Speed up Your Web Site and Increase Sales

    June 12, 2003

Your web site’s loading speed has a significant impact on your visitors’ loyalty. A slow web site will cost you sales. Most visitors won’t wait more than10 seconds for your web pages to load. Apply these techniques to speed up your pages, keep potential buyers at your site, and increase sales.

Six tips to speed up your web pages :

1. Give viewers something to read as quickly as possible.

2. Provide a lot of graphics or images only if you know your audience has fast Internet connections. (Your load time will vary depending on your visitors’ access speed.)

3. If you’re targeting the general public, avoid large and unnecessary graphics, animated graphics, sound, movies, Flash animation, and large banners — especially on your home page. (Graphics slow your web pages down considerably.)

4. Use graphics and images that support your sales message and illustrate the benefits of your products or services.

5. Keep your pages short. Split up long pages into several pages. Breaking up pages into several pages also allows you to track which pages potential buyers go to.

6. Avoid links to slow-loading pages.

Visitors like pictures without sacrificing speed. Apply these tips to optimize your images.

– Keep images and graphics as small as possible, both in dimensions and file size. The larger the file size, the longer the images take to download. – Don’t make visitors wait for images they’re not interested in. If you want to illustrate your products with large images, provide thumbnails (small graphics), and let visitors decide if they want to click on them to view larger images that take time to download. Mention the download time. – Crop images (cut off extra areas around the images). – Keep the resolution of your images to 72 dpi, the maximum resolution a computer monitor can read. – Reduce your file size by saving images in the proper graphic format (GIF or JPEG). – Reduce the number of colors. Use solid colors rather than gradients. The more color in an image, the bigger the file size is, and the more time it takes to download.

Graphic Resource: Paint Shop Pro is a popular, inexpensive graphic program to design and edit your images. You can download a trial version at http://www.jasc.com.

Studies indicate that billions of dollars in online sales may be lost each year in the U.S. due to unacceptable download speeds. Don’t lose sales with a slow web site. Apply these techniques now! If you need assistance implementing any of these strategies, turn to your professional web designer and ask for help instead of wasting your valuable time.

This article is excerpted from Inside Secrets to Developing a Profitable Web Site. Visit http://www.profitablewebstrategies.com/ebook.htm for more info.

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