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"Murphy was an optimist!"

1994 Was a Long Time Ago – Fix your website! July 29, 2009 11:14 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Publishing, Technology
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I need to offer some professional advice to some of you. 1994 was a long time ago. Some things your website should NOT be doing:

  1. do not resize my browser!
  2. do not automatically play music or videos! If you insist on doing this, do not loop the music/video and definitely do give me the ability to stop or pause the obnoxiousness.
  3. do not tell me your website is under construction! Your website should be an ever changing, living, breathing entity. Either hide the elements/pages that are not ready for prime time or put them up as-is and change them when ready. You should have a development server hidden from the public, a staging server which a limited amount of public eyes (testers) can see, and a production server that is live to the world. At the bare minimum you should have a development server and a production server. Never make changes directly on your production server.

Thank you.

Comments after advertisement


1. Danny - July 29, 2009
2. Craig T. - July 30, 2009

I agree with you completely. It is especially annoying to go to a website with music playing and absolutely no way to stop it. If you want to lose a visitor to your page very quickly, that is exactly how to do it.

3. Doug McCaughan - July 30, 2009

Danny, I take it you tried to post something javascript? That’s about the only thing that WordPress won’t allow in the comments. Cathy suggested I click your name. Well done!

Craig, I’ve actually run an extension from my speaker jack up by my keyboard. This allows me to plug in my speakers or my headphones without crawling behind the computer. The bonus is that in milliseconds I can silence my computer when things autoplay. I don’t understand why people don’t recognize this practice as driving people away instead of retaining visitors. I can only assume they’ve never worked in a shared space.