-safe fonts, which means that they will show up correctly in any browser. If you want to use a fancy font, the only safe way is to first save it as an image (transparent png) and then upload it to your site.
Don't center large portions of text. This looks unprofessional and untidy.Left align your text. This looks neater and is easier on the eye.
Don't justify your text. This might give you a neat looking block, but it is very hard to read justified text on a screen. Justified text is appropriate for newspapers and magazines, but not for websites! Reading text on a screen is different to reading on a page, and the human eye needs the rough edges to help keep its place on the screen.

Another concern is that justified text does not display in the same way in different browsers.

Have a look at this article: Be Careful When You Justify.
Left or right-align instead.
Adding large amounts of text that run across the whole screen is hard to read and people will lose interest.Use the "Layouts" option in Yola to break your content up into neat, readable blocks (short paragraphs). A good rule of thumb is: New idea = New paragraph.
Don't use a lot of color highlighting for your text. It makes your site look untidy and unprofessional.Keep your formatting simple, clean and readable.
Try not to use color combinations of text and background that make the text hard to read. If a website isn't easy to read, most people will simply leave.Check to see that your text displays clearly against your background image. If not, change the color of one or the other.
Using ALL-CAPS and Italics is seen as shouting and rude (ditto for too many exclamation points). Italics should be used sparingly to highlight a single word or phrase only. Italics are hard to read on the web so definitely not suitable for large blocks of copy.Steer clear of all-caps completely and use italics sparingly to highlight one or two key words at a time.
Don't add text that is too small to read. If a visitor has to squint or get close to read your text, they most likely won't.As a rule of thumb, text smaller than 11pt is tricky to read, so go for a font larger than 11pts.
Avoid underlined text (unless it's a link). It may cause confusion as traditionally underlined text is linkable.Use underlined text for links only.
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Navigation

 
Don't add too many pages to your main navigation.Organize your site into categories and create subpages or submenus.
Avoid unclear navigation or over-complex navigation. Make sure that it is easy to understand what each page in your navigation is for.Think carefully about your navigation labels/section headings. Keep them short and to-the-point. Do you have a lot of content that you want available at a top level? Then select a style that works with a vertical navigation.
Think carefully about using horizontal navigation. This really limits the number of pages that you can add to your navigation.If you select a style that uses a horizontal navigation bar, be sure to keep your section/page labels concise. A maximum of seven labels has been found to be effective. Otherwise choose a style with a vertical navigation system.
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Web Address

 
Don't use dashes in your domain name - people forget where to put the dash.Use one word domains wherever possible.
Don't use long, complicated domain names.Select short, easy to remember and spell domain names, you'll be more likely to get repeat visitors.
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Pictures

 
Try not to upload a background image that interferes with the content on your page. Busy, distracting backgrounds make the text hard to read.Use simple background colors, textures or patterns that enhance the appearance of your page without dominating it.
Don't upload images with large file sizes. This makes your site slow to load. People have very short attention spans and will often leave a site if it takes too long to load.Keep your images to 20-100KB each, depending on how many you have on the page. Use a resolution of 72dpi for web images.
Avoid using meaningless, useless, nonsensical visuals or visuals just for the sake of it. Only put images on your site that relate to the site's content.Visuals should help enhance your content and direct visitors through important areas of content.
Avoid silly animations or clipart. They make your site look unprofessional.Use attractive, high quality images from our integrated Fotolia library or sources such as iStockphoto.
Don't use thumbnail images that are nearly as large as the full-sized images they link to.Keep the thumbnails small, in neatly aligned rows. Thumbnails should be about the size of a postage stamp. This will be enough to interest your visitors and make them click through to your nice, glossy, full sized image.
Avoid using link borders around graphics.Leave off the link border and allow people to discover the image link when they mouse-over the image.
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Design

 
Try not to use too many colors (specifically in text) as this confuses and clutters your web pages.Try to restrict color to a max of 3-4 colors. Think of your website in terms of your wardrobe - people don't tend to wear 6 colors in a single outfit. Choose a color palette and stick to it, it will make your site look far more professional.
Don't use graphics that don't fit on the screen.Take note of your website's screen size, as well as individual column widths if you're using Layouts. Ensure that your images don't break these boundaries, or your site will look 'broken' and sloppy.
Don't use lots of typefaces in a single page. It is visually confusing and your page looks cluttered.Use one or two typefaces throughout your website. E.g., Use Helvetica Bold for headings and Arial Regular for body text.
Counters on pages can make your site look unprofessional.Rather use a hidden analytics tool such as our Site Traffic analytics tools or Google Analytics.
Avoid anything that blinks, especially text. Animations that never stop. This is distracting and annoying for the reader.Use high-quality images and simple text.
No "Under construction" signs!Rather don't publish your site or section until it is complete. You can remove a page you are working on from your navigation until you are ready to show it to the world.
Avoid using styles that are too wide and will force your visitors to scroll sideways.Select a style with a standard screen resolution. Pages can scroll down, but never sideways!
Don't use frame scroll bars in the middle of a page. In fact, avoid frames! They're clumsy and tacky, very old-school, and rarely used well.Structure your content to fit the page, use the Page Layout or Column Divider to do so.
Try not to have too many focal points on the page or non at all.Each of your pages should have a clear function of focus. On the flip side, too many focal points on a single page can be confusing.
Make sure there are no dead links (links that don't work anymore). Can annoy visitors to your site and creates a sense of distrust in your reader.Make sure all your links are up to date and link to an active website.
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Advertising

 
Junky advertising - makes your site look cheap and your product less professional.Make sure that any ads you use are relevant to the content on your site and will add value to your visitors. Google Adsense is a good system to use as it is designed to display relevant ads in a neat, professional manner.
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