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Make Your Own Website

5 Ways to Avoid the 1998 Look when you make your own website

If you've looked around at a few websites, you might have noticed that many of them look absolutely terrible. In many cases, this is because they were produced in the early days of the web's mainstream popularity, but they haven't been maintained or updated since. The chances are that their creators have never even looked at them in a modern browser, and don't realize just how bad they look now. These websites have an affliction offered called the '1998 look'  but, unfortunately for you when you make your own website, even new sites aren't altogether immune to it. Here, then, are five ways to avoid becoming a victim to the '1998 look' when you make your own website.

1. Don't Use Animated GIFs when you make your own website.

The animated GIF is dead. It was a charming idea, once, letting us include animations on our pages as easily as normal graphics. Now, though when you make your own website, it looks extremely dated thanks to the small number of colors used, not to mention jarring and out-of-place. It's even worse if you use one of those early-web 'stock animations' when you make your own website, like that spinning @ symbol to represent sending email  there are very few things that look more amateurish.

If you don't want to look like you don't know what you're doing when you make your own website, stay away from animated GIFs.

2. Text in Graphics when you make your own website..

Unless it's your logo or possibly a heading, don't type text in Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro when you make your own website., save it as an image, and then put it on your site. It's supremely silly when you make your own website., and gives you no benefit whatsoever  not only does it make the text take much longer to download, but it also stops people from selecting it or doing anything else they might want to do with it. Not to mention that text created this way when you make your own usually aligned badly and compressed so that it looks even worse than it would usually.

Keep your text as plain text when you make your own website., and use graphics for pictures. Text as a graphic is almost always bad.

3. Bad Backgrounds when you make your own website..

It's amazing that people still do it, but there are plenty of websites out there still with absolutely disastrous backgrounds. Either they'll have a color that doesn't provide enough contrast with the text, making the text unreadable, or, even worse, they'll have a small pattern, tiled to fill the entire background. Wallpaper-style patterns are one of the most 1998 things in existence, and instantly make your website look like a joke, not to mention often making it entirely unusable. Avoid these when you make your own website.

So what should you use as a background color when you make your own website.? In almost all cases, the answer to the question is white  but, if you really want a color, make sure it's a restrained/ solid background color that people can still read your text over. If you're using a pattern when you make your own website., don't repeat it more than once.

4. System Requirements when you make your own website..

Listing system requirements when you make your own website is no longer fashionable, and thank goodness for that. In the bad old days, sites would write things like "best viewed at 800x600 using Internet Explorer 4". Did they really think people were going to switch, just to view their website? It acted like a disclaimer, saying they couldn't be bothered to make the site look good for everyone, and anyone using something unusual had no right to complain. It was, quite simply, terrible. Avoid this like the plague when you make your own website.

The end of the Internet Explorer/Netscape war thankfully consigned these messages to history, for the most part, but there are still some sites that have them. When you make your own website don't let your site be one  it does nothing but make you look hopelessly out of touch.

5. Open in New Window.

Finally, there's this one, back from the days when graphic designers were just starting to get to grips with the web and wanted exact control over everything, including the size of the web browser. Going to a site would give you a message like 'click here to launch', and the site would then try to open a new window automatically, with none of the browser's toolbars.

This technique has always been bad when you make your own website. (it takes away too much control from the user), but it's even worse now that so many users have pop-up blockers thanks to the abuse of pop-ups for advertising. If you when you make your own website this way, many people will have trouble seeing it, including people with the latest version of Internet Explorer. Don't do it.