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StandardsKeep to the html standards - don't use proprietary extensions from Microsoft or Netscape.
Keep it simpleThis is important - what you are providing is information content, don't lose it in the backgrounds and fancy features.
ColoursIn general don't change the colour of the text or the background - assume the reader may have their browser set the way they like. If you must set colours set all of them - background, text, links etc. Black writing on a black background is not terribly readable.
BackdropsDon't use them (unless really appropriate) they can obscure the text in front of them.
Small PagesThe web can handle vast numbers of pages - don't try and squeeze everything on to one page - suggest a normal limit of 3 screens. Some people never scroll down - have important information at the top.
ImagesSqueeze them. People are not viewing your pages at 7200 dpi 7 ink colour printing - they are using a computer monitor. Suggest a limit of 30-40K for total of all the images on any normal page, most small images need less than 5K to be clear enough.
Image FormatsUse GIFs for line draw images, use JPEGs for photographs.
Its a webUse links around your site, to other sites freely. Links are what make the web interesting. You don't have to go up and down a tree link where appropriate.
MicrosoftDon't use the "save as html" from word if you want your site to be usable to the rest of the world.
Start SmallTest it out, add bits and grow, testing as your go. If you can test with a variety of browsers it is a good idea as they don't all behave the same.
FramesDon't - frames are not handled by search engines and behaviour varies with browser.
JavascriptDON'T - Not all browsers treat it the same. You don't need it, anything that apparently needs Javascript can be done on the server where it works for everybody. Also a large portion of the Javascript on the web is broken. People in secure environments are prohibited from enabling Javascript. (Why people are paranoid about Cookies yet allow Javascipt I will never know)
Font SizeDon't use small fonts. Leaving the font size unchanged should be the normal for all text on all pages.
"Under Construction"Don't bother with such notices - all sites are under construction or out of date.
Where are you?On every page provide clear navigation up and around the site. People may jump in to the site via a search engine - if they don't know where they are they will probably leave again, rather than explore the rest of your site.
A Poor SiteIs worse than no site. Get it checked for usability and clarity. Does it work for other people, other broswers?

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Updated 15th of April 2002