Are There Website Rules or Standards?

February 15, 2009
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Site Programming

  1. Avoid Bells and Whistles – Ask what program(s) the website will be written with
    1. HTML authoring programs to avoid
      1. Dreamweaver
      2. Microsoft FrontPage
      3. Adobe GoLive
      4. Automated website builders from hosting companies
    2. Website programming languages and tools to avoid – “Push” Technologies – Programming that the viewer may not desire and that could be infected, with potentially harmful results
      1. Java, Javascript
      2. Cookies
      3. ActiveX
      4. Active Server Pages
      5. Flash
      6. Frames
      7. Anything requiring a browser “plug-in”
    3. Security and Privacy – Can your website be seen with your webbrowser’s security settings on high? – “Pull Technologies”
      1. Website publishers should assume responsibility to your viewers.
      2. Businesses should comprehend the risks prior to “pushing” potentially harmful or malicious content on their viewers.
      3. Attempt to explain any download prior to viewers “pulling” it
    4. Re-tool and clean house if need be
    5. The best coding is done by hand
    6. Construct more than one website, e.g. one for marketing and customer lead generation, one for customer care and service

    Bells and whistles will NEVER help your page’s search engine ranking. In fact, it will hurt your site’s indexing or ranking in the search engines and will most likely eliminate some percentage of your viewers from properly accessing and utilizing your website. So, just don’t do it!

  2. Adhere to W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) Standards – “Official HTML Coding Rules”
    1. Web Accessibility Initiative – http://www.w3.org/WAI/
      1. Test with images turned off
      2. Without using the mouse, use the keyboard to navigate through the links and form controls on a page (for example, using the “Tab” key), making sure that you can access all links and form controls, and that the links clearly indicate what they lead to.
    2. Viewers with Disabilities – Numbers in the tens of millions
      1. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) – http://www.ada.gov
        • Priceline.com
        • Ramada.com
        • Eliot Spitzer’s office – http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2004/aug/aug19a_04.html
      2. Text browsers
      3. Voice browsers
      4. Assistive technology
      5. Screen reader software
    3. Viewers with handhelds, phones, other mobile devices that have various levels of viewability
    4. Google’s Homepage – KISS
  3. Test and Validate the Code
    1. View Your Site in Different Web Browsers
      1. Internet Explorer
      2. Netscape
      3. Mozilla/Firefox
      4. Opera
      5. Text Based Browsers such as Lynx
    2. Website Validators for finding code errors
    3. Make sure the form(s) get processed properly and are easy to read


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