website design, load time
Well say good bye then…to your costumers.

Let’s start by doing a search for your product or service on the search engine of your choice. How many results show? Probably hundreds of thousands of pages listed. That’s how many pages are competing for your customers visit.

It is hard enough to get a customer to visit your site, but what happens when they get there. Does there browser sit and spin? Chances are that customer is GONE. Hitting the back button and heading to the next website in the search results (your competition).

This tragedy can be avoided by following some best practices.

Page Size
As a general rule your default page (the first page a visitor sees) should be no more the 50-60k. That means the physical size of the html (ASP, PHP) should be rather small. The smaller the page, the faster it loads.

Image Size
All websites need images to enhance the aesthetics, but don’t over do it. If you site is all images it will significantly increase your load time, not to mention the SEO (search engine optimization) issues that presents. All images on a website should be optimized for the web, compressed as much as possible without losing resolution or pixilation.

Flash and Animation
OK, everyone loves web animation and it has grown leaps and bounds over the last years, but don’t over do it. That fact is not everyone has the latest version of Flash. Believe it or not, not very one want to see how clever you animation is. Most people want to find what they are looking for as fast as possible and most animation gets in the way of that.

Disclaimer
I know that more and more people have faster broadband connections. I know that the browsers are getting better about “forcing” users to upgrading and therefore stay compatible. Even with all that, in my opinion, you should target the development of your website for the “lowest level” of compatibility. Concern yourself with the users that don’t have a 10MB pipe and the latest version of Firefox and you’ll make more of your customer base happy.

Let me know what you think.

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