Don’t you just hate it when you type in a URL and you are presented with a white screen for what seems like half an hour, then you’d take a little nap in between and the site is still loading? Almost all of us have been through this ordeal at one point of time or another. Most of the time this happens is when the sites are so heavy that only really fast internet connections will be able to hold them properly.
You’ve got a great content. You’ve put some great marketing tweaks at the right places and your page is just awesome! But, what’s the point of working so hard if the surfer is not going to get to see the result of all your laborious and at times quite elegant work? All great marketing experts agree that the real magic isn’t in getting visitors; it’s in keeping them on the page! If your page is taking an eternity to open up nobody’s got that much time to stay and wait for it to finish loading.
There are a lot of reasons a webpage can load like a car running on low fuel. Heavy websites containing a mountain load of images or tones of videos embedded or a lot of written content on a single page or simply a slow internet connection on the client side will make your webpage as slow as a tortoise. What goes on over the user’s side is totally out of your control but you can definitely take some action on your part to make the web experience better for the surfer and promote your website through intelligent marketing strategies.
Let’s face it guys! Images burn bandwidth! It’s as simple as that. It’s web 2.0 Era going on. Use CSS. There’s nothing a good CSS cannot do. Use images or photographs on your page only if the explanation cannot be done any other way. If you must have them then keep it to a minimum amount and use thumbnails for preview.
- Embedded videos
Unless you have a very good reason, don’t embed multiple videos on your page. You can put links to YouTube or any other video hosting site that you are using instead of embedding them on your page itself. Don’t make your reader wait for that flash plug-in to install and then they can go ahead. It’s just time consuming and most probably will make your visitor abandon the page.
Add pagination to your blog. Display only a handful of posts per page and then add next page. Each page is more readable as well as faster to load. Plus the reader can easily navigate through all pages very easily.
- Full posts on homepage of a blog
There is no need to do that! You don’t have to (read: you shouldn’t) show whole blog posts on your homepage. Just a small excerpt from the content of your post will do the trick. Enough to let the reader know what it is about and for the whole post you can add a link of Read more at the end. Keep the title and Meta description of your blog so catchy that readers will be compelled to read more like ShivBlog.
- Server requests
Use your head and find a better way to communicate with your web server. Continuous request to and from server can slow down even a mammoth of a bandwidth. Ajax with jQuery is your answer. Make as few refresh as possible.
- Create two versions of your page
A great way to reach out to all the users regardless of their net speed is to create two version of your page. One full fledged, content rich version with images and videos and everything else you can think of and the other one with same information to put on your page but in simpler ways. Mostly in basic HTML and text based formats. The very best example for this is Gmail. Google provides two versions of their email services. One for slow speed connections, loads your mails in basic HTML and the other for the rest of the fast internet users.
Do your best be prepared for the worst!
You can do everything you can and still the visitor can abandon your page. There’s nothing you can do about it. So just pave an easy path for him, ready your content for him and then hope for the best. Marketing is a field of patience. Don’t lose yours. Next time you are designing a web page keep these innocent looking but bandwidth eating mistakes you could be making that can kill your optimization mercilessly if overlooked.
Suggestions, opinions, criticism, ideas… welcome.
About Dhara Gohil
"Love reading and writing is my passion.Mostly I write about technology and computers in general. I like search engines and experimenting with code. In my free time I take random strolls around my beautiful city and on a rainy day I immerse myself in movies music and the art of thinking "
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