When working on our own web site and giving advice to our friends, a few resources keep bubbling to the top.

Andy King from Web Site Optimization has a neat online tool called the Web Page Analyzer that looks at a live site and provides advice to help you reduce page load time and increase usability. Definitely recommended. Andy also is the author of the book Speed Up Your Site.

We always check our pages by running them through the W3C’s Markup Validation Service (works for HTML, XHTML, CSS, and probably more document types). For Atom and RSS feeds, try FEED Validator. Another great informative site is The Web Standards Project. Thankfully most end users have left the older “4.x” browsers behind and are using modern browsers that provide good support for web standards.

Which brings us to CSS (cascading style sheets). Like most people today, we use CSS extensively for page layout, rollover effects, and so on. We often go to the W3C CSS standards site (the horses mouth, so to speak). Eric Meyer is a CSS guru who has an informative site (he is also the author of the books Eric Meyer on CSS and More Eric Meyer on CSS). And when we need inspiration we click on some of the appealing designs over at the css Zen Garden.

CSS-centric sites tend to be treated well by the search engines too. Search engine marketing is a huge, evolving area that is very important for a lot of web sites. Some of the resources we like are SEO Today and Search Engine Watch. One of the leading search engine marketing companies, Oneupweb, also has a lot of good information on their site.

What resources do you rely on to help you create or improve web sites?

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