Website re-design gotchas, and how to avoid them!

I recently re-designed my main website, and learned quite a bit about CSS and XHTML in the process. I also learned that there are a number of things you should do before re-designing a site, and thought I would list them here for folks who are looking to change their site layout:

1. Validate your documents with a free validator

2. See how your site loads in various browsers

3. Sketch out how you want thing to look before you start coding

4. Make sure to design with the future in mind (this especially applies to associating CSS classes with tags)

5. Make sure you consult best practices

6. Read a good CSS reference before you begin

7. Make sure you integrate USEFUL ads into your website (this will help cover hosting costs, which aren’t free)

8. Ask an expert what they like and dislike about your site

9. Verify that your site doesn’t have broken links

10. Implement things iteratively (there is no need to do everything at once)

Keeping these things in mind will made re-designing your site quite a bit easier, and may even turn up some surprises that you weren’t aware of.

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