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Web Site Style and Content Tutorial

Design Styles

The Three Basic Styles Of Design

There are a number of styles that are being used by web page authors at present. I will discuss some of those now to give you an idea of the pros and cons of each. My discussion is only my opinion formulated from hours of surfing the net to learn what little I know about web page design. This tutorial is not about actual HTML structure and coding but about the results of it. While surfing I have more or less divided the authors into three schools or philosophies of design. These are, in no special order The Bells and Whistles Philosophy, Purist or Elitist as it is sometimes called and my favorite the KISS Philosophy. In some cases a lack of knowledge of HTML structure and coding can result in great pages. I'll explain that statement later. I say this because I am a firm believer in the KISS method which I will discuss first.

The KISS Philosophy

I bet when you saw the name of this philosophy, you thought SEX!! Sorry this is a short form that I picked up when I was apprenticing to be a Chef. KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. My beliefs fall somewhere in between the KISS and the Purist philosophy. I say this because I absolutely believe that the code used to build a page must validate to the 3.2 standard. In order to make your site accessible to all browsers it must validate to the standard. If you went to Patrick's' site on the list for suggested surfing you will understand this statement. That is why I fall somewhere between the Purist and KISS philosophies. I have told you this so you know my bias and can develop your own philosophies. A lot of the authors in the KISS group aren't always browser conscious.

The KISS School of Designs' philosophy is based upon the phrase and is what I would suggest for any beginner. Remember all my statements are only my opinions. You will have to make up your own mind as to the school you will adhere to. I will now list for you the pros and cons of this philosophy as I see them:


  1. This philosophy adheres strictly to the 3 Cs discussed in the first tutorial. I truly believe that any site that provides good usable content will achieve the purpose and goals of the site with a minimum of promotion.
  2. The content is not adulterated with what I refer to as fluff, which will be discussed at length later. All images, forms and java applications must have a function or reason for being included.
  3. Pages using this method load quickly because the less fluff on a page the quicker it downloads. Netizens love this and if you have good content they will come back often. Why have a site that leaves Netizens sitting there looking at a blank screen until some huge image map appears with the immortal words CLICK HERE TO ENTER.


  1. Some Netizens actually like the fluff however, they are usually younger and aren't really looking for information they are more into the KEWL stuff.
  2. When I refer to cons I mean the usual problems encountered at sites where this style is being used. A common problem with this style is it is sometimes carried too far and navigation is poor.
  3. This group is also guilty of not always making their sites accessible to all browsers as I mentioned earlier. Tables are used extensively in this school and tables are not always supported by all browsers. The browsers that don't support tables are generally older and for this reason they are discounted by these authors.

The Purist Philosophy

The authors in this group are some of the most experienced on the net. They are very experienced and don't use many of the new style tools available to them. They rely almost entirely on content and the research required to compile the content. They are quite often academics who are used to passing the information from their research to other researchers or interested Netizens via the net. Graphics are almost non-existent. The style manual link from the last tutorial is a good example of this philosophy. To these authors a small logo of his department and school is about all the fluff you'll see from them. They may use a table but not necessarily for style but as a good way to display his raw data.


  1. Supports all browsers.
  2. Good navigation because although long, the documents are well structured. Most navigation is achieved using targeted links.
  3. Download quickly because there are few images. Other than being a little boring I can't think of any cons.

The Bells and Whistles Philosophy

This was my style for quite some time. About six months ago my style started to evolve into what it is at present. I am very knowledgeable of this style so I have saved it for last. As a matter of fact my knowledge is so extensive that I am going to devote a whole page to this philosophy. For your information on the suggested surfing, I will say a favorite of this group is frames. Please try not to succumb to the KEWL factor !!

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph great pages can be built without knowing a lot about the actual structure and HTML coding in a document. I will now tell you why. Quite simply most authors get drunk with the knowledge and next thing you know you have a page full of fluff. Once again here is your suggested surfing. Remember to check the source code. Happy surfing and come back soon. The Authors have different Styles but the subjects are basically the same.

Suggested Surfing

Bells and Whistles School of Design


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