Design Rules and Guidelines

Below are the general design submission rules and guidelines for the website.

When submitting your designs, keep in mind that it’s a good idea to not submit more then two designs at one time so you will get continued home page exposure.

We suggest submitting two designs, waiting a few days, then submitting more. This will help in your designs getting noticed over time and not just in one big push.

Design Rules:

1. Designs must be valid XHTML and CSS based on W3C standards*.
2. No table-based layouts, tables should be used for tabular data only.
3. Text cannot be contained within images**.
4. Buttons (e.g. W3C) are not allowed in designs.
5. All images must be your own and not copyrighted.

* If your (X)HTML doesn’t validate with XHTML Strict, try changing your doc type to XHTML Transitional in your source code.

** If you provide the PSD source file for each image with your design submission so they can be edited, text would be allowed in images.

Please note that any web design template that doesn’t conform with these rules may not be approved.

Design Guidelines:

1. Try keeping your XHTML semantic and logically ordered.
2. A CSS layout alone isn’t a template, please put some time and effort into the styling of the design.
3. Keep all images optimized for the web.
4. If you do a color variation of your design(s), include it with the original design and don’t submit it as a new design.

Advertising Code Within Templates:

If your design templates have an area for placing advertising banners, example 468×60 and 120×120 graphic type banners, Google Adsense placement or any other pay per click text link advertising, please do not use live working ad tracking code.

Any submitted web design template that has live ad tracking code within the template layout will not be approved. If you have any questions about this or if you find live ad tracking code in a design, please contact us.

Using JavaScript in Design Submissions:

jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development and is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript.

Below is a collection of the most popular jQuery plugins in use that are allowed in design submissions on Get Free Web Designs:

  • Lightbox
  • Modal Window
  • Tabs
  • Slideshow Auto/Manual
  • Show/Hide
  • Drop-Down Menu
  • Rounded Corners

The jQuery plugins are very small in size and are easy to use. They nearly couldn’t be simpler. The styles of the plugins are very basic and can be easily adjusted in the appropriate CSS.

Requirements: The jQuery JavaScript Library and JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can download the most recent versions of these jQuery plugins in one handy zip file right here on Get Free Web Designs.

Please leave the Copyright notices intact, where required.

Design Approvals and Removals:

Web design templates will usually be approved on a daily basis and/or as they become available via submissions to Get Free Web Designs.

Not all designs submitted will be approved. If your design template isn’t approved or is removed from the GFWD’s website, you will receive a message from a site admin with a detailed explanation of why it was removed or not approved.

For best chances of a quick approval avoid zipping your files. The below submission format assists with the automated shortlisting of designs for manual approval.

  • index.html
  • styles.css
  • images (folder)

Design Author and/or Footer Links:

By all means, include a link to your personal or business website to help promote you and your web design work. You help us by providing free XHTML and CSS web designs and templates, we want to help you with some link love.

Please note that if you have more then one personal or business website, only link to one of your sites, not both.

Also, be sure not to have excessive links (more then 3) to your own site within your design submission. Having anything beyond 3 can be considered keyword padding.

Design Attribution Links:

Attribution links for content used that is licensed under the Creative Commons (or similar) license is also allowed.

Examples of this would be if you use photos from stock.xchng or another photo site, giving them link credit is also ok. The same goes for any icons (famfamfam), images or graphics that you use in your designs.

Sponsored Links:

Sponsored links are not allowed in your template(s). Any design submission with an obvious sponsored link will not be approved and/or removed from the site.

If you find a sponsored link in a design template, please let us know so we can check into it and take appropriate action if needed.

Having a “designed by” link with your personal or business website is fine, but then also having a “released by” link would be considered a sponsored link and would either be removed or the design not approved.

Design License Information

Below are the licenses we use on for template downloads and submissions.

Public Domain: You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, to make derivative works and to make commercial use of the work.

GNU General Public License (GPL)

Creative Commons Licenses: You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, to make derivative works and to make commercial use of the work under the following conditions:

You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.

Last updated: January 15, 2010

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