Horizontal Rules: How 1995!

Description: So what role did horizontal rules play in the average website, and where do they stand - or lie - today?

As far as aspects of the average website go, horizontal rules aren't something you hear about everyday. Yet if you search for the term on any search engine you will turn up a fair few websites where there are plenty of different kinds of horizontal rule available to download and use for free on your own website, should you want them.

But horizontal rules are something of a blast from the past. Their purpose is to break up sections within a column on a web page, either to denote the end of one section and the beginning of the next, or simply to provide a bit of color and interest.

If you do a search for horizontal rules that you can use, it's surprising what turns up. If you thought the average horizontal rule was boring, dull and gray, be prepared for some shocks - some of them appear in neon colors, others appear styled as a bomb with a long fuse (the fuse of course provides the bulk of the horizontal rule in this case).

But it should be said that the bulk of horizontal rule designs are styled more for the fun and funky type of website - the kind that doesn't need to be serious or authoritative in any way. The worst sin is probably to use horizontal rules that are so eye catching that they are the first thing you see when you load up a web page. If you have committed this sin on your own website you'd better be warned that however good your web copy is, people might not see it for looking at your horizontal rules.

If you think back to the websites you've visited in the last few days, you'll probably agree that the vast majority have had one of two types of horizontal rules. Firstly they will be gray and understated, doing what they are meant to do and dividing up sections of text; or secondly they will be of the happily non existent type.

Of course, some horizontal rules are rather more creative than others. You've probably seen various versions of the ?ripped page' rule that can be used quite effectively when the situation and the site fits it. It's possible to use a horizontal rule as a kind of top and bottom bar to frame the web page you are creating. While it is far from necessary it can work in certain situations.

The danger with any kind of horizontal rule is that you can get so caught up in deciding which one to use and what it should look like that you forget all about the fact that you have a whole site to design. Horizontal rules should be near the bottom of your list of things to do when it comes to website design - and hey, if it drops off the bottom of that list and you never get around to dealing with it, no one will ever really notice anyway.

Copyright 2007-2011 Business Hosting Provider. All Rights Reserved.