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Ask not what dHTML can do for you;
but what you can do with dHTML


What is dHTML and what can I do with it? 
dHTML (dynamic HTML) combines various types of programming languages (such as CGI scripts, JavaScript, CSS) to enhance simple HTML.  This combining of scripts allow changes to occur on a page even after it has been loaded into the browser.  Without having to reload, contents on the page can change as a mouse moves over texts, paragraphs, headings, etc.  

Although this technology is far from being new, its implementation may have been somewhat hindered because of issues with browser compatibility.  As the web continues to develop and browsers continue to be updated, many of these issues are being ironed out with solutions such as implementations of "Behaviors" by IE and "Action Sheets" by Netscape.  Even beyond the browsers' improvements, the vast amount of good, free script resources that are now available make the implementation of dHTML a ready reality.  

The resources available may make dHTML much easier to implement, but there are always the drawbacks.  Browser compatibility and loading speed are always important issues to keep in mind.  If you are not too comfortable playing with scripts, perhaps it would be wise to spend a few minutes considering the opportunity costs before spending hours attempting to make images dance on your page.  Ask yourself the following questions:  

Is the implementation of dHTML worth the time?  
dHTML often lend a certain professional feel to your site.  However, if your site and products are not necessarily technology-oriented, is it worth the time and effort to make your site look "techno-savvy"?  Would your time and efforts be better invested elsewhere on the site?  Often times, the look and feel of a page can be improved with simple changes that do not involve more programming.  By making sure that the typography on the page is unified, the color scheme is pleasing to the eye, the placement of content is logical and effective and that none of your links are broken, you are already on your way to vastly improving your site without the use of fancy scripts.    

Does dHTML add something unique to my site or help me to sell my product more effectively?
If dHTML does not add anything unique to your site, if your current page loading speed is already slow and the technology you are using suffices to sell your product, perhaps it would be counterproductive to add dHTML.  Sometimes simplicity is the best way to go: often, too many blinking images can in fact distract or annoy your site's visitor.  

It is important to keep in mind the nature of your site and your audience when  looking to improve your site.  If you are attempting to appeal to a younger audience, perhaps brighter colors and more flashy images is the key.  If  yours is a business looking to provide services to a more conservative industry, make sure your site is "optimized" for your conservative audience down to the color, graphics and images.  

Remember, just as bigger is not always better, more complex scripts are not always preferable to simple HTML.  Be sure to use caution when proceeding to implement fun, new scripts. Happy programming!


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