Making Web Pages, 3: Guidelines

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Before you go start creating web pages, here are a few things you ought to know and consider. It is your responsibility to keep your pages up-to-date, legal, and ethical.

Reminders & Guidelines

Test your web pages to make sure images show up and links work, and to verify that the pages look as you expect and like. If your pages or images are not visible, you probably need to correctly set permissions for the directory or the file. Go to to see how to set permissions. Also test your pages using more than one browser (Firefox and Internet Explorer, for example); the same code can look different with different browsers. Keep in mind that not all browsers are graphical browsers; some people use text only browsers like Lynx.

University of Iowa authors should also be aware of and abide by the web content standards.

Remember, everyone can see your web page. Web pages you create and publish are viewed by people beyond this university. Anyone with Internet access could stumble onto your web page. It could be your family members, a prospective employer, or your closest friends. Keep in mind how large and varied your potential audience is.

Don't use copyrighted material without permission. If you have material that is copyrighted, it is illegal to put it in you web page without the owner's permission. Though there are many web sites that contain free graphics to use on web pages, check the terms of use; you may be required to include a copyright notice if you use those images. Using copyrighted material to make your own creations may not violate copyright laws, but the line between legal and illegal is not clearly drawn.

Consider that not all people viewing your page have fast connections or fast machines. Many people have trouble reading text on a dark background. Red is not distinct to people who are red-green color blind. Review accessibility considerations for web pages.

Avoid obscene material. In general, please don't link to material containing pornography, sexual content, nudity, and other offensive material. There is no exact description that separates what is offensive and what is not, so try to consider how others might respond to your site.

Animations, scrolling text, blinking words are annoying to many people. Don't use them.

Background images can take a long time to load. Use small or compressed images, or none at all.

Use GIF image for line drawings and JPEG for photos. JPEG images tend to produce better compression ratios than GIFs, but are often also larger and take longer to download.

to step 1, Getting Started | to step 2, HTML