AIR Houston 2007 meets Kids Meals Houston

November 3, 2007 • 4 comments

Today was Go day. 8 hours and one incredibly accessible website.

About a month or so ago the TopSpot crew got commissioned to participate in the AIR Houston competition. The competition consisted of creating a fully accessible website for a non-profit organization in 8 hours. Our NPO was Kids Meals Houston. Essentially they are like Meals on Wheels but focus on local Harris County children that live in poverty and are hungry. These kids know what it means to be hungry and Kids Meals provides them with lunches on a daily bases. Our NPO representative Ruth, was just amazing. She provided us with everything we needed to build the site as well as moral support day of the competition. She came with Pom-Poms… yes Pom-Poms and it was really great to see her so excited about the website.
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A List Of Things NOT To Do On Your Website

October 26, 2007 • 4 comments

OK AOL kiddies and other high school webmasters… today’s lesson in Webmastering 101 class is a list of things NOT to do on your website.

Everything on this list is obvious yet I see it happen all the time. Most of what’s on this list, everyone already knows, however people STILL feel it absolutely necessary to do. This is simply a list of things you should not do on a website. Period.

Splash pages. If I have to choose high or low bandwidth before entering your website you’ve failed. This is 2007. There is no need for splash pages anymore… personally I don’t think there ever was. From an SEO standpoint having a splash page can be very hurtful towards your rankings. Search engine spiders will index your splash page instead of your home page and usually a splash page consist of flash or some other form of media such as a picture. The only actual text content on a traditional splash page is the “skip intro” link. Users with dial up or even slow broadband will become frustrated after waiting for your page to load up only to find its a splash page and no actual content is on there. You want to make it easy as possible for users to navigate your website, and you want them to do as little work as possible. Having them wait for a splash page and then click “continue” goes against this principle.
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