20 Rules of Smart and Successful Web Development and Web Design is getting a lot at attention. It is also deserving of that attention. It’s worth a read, if just for the references and resources listed.
Here are some highlights I really enjoyed.
Respect your visitors. Don’t try to force your visitors to read the content of your web-pages. Let them choose and decide what they want to read. For if you have someting to tell, you’ll find your listeners…
…Respect the standards. Think about people. Taking web standards into consideration will help you to save a lot of work in the future. It won’t take long until web standards will become a standard in the Web; and since you are creating web-pages for people, it seems to be reasonable to spend some extra hours checking the code and applying it to the standards – in case the code doesn’t conform to the standards. Once it is done, you don’t have to be worried about the new versions of browsers coming along…
…Care about your content. Developing web-sites, try to make them informative, interesting and well-presented. Don’t forget that your visitors remember everything. Once you’ve offered them a link to some inappropriate web-page without proper description of what is hidden behind the link, you’ll never see them again. Code is poetry, your content is prosa.
…Contact, but don’t spam. Let those who might be interested in your content, be aware of your content. First define your aim and potential clientele. Then take a close look at those who might be interested in your service. Think about the sites they are likely to visit. Only then contact the authors of these sites, describing the advantages of your services. However, keep in mind that you aren’t writing to a web spider, but to a human being, who can decide whether to share it with its readers or not, or – more significantly – to visit your site or not. Be descriptive; don’t send a link, send an invitation with a proper description of what makes your web-site different from similar projects. Make sure the person you are writing to realizes that it can be useful for the visitors of his/her site. But again: remember that you create not for your money, but for people. Don’t spam, don’t advertise, offer useful content.
The latter point really struck home. I’ve been hit lately by dozens and dozens of link exchange requests. On my main site, I have a very strict link exchange policy, but no one pays any attention. I constantly get requests from totally inappropriate and unrelated sites, all pleading for that precious link exchange. Not going to happen that way. So I loved this point.
All of the points can be summed up beautifully with the word “care”. Care about what you are doing, what you do with it, and how you do with it what you will. Care about your audience. Care about how people use your blog and the web. Care about how people search. Care about your content. Care about web standards. Care about how the process works, and how you can make the entire process more compassionate.
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