If you have opted for one of the free webhosting services, then
you may find that part of your page is constantly being overlaid
by an advertising window.
If this is the case in your situation then you can optimise your
layout by making sure that important information doesn't get covered
I got fed up with doing this on my old site, and I wanted to use
a domain name so I opted to use a paid hosting service.
If you are using the space provide by your ISP, or are paying for
webhosting then you don't have to worry about this.
First Impressions Are
I have mentioned elsewhere that there could be 2 billion or more
pages available for web surfers to view. Because of this you have
between 8-10 seconds to get something interesting to attract the
casual surfer to have a closer look at your site.
If you don't manage to do this, they will have hit the back button
on their browser and be gone, maybe never to return.
Assuming that you manage to grab their attention, you now have
to provide a good first impression. Most people take about 90 seconds
to form an initial impression about something and colour plays a
very major part in this process.
Make sure your text
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but text plays a
very important part of most web sites and it needs to be readable.
Personally, I don't stay very long at sites that use a Black background
with dark Blue text, or any other combination of colours that prove
difficult to read. Hey, with a couple of billion pages out there,
I can soon find another one with the same, or similar information,
in an easy to read format.
The key factor to remember is to provide contrast between the text
and the background, A dark background should have light coloured
text, and a light background needs dark coloured text.
You also need to be careful if you are using a tiled pattern as
a background. This can also make the text very difficult to read
unless done properly.
The important thing to remember is that not
everybody has 20/20 vision.
The end user should be able to adjust the size
of your text to suit their eyesight.
If you use the "View/Text Size menu
option" while you are at my site, then all of the text changes
in size, yet maintains its proportions. Unfortunately nowadays, a
lot of web designers seem to be ignoring this basic principle of web
usability and no matter what you do, the text stays at the same size.
Choosing and Using
Colour is a very personal thing, almost everybody has a favourite
colour. Some colours also have a more or less universal meaning
(e.g. Traffic lights the world over use the same colours)
Although not all colours have the same meaning in all cultures.
For example White is often associated with weddings in Western society,
though in some countries, White is the colour for funerals.
Designers, manufactures and advertising companies world-wide spend
millions of dollars in market research before choosing what colours
to use for new products.
Another point that you may want to take into consideration is that
approximately 10% of all males suffer from colour blindness (i.e.
the inability to distinguish between certain colours). You really
should consider this if males make up a large part of your target
Here are some links
to web sites that I have found very useful in researching the use
No matter what colour scheme and layout that you choose, once you
have made your decision, then you should stick to it. Just look
at any of the major sites that you visit. There is a consistency
about the pages.
This doesn't mean that you can't introduce some variety, many sites
have a different look for different sections of the web site. The
best way to do this is to maintain the same layout for the pages
but use a different colour scheme for different sections.
Anyway, over to you, work out how you want your pages to look,
and start creating them. Then you need to decide how to link them