CSS brings consistency to Internet marketing success

Are you happy with the quality and quantity of business you are getting from your web site?

If you think a change would do you good, now is the time not to go to a conventional web design shop for the latest in multimedia gimmicks and proprietary design features. Many of these features will be added by conventional web designers without considering their marketing benefit relative to their cost.

For the growing business, this outdated web design approach is being replaced by CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) technology. CSS is not a software package or product… it is free, it is in the public domain, and it is supported by nearly 100 percent of browsers. It encourages simple, clear, versatile web designs by separating the style and layout of a web site from its text content.

Simplicity overtakes complexity in modern web design

CSS web design does not prohibit the use of multimedia… it simply provides an alternative to overbuilt and costly designs which rely exclusively upon graphic elements that are unreadable by information gathering programs such as search engines. A CSS web site design provides a clear, accessible, and resuable context in which multimedia and other technologies can be used whenever they provide a clear benefit.

In response to the changing needs of Internet businesses, the web design service of CoTangent is entirely CSS-based. This ensures that your online marketing effort will incorporate the most cost-effective and useful Internet marketing technology available to growing businesses.

Problems with conventional web sites

Most current web site designs have never taken advantage of the CSS standard. Millions of web page designs have been composed with style and layout features scattered throughout the HTML code that they refer to.

Complicated, invisible structures are used to position text and images on each page. These pages take longer to load and render in browsers, and generally their HTML content makes no sense without access to the web design application in which these pages were originally composed.

To modify a conventional web site often will often require locating and hiring the web designer who possesses the web design application source files. When this is not possible, the web site must often be redesigned from scratch, usually at a substantial expense. This must be done even if the web site copy (the text component) of each page remains the same.

CSS to the rescue

Cascading Style Sheet designs derive from one or more CSS Files. These files describe the style of a web site independently of its passages of text. CSS files, also called style sheets, contain all the typefaces, colors, relative text sizes, and background patterns of a web site. They can also describe the positioning of web page features, so a single file can be used to construct the layout and appearance of your entire web site.

Changing your web site's layout or text styles can be done all at once by editing this one file. These changes are imposed whenever the web page that links to your style sheet is browsed. (With a conventional design, a web designer would typically have to reconstitute their original web site layout and introduce all layout and style changes manually, which can be time-consuming and expensive.)

CSS style information is downloaded all at once when a web site is entered, since it loads along with the first visited page. This is a substantial time-saver for visitors to even the smallest of multipage sites. Larger sites can take advantage of the Cascading feature of CSS, which allows different regions your site to have their own style sheets, including all styles from the "parent" style sheet and then defining unique styles for each web site area.

Search engines dream of CSS web sites

When a web site complies with the CSS standard, its appeal to search engines such as Google™ is substantially improved. For all the keywords in your web site to index properly, the ratio of text to presentational markup in your HTML must be as high as possible. With your CSS web design this ratio is maximized, since your HTML pages will contain no presentational markup.

More importantly, conventional web designs often use headings and navigational elements composed exclusively of images rather than machine-readable text. Services like Google must be able to scan the keyword-rich content contained in these headers and navigational segments. Search engines can't read images and they may not index your web site links as being relevant to your valuable keywords unless they have a readable text source.

When developing your CSS web design with CoTangent, you'll be encouraged to specify that all of your keyword-rich navigational code will be expressed in searchable text and graphically styled to match the rest of your site.

Designing for the future of the Internet

Many marketing professionals and web designers overlook the importance of standards compliance on the Internet. Some don't even know that the language in which most of the Web is written, HTML, is in the process of being replaced by XHTML. This older HTML is considered "transitional" and not guaranteed to be supported in the future. With this in mind, all CoTangent designs are constructed according to the strictest possible XHTML standard.

In addition to the CSS-related benefits that your business can enjoy in the present, XHTML is designed for compatibility with other forms of media that will emerge in the future. With CSS and CoTangent, your web site can be a part of this evolution and take advantage of its benefits before your competitors are forced to.

about creating your new CSS web site or to discuss the benefits of converting your existing web site to a CSS design…

…or get the first-of-its-kind free report on the business benefits of CSS: Developing Web Sites with Style

2004 Robert Phair

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