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The basics of web layouts

When you make a Web design, one of the most overlooked aspects of the design is the layout. Now, a lot of people think about how to do a layout (which techniques to use), but the principles of Web layout are often completely forgotten.

How to use your space
Use all the space you have, but don't be specific with it. That is to say, use relative layout parts on your Web pages, so that they expand and contract to match the browser size.
Keep screen resolution in mind. As the most people have switched from 640x480 resolution, keep that in mind when you're designing. Having customers go away because all that is visible is a logo on their monitor is poor customer service.
Use color to define different blocks. If you want to have a page of a specific dimensions, you should center it in the browsed window and apply a different background color to the rest of the page. This will make the page seam to resize for different browsers; larger browsers will just contain more background color, while smaller browsers will contain less or none of it.

The image side
Organize your graphics. One of the most typical newbie layout mistakes is to put graphics into a page without considering your layout scheme. If you simply use an img tag and then put some text to follow it, you'll have the picture and then one line of text to the right of it. Applying the align attribute will help make your images part of the layout.
Match the graphics and paragraphs on a page. It's really easy to captived with all those graphics and animations, but they can turn you page into a very hard to read one. When you're developing your layout, remember that images are a vital part of the layout, not just afterthoughts.

Text Alignment
Think carefully about text width. This is often named the "scan length", and means to the number of words that are are displayed on one line. In general users can comfortably read about 7 or 11 words in one line. Longer lines make your text hard to read, shorter than that and it's uneven and annoying. When creating your layouts be certain that the main text area displays the text in a readable width.
Centering text is inadvisable. One of the first layout tricks that a new designer gets familiar with is the center tag, and they center all the content on their sites. However, centering is very difficult to do good and it's often unreadable.

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