Writing for the Web

This page was created for use in my former classes. It is only occasionally updated resulting in many links being more of historical rather than current usefulness. Over time many links will suffer link rot.


"Only 10 percent of the current Fortune 500 companies will survive the next 10 years. The rest will shrivel to a fraction of their former selves, because they won't make a successful transition to the customer-centric Web economy."

Jakob Nielsen

Perhaps a ride on the CLUETRAIN would help.


History, development

  1. History of the Internet and the World Wide Web
  2. Prof. Leonard Kleinrock, the Inventor of the Internet Technology
  3. Internet Technical Resources
  4. LivingInternet.com
  5. WhatIs.Com   [Dictionary of Web and Internet Terms]
  6. ASIS Thesaurus of Information Science
  7. Glossary of Internet Terms
  8. NetLingo.com:   [The Internet Language Dictionary]
  9. Webopedia:    [Online Computer Dictionary for Internet Terms and Technical Support]
  10. NetLearn: Internet Learning Resources
  11. net.TUTOR
  12. An Atlas of Cyberspace    [Maps of the net]
  13. Internet Mapping Project: Map gallery
  14. || peacock maps ||
  15. Internet Traffic Report   [See the flow of data]
  16. Internet: "The Big Picture"   [How it all fits together]



  1. Protocols   [E-mail, FTP, Telnet, Gopher, Web]
  2. Naming and Addressing: URIs
  3. Uniform Resource Locators  [WDVL]  [Examples: A STARTING PLACE]
  4. e-gineer: Domainator   [Look up your URL]

How the Web works

Web History and Development

  1. W3C - The World Wide Web Consortium
  2. CERN: European Laboratory for Particle Physics


  1. As We May Think  by Vannevar Bush
  2. Ted Nelson and Xanadu    Xanadu Software Code Released     Xanadu Project
  3. Hypertext
  4. Developing Web vision

Servers / HTTP

  1. So You Want to Run Your Own Server
  2. ServerWatch    ["the quintessential resource for Internet servers"]
  3. The Netcraft Web Server Survey
  4. Web Servers Used at the Top Sites
  5. WebServer Compare   [The definitive guide to HTTP server specs]\
  6. HTTP Header Viewer
  7. What "they" know about you:   Privacy.net   or remain   anonymous
  8. States and Cookies:   Bake your own Internet Cookie!


  1. Stuck With Old Browsers Until 2003
  2. BrowserWatch
  3. The Web Standards Project   [Fighting for Standards in our Browsers]
  4. The evolt.org Browser Archive
  5. ZDNet's Browser Page
  6. NCSA Mosaic Home Page
  7. About Lynx
  8. Netscape
  9. The Mozilla Museum
  10. Internet Explorer
  11. Opera Browser
  12. AOL Browser Features and Functionality
  13. Browser Archive

Internet Appliances: Communicating without the Computer

  1. Internet Appliances: The Next Big Thing
  2. i-opener by netpliance
  3. Optimizing Web Pages For Handheld Devices
  4. Minimalist Web Design
  5. Designing for noncomputer browsers

The Internet and Television

  1. The Internet and Television   [WDVL]
  2. Just Like TV    [NOT!]
  3. WEB-TV   [Bill Gates bought it...why?]
  4. WebTV Design Guide For Webmasters
  5. Designing For WebTV

HTML: HyperText Markup Language

  1. HyperText Markup Language Home Page
  2. Composing Good HTML
    1. Campaign 2000: How the candidates' web sites stack up
    2. Avatars of the word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace    [252.4 K]
  3. HyperText Markup Language Activity Statement
  4. W3C's The User Interface Domain
  5. HTML 4 is the current W3C Recommendation
  6. HTML 4.0 Online Tour
  7. XHTML 1.0: The Extensible HyperText Markup Language   [W3C]
  8. Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  9. Try your hand with a "blank" page   [View source]
  10. Mind Reading Markup Language

Effective Web Design:

