There are many factors involved here that you will need to consider,
if you want to allow your site to be available to the widest possible
Once again, in certain circumstances it may not be a problem. The
personal web site for family and friends isn't really a worry. As
mentioned elsewhere, if any of your visitors have a problem with
your site, they can let you know, and between you, the problem can
A company Intranet is also easy, because you will know exactly
what equipment, software, browsers, plug-ins etc. are available,
and design the site accordingly.
Another type of site that is usually not a problem are those sites
that provide information, hints & tips etc. for the latest release
games. Most keen game players have the most powerful computer that
they can afford and are always upgrading it.
However, if your site is for general consumption over the world
wide web then there are many factors that you need to consider.
Although the majority of people use an IBM compatible PC to access
the Internet, not everybody does. There are a lot of Apple Macintosh
computers out there.
The hardware for accessing the Internet is expanding at an alarming
rate. Handheld computers, Palm Computers, mobile telephones can
be used to access the Net. And recently, even refrigerators and
microwave ovens are being made with built in screens for Internet
Even if you decide to concentrate your effort on the IBM compatible
market, you will need to consider things such as CPU, monitor size,
resolution and colour depth.
There are still many users still running old 486 computers, these
are just about stretched to the limit accessing fairly basic pages
on the Internet. They just don't have the processing power, to handle
some of the newer plug-ins, especially the 3D ones.
These same computers will also have a fairly basic graphics card,
which once again makes them unsuitable for handling pages overloaded
with multimedia elements.
As far as monitor, resolution etc. go, be aware that the web page
that looks great on your brand new 19" monitor, may not look
so good on an ageing 15" monitor, or maybe even a new 15"
No matter what what type of computer is being used, there will
still be vast differences in connection speed. Some people now have
cable modems with really fast access, but there are still a lot
of people out there using 14.4k modems.
You may say, so what? but that is not the attitude if you are a
modem manufacturer and want to let those people know of the advantages
of buying a new, faster modem from you.
Does this need to concern you when designing your web? yes, The
operating system will determine what browsers are available for
It will almost certainly affect you when choosing file names for
your web pages. Some operating systems don't allow the use of spaces.
Some like Linux are case sensitive (e.g.. index.html is not the
same as Index.html)
And, you can't be complacent about this just because you use Windows.
In all probability, your site will be hosted on a server running
Linux, about 80% of web sites are, including this one.
You now have almost all of the information you need to start on
the design phase of your web. There is just one more thing to consider
- where your site is hosted.