Perhaps you’ve spent lots of time and money on your web site design, incorporating lots of great graphics, maybe some interesting flash animation. But take a look at your web site visitor statistics. Are visitors clicking on your site and then clicking away after just a few seconds?
If they are, your site may simply be taking too long to load. It’s a common problem occurring with many web sites. The same exciting graphics and programming and design tricks can cause your pages to load very slowly, particularly for those with dial-up connections. Though you may have a high-speed connection, a lot of people out there still use dial-up.
Quick download times are essential regardless of whether you’re marketing medical practices or any other business. According to Zona Research, some 40% of sales were lost last year when customers made speedy departures from websites taking too long to load. The following are quick and easy ways to help you quicken your site’s load times:
- Trim The Fat. Start cutting anything that isn’t essential. This includes graphics and other page elements. Even paring down some of your content can help. Content-rich sites are great, but a lot of very long copy can slow down your site. Ideally, your homepage should be around 300 words, while your interior pages can be longer.
- Limit Your Graphics. Limit your use of overly large graphics or too many graphics. You should also optimize your images for quick load times.
- Repeat Your Graphics. When possible, try to use some of the same graphics, repeating them on multiple pages. Once a graphic has loaded on one page, it doesn’t need to load every time it’s repeated.
- Limit Your Use of Java. Java code can seriously slow down load times. For instance, three different graphics are required for those Java enabled links which change in appearance when a mouse is moved over them. It’s better to use non-Java links, and you should also consider getting rid of Java scrolling headlines.
- Minimize Your Links. Cutting down on the amount of links you have on a given page can help to decrease your download times. Ideally, it’s best to keep your links to ten or less.