A solid, well designed web page is the ultimate first impression. Hundreds of thousands of people all around the world will be accessing your page. Your page will not only reflect upon yourself and your department, but also on Ohio University as a whole. If you have links on your pages that lead to other people's work, consider carefully whether to include links to pages that may be considered controversial, or might offend some members of your intended audience. Be especially cautious about links located on your home page.
There are four stages to your planning effort, all of which are paper and pencil tasks:
You don't need to include all the links that will seem appropriate as the project progresses, but you should plan out the links that define the overall organization of the pages. For example, the fundamental structure of this set of pages is what I refer to as the "wagon wheel": the table of contents functions as the hub, with the spokes being the links from it to the several pages and from each of them back to the topics list. The "back" and "next" (circumferential) links correspond to the rim of the wheel.
A second principle is to help the browser's cache to provide the greatest possible advantage. You do this by using exactly one copy of each image file. Then, every time it is called up, the browser will know that it already has a copy in its cache, and will not ask the server to send it again. This applies not only to your own image files, but especially also to the collections of image files we maintain on the server for shared use. If your reader has recently seen any of the pages that use an image that you reference, it will already be in the cache the first time it appears on your page. This reduces the load on the server and on the network, while speeding up the display of your page.
In order to see the full layout while testing from your hard disk, including all images, copies of the shared image files need to be on your hard disk in places exactly corresponding to their location on the server. This is therefore specific to the configuration of each server. We have already configured OAK and the Front Door server according to the scheme outlined in Chapter I of Memo 85.
If you are taking the next course, HTML II, (I do strongly recommend it) we will go into design much more than this, so stay tuned. If not, you can still access the on-line version of the course.
HTML I HTML II
Please E-mail any comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.