Planning an Effective Web Site

  1. Why do you have a web site?
    1. Jakob Nielsen on Dinosaurs
    2. Entertainment verses Information   [Disney verses W3C]
    3. Business verses Hobby   Southern Material Handling
  2. Enable Buying verses Selling
    1. Why Advertising Doesn't Work on the Web
  3. Communities of Like Interest
  4. Differences Between Print Design and Web Design
    1. Word Processing vs. "Web" Documents
  5. Evolution of Web Design
  6. Control over Presentation
    1. Taming the Electronic Page
  7. Linear verses Hypermedia
  8. Time Issues   [World Wide Wait]
  9. Distribution Control
  10. Change and Updating

Creating Web Site Goals and Objectives:

  1. Audience for the Web Site
    1. User Analysis
    2. Designing Your Audience
    3. Know your audience and their needs    Examples
    4. A User-Centered Approach to Designing a New Top-Level Structure for a Large and Diverse Corporate Web Site
  2. Defining the Demographics
    1. Georgia Tech Graphic Visualization and Usability Center (GVU)
    2. Nielsen/NetRatings
    3. Nua Internet Surveys
    4. Web Snapshot - Internet research, news, trends, tools, traffic, and historical data
    5. Web Log Analysis Who's Doing What, When?
    6. User Tracking
  3. Attracting the Audience
    1. Publicizing Your Site
    2. Advertising Your Site
    3. bruceclay.com    [Free Web Site Design and Promotion Advice]


Web Project Management

  1. The Management of Web Projects
  2. Project Management Institute
  3. Schedule of Time and Resources

Planning the Structure of the Web Site:

  1. Defining the Home Page
  2. Splash Page
  3. Laying Out the Structure
    1. Linear
    2. Hierarchical
    3. Linked or Grid
  4. Dividing the Site
    1. Navigation
    2. Is the Magic Number 7 Relevant to Web Page Design
  5. Size and Content of a "page"
    1. If your pages are slow, your customers will go
    2. Report Puts a Number on the World Wide Wait
    3. Don't Make Them Wait
    4. The 5k Award
  6. Table of Contents, Site Map, Site Index and Search
    1. Maps of Web Sites
    2. RPInfo Site Index

Creating Effective Web Page Content:

  1. "What’s in it for me?"
  2. Overall design: "Look and Feel"
  3. Accessibility Issues
  4. Choosing Effective Colors and Graphics
    1. Working with Color Schemes
      1. Palette Man  [Preset Color Palettes]
      2. RGB Hex Triplet Color Chart
      3. Your Choice of Web Site Color
    2. Choosing Graphics for a Web Site
      1. Graphics Design for Website Developers
      2. Why This Site Has Almost No Graphics
      3. Excessive (?) Inline Graphics
      4. Buy a Furby!
    3. Download Time versus Information and Quality
      1. Martindale's File Download Time Calculator
  5. Making Content Clear:
    1. Summaries
    2. Content Integration
    3. Prioritize: Good Content Bubbles to the Top
    4. Caveat Emptor on the Web: Ad and Editorial Lines Blur
  6. Using Layout for Readability   
    1. Use typography and layout for skimming  
    2. Lists
  7. Keeping It Fresh
  8. Templates
  9. Cascading Style Sheets
    1. Cascading Style Sheets
    2. CSS Pointers Group
    3. W3C: Cascading Style Sheets
  10. File Formats
  11. Page Layout
    1. Microcontent: [How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines]
    2. Titles
    3. Navigation and Content
    4. Headings
    5. Header
    6. Footer
      1. Contact Information
      2. User Feedback
      3. Date Last Updated
      4. Legal Statements
        1. Time's Terms of Use
        2. Disney
        3. PolySort
      5. Copyright Statement
        1. An Example of Copyright Infringement or Web Page Piracy
        2. Purloining and Pilfering
        3. U.S. Copyright Office Home Page
        4. Crash Course in Copyright
        5. Copyright on the Internet
      6. Privacy Policy
        1. Privacy Issues -- Related Links
    7. Scrolling and “Above the Fold”
    8. Hyper-Linking
      1. Write links that don't have to be followed
      2. Fighting Linkrot
      3. Using Link Titles to Help Users Predict Where They Are Going
    9. Empty versus Full
  12. Frames
    1. When (and how) to use frames
    2. Welcome to FrameShop!   [Create and experiment with frames]
    3. Sharky's Netscape Frames Tutorial
    4. Trueserv    [An alternative to frames]
  13. Fonts For Readability and Design

