The biggest push for web page designing, right now, is what are called alt statements. Any image on your page is supposed to have them. Ok what are they and why are they needed?
Alt is short for alternative text. Its what is paired with an image like so:
center img src = " Mewshitedresswithframe2.jpg
" alt =
"Pic of Me, Just so you know who your talking to :) " height is 443
width is 351 align is left / stop image / stop center
Codes disabled to display.
The alternative statement lets one know what an image is about , a picture of me in this case :)
One: If the image does not show up for any reason, your viewer will know what was supposed to be there, as they will be able to see the text statement you make even with the image missing, the dreaded red X and your alt statement.
Two: If the viewer is surfing with images off they will know where and what they are all about, same as the above, only in this case its deliberate. Try it sometime you will be amazed how fast you can surf.
Three: Very importantly, if the viewer is a person who is visually impaired and has a " read it to me browser, alt statements, will tell them what the image is ,that they cannot see. Otherwise it reads to them, unknown image, unknown image over and over and over, I only had to hear that once to see how aggravating it is. As a professional who used to work with persons with disabilities, I can appreciate this very much.
Four: There is even rumor that it will help your ranking in the engines, as engine spiders can't read an image, only text,. The alt statement gives the spider something to see in relation to the images on site. And if those images happen to be your link buttons, it becomes real important.
Now that's the official reasons for doing it, now let me tell you one more good reason to do it. This is also a very good way of increasing keyword density and marketing. As the alt statement is not limited to just a factual, what is the image. Its also a place where you can briefly talk about the image. And ,if its something your selling or want to promote, that can be very handy.
For example:" Please see my dear friend at dream divine who made this space possible". Ok that is an alt statement of mine, attached to a banner. Now I could have just said, dream divine banner, which is factual ,but I took it one step further in this case, and make it literally a statement about my friend and my wishes that you go visit their site. For banners, this is perfect as it gives you a place to make advert statements, along with the factual ,what is the image.
Like for me, I am an artist, so I do alt statements for the images in my galleries , that I sell prints of, their art name.
We all know that many image file names look like this "ww.jpg" which may be its file name but having it read to one sounds silly, but if the alt statement says, " Winged Wolf Reiki Master" which is the art name that happens to go with that file, its a lot more accurate, as well as a lot more interesting.
Now there are those who get carried away with this ! I have seen alt statements that were a mini web page in of themselves, which is beyond reasonable and is against the purpose of the alt statement. In most cases you are providing a means to Identify an image, period. But a little creativity can go a long way. Be funny once in a while, make it interesting, put a little pizzazz in it.
And for practical purposes, if your a business, you just increased your keywords for every product image you have, and made life easier and a little more interesting, for a whole lot of people while doing so.
Now I don't know about having to alt statement every little bar and dot, as I find it messes up the descriptions one hears and reads ,rather than helps which is its intent. It looks and sounds, stupid to have an engine pull out of context a statement like, Welcome to my home page bar, Make yourself at home dot dot dot divider bar.
Which I read on my own pages the first time I did alt statement the bars and dots. So I don't know as it is reasonable to name dividers and what not as it just may confuse the issue rather than help, its perfectly acceptable in these cases to say alt=" " which gives it an alt marker but no value name, so the "read it to me" browser just skips it..