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Newsletter issue #5 - 2nd August 2004

This issue

Hello and welcome to the August edition of the Webcredible newsletter! This month we look at the thing that makes the Internet so different to all other communication mediums: link text. We also provide you with the usual mix of useful tips, programs and links. Enjoy!

In this issue:

  • Feature article: Writing effective link text
  • Top tip: Don't use tables for layout
  • Useful program: Wordtracker
  • Top link: Accessify forum
  • New articles in July
  • Webcredible news in July

Enjoy!

Writing effective link text

Hypertext links lie at the very core of the World Wide Web, connecting one page to the next. Because of their huge importance it's essential that link text is effectively written. Follow the six guidelines in this article and your site visitors will be able to find what they're looking for quickly and efficiently.

Read this article in full at www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-usability/effective-link-text.shtml.

Top tip: Don't use tables for layout

Many of you have probably heard about CSS (Cascading Stylesheets) by now and how they should be used for layout. Tables on the other hand, should only be used for displaying data. But what's the point of doing this? Well, aside from following web standards, there are some specific benefits to using CSS for layout:

  1. Faster download time CSS-driven web pages download faster than table-driven ones for a number of reasons, the main one being that all code to do with the layout can be placed in an external CSS document. This document is called up just once (the first time a web user visits your website) and then is cached (stored) on the user's computer; table layout information, stored in each HTML document, must be loaded up each time a new page downloads.
  2. Increased accessibility Web pages laid out with CSS can have an additional CSS document assigned to them for handheld devices, which will be called up in place of the regular CSS document for mobile phones and PDAs. This isn't possible with a table-based layout. Don't underestimate the importance of this - in 2008 alone an estimated 58 million PDAs will be sold worldwide.
  3. Higher search engine ranking CSS-driven web pages usually contain a far greater content to code ratio than table-driven ones, so it's much easier for search engine spiders to access page content. Additionally, the main content can be placed at the top of the HTML document when using CSS, allowing search engine spiders immediate access to this, before the navigation.

You can learn more about CSS in our CSS resources area at www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/css.

Useful program: Wordtracker

If you've ever tried to optimise a website for search engines then you've undoubtedly used Wordtracker. Wordtracker is a fantastic tool that helps you choose the most effective keywords for your web pages. Effective keywords are ones which are frequently searched for (high demand) yet targeted by few other web pages (low competition).

You can use this handy program for $7 (24 hours use) at www.wordtracker.com.

Top link: Accessify forum

Got a question about web accessibility? You could do much worse than posting it at this lively accessibility-focused discussion forum.

Check it out at www.accessifyforum.com.

New articles in July

Read these and many other articles at www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources.

Webcredible news in July

  • XML feeds now available for Webcredible articles
  • Webcredible in Internet Works magazine
  • Web Accessibility Guide available for free download

Read these news stories in full at www.webcredible.co.uk/about-us/latest-news.shtml.

Web accessibility & CSS support packages

We now offer a range of accessibility and CSS support packages, offering you access to one of our accessibility consultants anytime you like. Please read more about this innovative service in our web accessibility and CSS help section.

About Webcredible

Based in London, UK, Webcredible is a user experience consultancy. Tailor-made usability, accessibility & design solutions include:

Please contact us on 020 7423 6320 or , or consult www.webcredible.co.uk for further information.

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