During a phone interview recently I was asked what practices (layout, accessibility, etc.) I used during web design. So here's a quick write-up of what easily came to mind. It's not exhaustive nor in any particular order.
- Tables are for tables. Don't use tables to format your content. Only use them if you actually need to display data in a tabular format.
- Use appropriate header tags progressively at the appropriate levels. The title/text that describes what's on the current page should be in an H1 tag. Sections below that should use H2 for their titles, etc. Don't use an H4 tag if you don't have an H1, H2 and H3 above it.
- Use appropriate tags for the content. Use header tags for headings, use P tags for paragraphs (not DIVs!), use OL and UL for lists, etc. Don't try to use DIVs or SPANs with goofy formatting for everything.
- Make sure your content looks orderly and readable even if there's no CSS. Text only readers will ignore most if not all of your CSS.
- Make sure links are visually obvious. Underlining is the standard cue for links. Don't take that away from your users.