10 ancient elements of a website

When I started designing and developing websites in 1996 all we had to do was block out a load of images and text.
Pages were named .HTML, laid out using tables, images had to be as small as possible, (28k modem anyone?) and text was mainly center justified.

Life was easy and the rates for a ‘webmaster’ were good.

And then the massive explosion came and everyone and his uncle started a web company and sites needed to be produced at such an enormous rate that style simply went out the window (frame).

At that time there wasn’t really anywhere to learn the trade, most webmasters learnt on the job, and the simplest way to whack out a website was to take something that you liked, save as, and change a few bits of content which led to a lot of sites simply being duplicated and looking the same.

Thankfully time has passed enough for designers and developers to concentrate on their chosen craft and produce some quality work.
That said, there is still a ton of antiquated sites out there – so, if your site features any of the below you seriously need to talk to your ‘webmaster’.

1, Mission statement – “We promise to do our best …” What is this? The boy scouts? If I pay you a lot of money I naturally expect you to do your best so there is no need to tell me exactly the same as everyone else.

Frames2, Frames – Using frames allowed you to place 2 pages side by side. Nowadays there are much cleaner and SEO friendly ways of achieving the same effect.

3, Blink tags – Distracting, annoying and cheap. A users attention should be grabbed subtly not by ramming the message in their face like a clown’s custard pie.

Dancing baby4, Animated gifs – Usually built in MS Paint with a different background to the rest of the page or in faux 3d. Dancing baby anyone?

5, Tables – Once the best, now the worst way to build a page. Tables are for tabular data not layout.

6, Flash – Again, once was the best now it’s really not needed especially for navigation and especially when you need to accommodate viewing on other platforms and OS’s.

7, Very small Quicktime movies – Used to be the only way to view video online but, due to low modem and compression rates, had to be displayed at a very small size.

8, MIDI music – Ignoring the copyright laws for a second, why do you need to annoy everyone in the office and destroy my ears with your awful choice in music?

9, Hit counters – Congratulations, you’ve had 20 people access your homepage. Errr … rather embarrassing really, don’t you think?

Netscape Now!10, ‘This site is best viewed’ slab – All websites are best viewed on a computer.

If you know of any other ancient online trend, get in touch and we’ll add it to the list.

FURTHER READING