The Golden Rules for Bad HTML


  1. First and foremost: Never read any tutorial or FAQ! That's what you got community leaders and lots of patient people in the help forum for, to answer simple questions over and over again.

  2. Use a lot of large images - short-sighted people will thank you. Use the full colour depth and low compression to ensure high quality. Everybody wants high quality, so they won't mind the slow loading.

  3. It is completely unnecessary to use "alt" tags with images. Nobody reads them anyway.

  4. Animated GIFs can bring life into a dull homepage. There can't be too many of them!

  5. Use many tags only your favourite browser understands. That way you can persuade people to follow your example and use browser xxx.

  6. Tell people which browser you have written your pages for by putting the appropritate (animated) icon prominently on your page, if possible with a link to the company's homepage. That way you can show how well you know the scene.

    Best experimented with

  7. Use colourful background images. Everyone likes colours!

  8. If you have a background image, you don't have to define the background colour anymore.

  9. Javascript and Applets are big fun. Use them everywhere you can. Testing them before you publish the page isn't necessary. While they load, people have time at last to contemplate the meaning of life.

  10. Assign different colours and sizes to every scrap of text. cOMbinE iT wItH cHAngInG CAPitALiZaTIOn - It ShoWS hOW cOOL yoU ARe!

  11. Use fixed widths for tables and layout. You can safely assume that nowadays everyone has a 21" monitor and a graphics board that displays 64K colours at 1280x1024 resolution, so your page will fit into the browser window no problem. If not, let people discover the joys of the horizontal scrollbar.

  12. Show off your HTML knowhow by using frames. Do not bother with "noframe" tags or links to noframe versions for frame haters. They're not worth the effort. Oh, and use the "noresize" option - see above hint.

  13. Its not kewl to obey spelling rulez. this isnt school, now is it? ppl will undertand wot you have to say anywho, and theyll have something to laugh about. But its no cause to be ashamed if you write "existance" instead of "existence".

  14. Use imagemaps and image links wherever you can. It's not your fault if people don't load images! Alternative text links would only destroy your beautiful layout.

  15. Blinking text attracts attention. If you consider the whole paragraph important, make it stand out from the rest by making it blink. The visitors will love reading through it one letter at a time.

  16. Everyone likes music, so a surfer will be happy to be greeted by a nice melody after waiting for only 5 minutes for it to load. WAV files sound better than MIDI, so it's a good idea to use them.

  17. Put an "Under Construction" sign on every page, animated if possible. It's so awfully unusual on the Web that pages are constantly changed that you have to let people know about it.

  18. Make the contrast between background colour and text small. Grey text on white or dark blue on black look especially cool.

  19. The status bar of the browser is a wonderful place to put additional info. Who wants to know where a link leads anyway?

  20. Do not use "height" and "width" definitions in image tags: If the text loads before the image, people might be able to read through it before the image is loaded and surf on. They mustn't go without having witnessed your efforts!

  21. Put a counter, preferably one that loads from a different server, on top of your page to show how popular your page is. Give your visitor the opportunity of fetching a cup of coffee while waiting for the timeout if the other server is down.

  22. Similarly, you can put your whole page into a huge table. That can gives your visitors time to clean their flat/office or something useful like that.

  23. There's nothing like JavaScript! Put an alert window asking the visitor's name on your index page and greet them as "null" or "nobody" if they fail to enter anything. Make sure that people have to navigate with the "back" button so that they have to pass that window as often as possible. It's a good training in writing their name!

  24. Let other peoples' sites load in one of your frames. That way you keep visitors on your site, prevent them from seeing the other site's URL and create wonderful effects if that other site also uses frames.

  25. Standard file types browsers can cope with, such as HTML, TXT, MID are out. Use files that require many different plugins such as real audio, shockwave or - even better! - the latest version of WinWord, Excel, Works, Access, Word Perfect... The visitor always wanted an excuse to install all of them anyway.

  26. Forget the "title" tag - only search engines ever need it for their lists. People who don't remember what their bookmark points to should train their brains by trying to figure out what "New Document" was.

  27. Don't bother to test your internal or external links. People will write emails telling you about it - what a contribution to global communication!

  28. Search engines check pages for the words contained in them and rank them by the number of occurences. Put a lot of hidden (e.g. white on white) text on your page containing lots of popular words such as "sex", "teenage girls" to attact hits from search engines. Whoever expects to see nudes will gladly wait for a 50KB-page to load.


    This list is in no way comprehensive, but the collection should help you immensely on your way to a really awful homepage nobody ever returns to.

    Golden Rules for Bad HTML
    Golden Rules for Good HTML
    Hints for learning HTML


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