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Best Web Design Practices

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Where's My Favorite Font?
Use only fonts that are widely available on all computers. Specify alternatives so if the user's system can supply an available font similar to your choice. Below on the left are a series of font, some relatively common and some less so, all rendered in an image so everybody will see them as the author wants. To the right is actual text specified to be in the same font. If the left and right fonts do not look the same to you, then the specified font is not available on your machine, and it is substituting the system's default font.
Font as Image Font as Text
Various fonts rendered as images Verdana 12 pt. text.
Georgia 12 pt. text.
Times New Roman 12 pt. text.
Academia SSI 12 pt. text.
Barrister SSI 12 pt. text.
Cursive-Elegant 12 pt.
David 12 pt. text.
JohnHancock 12 pt. text.
Lucida Sans 12 pt. text.
Technical 12 pt. text.
 OK, Why not Use Graphics?
Since everybody sees the same thing when I render text in a graphic, why not just replace all the text on my site with images of text? Then I can use my very favorite, obscure font and everybody will see it. Right?
      Unfortunately, wrong! Search engines won't see it. They don't "read" graphics. They read only the ASCII text in your page's source code. In place of that beautiful list of fonts above left, search spiders will "see"
<IMG SRC="../images/fonts.gif" WIDTH="120" HEIGHT="240" ALT="Various fonts rendered as images" BORDER="0">

Some search engines will read and index the "alt" attribute of the image. But they assign very low weight to it. So you kill yourself in free searches when you render significant text in images.
      Restrict image-font use to places such as logos, where a very custom font is critical. Always use plain text for the body of your pages and specify a series of similar, common fonts so that at least one of your choices is likely to be on the user's machine. As a final fall-back, specify the generic font family, either serif or 'sans serif'.

Back to Design Tips Page.

 Points to Consider
Main Design-Tips Page.
  bullet Remember that your monitor is not everybody's monitor.  
  bullet Image errors have many aliases.  
  bullet Watch out for disappearing fonts.  
  bullet Remember 3 words, Show and Tell.  
  bullet Avoid needless distractions.  
  bullet Keep formatting in reason.  
  bullet Pardon our construction, or don't.  
  bullet Splash no splash in search engines.  
  bullet SEO gone in a Flash.Turn Sound Down First!  
  bullet Music to my ears may not be music to every ear.  
  bullet Keywords? Start with the contents of Webster's.  
  bullet Don't be a Copy Cat.  
  bullet Do be a Copy Writer, or hire an expert to write good copy.  
  bullet Don't be selfish. Share the Wealth.  
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