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5.38. HTML Coding Tips

Updated 04.12.17

While we can't support your HTML, we can offer you some friendly advice if you decide to create your own code or copy/paste it from another source

We never want to hear that you have not been notified, informed, cautioned strongly or even outright warned that you are responsible for your own code.  It's not that we don't love you and appreciate your business (because we really DO!!).  Rather, we want to make sure there is no misunderstanding about the fact that while NewPanda provides software that you can access to build beautiful and creative HTML eMessages, we do not provide HTML classes, coaching, support or repair services.  We want to be crystal clear that we can't trouble-shoot, analyze, test, proof or fix your HTML code, and we certainly can't do anything once you've sent your eMessage to real people.  OK? 

Be sure to check out our HTML Resources links at the bottom of this page for more detailed coding how-to's and whatnot.

  1. We do not recommend that you use html code generated in Microsoft Publisher, Frontpage or Word.  These are not true HTML friendly programs, and along with the code, they generate all sorts of other stuff that can break your code when you paste it into our program.  Worse, it could affect your spam rating.  We strongly urge you to use a straight-up text-editing program to create your code. That way no extra squigglies, wigglies or other goofy goobers will end up in your code. 
  2. Flash, JavaScript, ActiveX, Embedded movies, and sound files do not work in HTML email. Anti-virus programs block those sorts of things.  You can certainly link to those items in your landing pages from your eMessage.
  3. Good luck with CSS in HTML email anymore.  Webmail clients like Gmail, Yahoo, AOL Web, et al, strip your email's CSS out, so it won't interfere with the CSS in their interfaces.  Linked CSS files never worked, and rigged embedded CSS doesn't work any more either, though it used to. Even inline-CSS is iffy.  We recommend you NOT use CSS in your code, but if you must, you use it at your own risk, and we urge you to test, retest, and then test again (see item 7 below). 
  4. More CSS Info:  If you still want to use it, make sure you embed your CSS just above the content, below the BODY tag.  Many email programs strip out the HEAD and BODY tags of your HTML so CSS placed between them will be removed.  Don't use CSS for positioning (tables and shim.gifs will still have to suffice for this), or try to link to external CSS (instead use embedded and inline CSS).  If uising an application to generate your code, you are still responsible for verifying the CSS is done according to the guidelines we have provided.
  5. HTML designed for the web may not translate smoothly to HTML designed for email.  If you are "copying" web content for email purposes, you'll want to be sure to test the message by sending it to different email clients to be sure it looks OK in each and doesn't have CSS in it that will break in webmail clients.
  6. If you had someone else, even a paid professional with a doctorate in HTML coding, create content for an eMessage for you, and you're just copying and pasting, please verify that the HTML code works before you send your eMessage to your live list. Please, please, PLEASE, send yourself some test messages to make sure everything works the way it should (again see Item 7 below). Make sure it wasn't designed too wide to fit in the preview pane of all the major email programs like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and the like, and make sure there's not a bunch of CSS that'll break in webmail clients. Make sure all the images and links work, too.  You do NOT want to find out after the fact that the code you have isn't what you thought you asked for or doesn't work the way you expected it to.
  7. Always, always, ALWAYS test and retest your eMessages (HTML code or no) before sending them to your live contact list.  And once you've verified they look and work great, TEST THEM AGAIN.  We can't begin to describe the tearful phone calls and emails we've gotten from folks that skipped this uber important step with results ranging from mildly uncomfortable to utterly disastrous.  Learn how and why to test your eMessages.

Several resources for HTML Coding are listed below.  We make no promises about the information provided and accept no responsibility for content found on the pages referred to herewith.  While we want to be helpful, please understand we can't control content on other sites.  If you find something inappropriate, outdated, offensive or inaccurate, please let us know and we'll remove or update the link in question.

World Wide Web Consortium

Introduction to HTML and URLs by Ian Graham

w3schools.com HTML tutorial

HTML Goodies Primer

HTML Code Tutorial

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