Something 4 Nothing Web Pages
I don't know if you've noticed, but they're starting to catch on ... Something 4 Nothing Web sites. I'm sure you've visited them. They have lots of great information, you are able to find what you are looking for, they download very fast, don't have an abundance of flashy graphics, but are still very professional looking. These sites make use of tables, background colors, very small images, and very little "fluff."
With the new "Multimedia Web," how, you ask, can sites hope to draw the people in without Java applets, animation, extensive scripting, and flashy graphics? What, no music? This goes back to when the Web was young and content was king. If you are presenting information to an information hungry world, you shouldn't need to fill in the space around the information!
More Naked Pages on the Web?
Many of you may be wondering if we're advocating Web pages with nothing on them but text. Today's Web surfer is too used to reading print magazines, seeing MTV videos, and playing virtual games to be happy with straight (read naked) text Web pages. So where's a happy medium? What about a richly structured page, with color, a couple very small graphics, and of course the famous information that everyone is looking for. That would download fast even for those still on a 28.8, and it would be rich enough so as to not offend the eyes of the MTV-infected Web surfers.
The first thing you need to do is decide on the style of your Web site. Are you going to create a page with a menu on the bottom, the left or right side, or the top. Frames are out in Something4Nothing Web sites, so don't even go there. In our example table/page below, I decided on a traditional menu on the left side of the page, much like the style of the WebDeveloper.com ® site.
Sometimes less is more, more or less
What we will do is to create a table, 400 pixels wide, with a small left hand column (data cell) and a wider right hand column (data cell). In the right cell might be another table, itself containing two columns (cells). The left side of the table will contain the menu, and the right will contain the content. Once the page is completed, it may be used as a template to build other pages using the same style, much like the table below. By simply changing the contents side, and making the hyperlink on the menu "dead," you can easily create a fast loading page that's easy to read, and still sharp to look at.
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<table width=400 border=1 cellpadding=3 cellspacing=0> <tr> <td width=100 align=left valign=top bgcolor="#bee3f3"><p> <b>MAIN<p> LINKS<p> WHO<p> PRODUCTS<p> HOME</b> </td> <td width=1></td> <td width=298 valign=top bgcolor="#fee4fa"> <center><h3>Welcome Home</h3></center> </td> </tr> </table>
By using a
bgcolor parameter for a data cell within a table, you are able to effect a style which is very suitable for reading. While this style may not be appropriate for your intro page, it may work very well for presenting your whitepapers, FAQs, and/or product information. Is this a new or particularly innovative technique? Will it win you the "cutting edge" award? No, and probably not...but it will be appreciated by your readers, and it will help to insure that the information which you are putting on the site will indeed be read, not simply surfed through.
Sometimes less is more, more or less
Content can again be king, because some of us are actually here to work, gather information, or we simply don't want to have to wade through the latest bells and whistles of the latest browser beta to find the information we're looking for. We want something (information) for nothing (no needless graphics, applets or animations). And we'll get it, or we'll go somewhere else. See you there.
Some readers have requested to see examples of such sites in action. Below are a few such sites. If you know of a "Something4Nothing" site that we've missed, or if you host such a site, please let us know and we'll add it to the list. We've even a framed site that uses the Something4Nothing techniques, proving that frames aren't out for Something4Nothing sites after all: