We’ve all heard the “knock” about web surfers – they stay at a site long enough to quickly glance or skim the home page “above the fold” and they’re gone in seconds.
Is it two seconds, five seconds, seven seconds, twelve seconds? Who knows?
The point is, the web site owner is granted only so much of the surfer’s time online and he’d better make a good impression during that time or the prospect will most likely never return.
Of course there are a lot of elements to making a good web site impression. I’m only going to talk about one small piece of that puzzle right now: page load time.
That’s the length of time, usually measured in seconds, from the instant a viewer clicks his mouse to go to a specific site . . . to the point at which the desired web page is fully loaded in the surfer’s browser.
I’ve spent many exasperating minutes waiting and staring at my computer screen for a page to fully load so I can see the whole thing.
Unless there is some compelling reason why a person would wait so long, you won’t have that luxury of patience.
You will likely only have a tiny fraction of that time, a few seconds at best, to convince your viewer that he needs to stay put for awhile.
How can you make your case with the viewer if your page takes 20-30 seconds to load or longer?
He may not be able to see any part of your message, or even your headline, if the pages of your site don’t pop up quickly.
Here are some simple suggestions to implement in order to assure that you are minimizing the load times of your web pages:
1. Concentrate on deep niches. The broader the niche, the easier it is to be general in scope.
When you’re too general, there are a million divisions and subcategories that you will find.
Rather than have one huge site with tons of pages, concentrate on breaking your content into smaller snippets that can stand alone as topics.
2. Keep your graphics files and images as small as your can and compress them with a good graphics editor program like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro.
One little image on your site might take up ten times the storage space and load time of all your text content.
3. Keep your pages small to begin with. Many web sites are designed as a long format direct sales tool.
They go on and on, some for 25 pages or more (of written text), but they reside on a single home page of the web site.
I know there are psychological sales reasons for these lengthy pages, but if you want to have your site load quickly, keep page length to a bare minimum.
I have seen sites that required no scrolling.
Every bit of text and graphics on the page fit on a standard browser screen.
Sites like this usually load like lightning and give you more time to make the case for keeping your viewer.
4. Reduce any nested tables that come with pre-formatted web sites and pages. They often display an overabundance of code that can be tweaked without harm to the design.
They same is true with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Give them a try!
5. Keep the overall page size small. You can often reduce the HTML code that formats a styled pre-made site.
If it comes at a width of 1,000 pixels, drop the size down to 600 and see if it still makes sense for your purposes.
Making the page length shorter is easily accomplished.
More to come in the next installment . . . see Part 2 – same post title.
To your online business success!