Writing for the Web:

  1. Writing for the Web    [WDVL]
  2. Writing for the Web   [useit.com ]
  3. Writing for the web
  4. Web Writing for Many Interest Levels   [e-gineer.com]
  5. How Users Read on the Web
  6. Speling Errers in You're Sights
  7. Why Web Users Scan Instead of Read
  8. Concise, SCANNABLE, and Objective: How to Write for the Web
  9. Applying Writing Guidelines to Web Pages
  10. Be Succinct! (Writing for the Web)    Be concise
  11. Inverted Pyramids in Cyberspace    Write newspaper style
  12. The Written Word on the Web
  13. plainlanguage.com

Testing and Validation

Style Guides

Other Resources:

Web Sites:

  1. The Alertbox    [Current Issues in Web Usability]
  2. Web Pages That Suck    [The web site version of the book]
  3. Fluff & Contenders 2000  [Good and bad examples]
  4. Tog's First Principles of Design
  5. Good Documents
  6. The Good Web
  8. creativepro.com
  9. Web Development Quality
  10. OCLC Human-Computer Interaction    Web Resources
  11. Tomalak's Realm :   [Daily Links to Strategic Web Design News]
  12. Creating Killer Web Sites Examples    [1997]
  13. An Online Guide to Good Web Design
  14. Developing Web vision
  15. Web-Peer-Review Email List
  16. Creating and Documenting Electronic Texts: A Guide to Good Practice
  17. The Paradox of the Active User   [PDF]
  18. Minimalist Web Design
  19. Successful Web Pages: What Are They and Do They Exist?     Abstract W/Screenshots
  20. Designing for Multiple Browsers Without Being Bland
  21. Web Page Design for Designers    [Joe Gillespie]
  22. PageResource.Com
  23. e-Commerce Topics   [IBM]
  24. ahref.com    [a thang for web developers]
  25. A List Apart    [Jeffrey Zeldman]
  26. Zuberlinks    [a Resource Guide to Links for Web Site Builders]
  27. Website Tips for Designers
  28. Web Design and Web Review
  29. Designing for Multiple Browsers Without Being Bland
  30. How to Make Your Web Offerings Useful to the Most Visitors
  31. Washington Independent Writers
  32. TextArc: An Alternate Way to View a Text


  1. Weaving the Web     by Tim Berners-Lee
  2. Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity    by Jakob Nielsen
  3. Cluetrain
  4. Web Design in a Nutshell : A Desktop Quick Reference     by Jennifer Niederst
  5. Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing    by Philip Greenspun    Online Version
  6. Writing for the Web  by Crawford Kilian
  7. Web Style Guide     Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide   Online Version
  8. Web Navigation: Designing the User Experience     by Jennifer Fleming
  9. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web    by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville
  10. Cascading Style Sheets: Designing for the Web    by Håkon Lie and Bert Bos (Addison Wesley)
  11. Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works    by Erik Spiekermann, E. M. Ginger
  12. Creating Killer Web Sites   by David Siegel
  13. HTML 4.0 Sourcebook    by Ian S. Graham
  14. Washington Writer: Books: References and Tools
  15. The Victorian Internet

** Home ** Class Pages ** Site Map **

David J. Hark
P. O. Box 201 Shepherdstown, WV 25443-0201
Last updated: 5 January 2004


© 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 David J. Hark