WEB DEVELOPMENT Best practices
- CSS: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are an industry standard for page layout and style. FAU websites are constructed using CSS.
- Content Structure: Use Heading Tags, ordered/unordered lists, paragraphs, and a consistent structure for your text.
- Tables: Tables should be used for tabular data only, not for the layout of content. Using tables for layouts is not mobile friendly. When using tables, line-by-line reading should be sensible (for screen readers). Do not nest tables (placing a table inside a table).
- Always include alternative text for images. These are very important for visually impaired users. Any words (ie. advertisements, etc.) must be included within the ALT tag as well.
- Image file formats:
- .jpg: Best for natural images such as photographs.
- .png: Best for complex graphics and illustrations (not photographs).
- .gif: Good for graphics with no color gradations such as simple logos.
- Crop images to the desired dimensions and maintain proportions before uploading them. Uploading larger images and resizing them will cause the page to load slowly since the big image is still loading.
- Use OmniUpdate's image editor for quick image editing
- Navigation: Keep navigation consistent throughout the site.
- Contact: Provide contacts for site owners within your site so users may report issues and provide feedback.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the process of improving your rank in search results. This ensures users find what they are looking for, generating more traffic for your site. It is also what is first displayed for a search.
- Page Title: This is a very important component to your page. Each page should have its own title that is relevant to the content on that page.
- Description: This displays in search results under the page title. It should be descriptive since it is used for indexing.
- Content: This is very important in achieving higher page rankings. Pages should have at least 500 words. The content must offer something of value to visitors - useful, different and unique.
- Images: Use descriptive names for the image file (user - or _ between words in the file name, no spaces). Always include and ALT tag.
- File Names: Search engines pay close attention to this, make sure to make the file names meaningful and readable by using a descriptive name (matches page title), using - or _ between words that are all lowercase. Do NOT use spaces for file names