Quantcast

Web Template Designs: FAT vs. PHAT

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
[ Technology]

Have you found a web template that is just exactly what you wanted and you just know that if you buy it and use it on your site, that your web site visitors will be in complete awe of your phat website and will come back regularly just because they like how it looks?

Think again. Investigate and be acutely aware of just exactly what phat means in the case of web templates that rely on fancy FAT graphics to lure their customers into buying.

For those who are not familiar with the term “phat”, it is a trendy, street slang word used today to describe something that is sweet, hot, cool, and kick-*ss. But appearances can be deceiving, and you could very likely be hurting your web site traffic and sales as well as increasing your design time and maintenance headaches if you purchase a template you thought was phat but turns out to be FAT. (FAT is this case describes a template that is overweight with excess graphics or Flash movies that has no significant purpose and search engine indexing spiders often skip over.)

Before you purchase a web template that has a great deal of graphics, contact the designer and ask them to quote you the page weight and load time on a 33.6 bps (33,600 bites per second) Internet connection, if they have not already stated these important and critical facts. If they don’t know or refuse to tell you, do not buy a web template from them. Often times it is what they do not say rather than what they do.

Many people have faster connections than 33.6 bps, but be aware that many more do not and will not for a very long time. My own dialup speed on a 56K modem is actually 24K (24,000 bps) on a good day (when ants don’t cross it and birds don’t clench it in their feet to tightly) and this is with the better phone line I pay full price every month to Verizon. Hmmm …

My secondary phone line which I also pay Verizon monthly at full price (Hmmm … Just why am I paying full price for less than half the service?) gets an 18K (18,000 bps) connection most of the time. Sorry about my luck, right?

Think again. Although high speed internet access is finally being recognized as a must have for ISPs to offer their customers, many-many-many Internet users will not have that option available to them for a long-long time. I’m told that research is being done to provide a second Internet, World Wide Web 2 (yes, it’s certainly true) with fiber optic technology which means connectivity at the speed of light. I have also read that research is being conducted with electric grid internet access. Imagine plugging your laptop into an electrical wall socket and having an immediate Internet connection at the speed of electrical current. This may all sound very exciting, I know. But sadly it is many years away. The WWW2 (World Wide Web 2) is being tested now but is not expected to be made available to a wider group of “testers” for at least another five years.

Satellite access would seem to be the answer for the folks who cannot receive high speed access, right? Wrong. It’s way too expensive right now for the average Joe, and it has more problems with DNS connectivity errors, firewall hiccups and upload speeds than the satellite companies would like you to know. (I can get faster uploads with my 18K dialup account!) I love the commercials though. The cute, bubbly red-head hired by Direcway does an excellent job acting in their television commercials. She gets an A+ for her Acting Abilities, but an F for “False” advertising.

The point of this article is not to bash Direcway or Verizon nor any other ISP or telephone service. My point is to illustrate that the majority of people in this world cannot get high speed internet access. In many countries, many people are still paying by the minute for s-l-o-w dialup access, and I’m relatively sure they will not want to pay for two minutes of access just to wait for excess graphics or a flash movie to load that has no significant purpose. They will NOT return to your site no matter how PHAT it looks. Because they found out your site was actually FAT and not PHAT.

Recently I visited one of the FAT web template designer’s site from a client’s home to prove to her that PHAT in their designs meant FAT. Her dialup (believe it or not) connected at 14K (14,000 bps) on a 56K modem. She would like to personally thank Verizon for all their help over the last two years. After approximately 15 phone line repair calls to them they were actually able to raise her 10K connection to 14K and she only gets disconnected an average of three times during the evening when she’s online! Verizon is required by law to provide a minimum of 14K even though they charge her the full-price as they would someone with a newer phone line or who is located closer to their office mainframe who gets a 52K connection. Hmmm … {scratching my head}.

Approximately 10 seconds after arriving at the FAT web template designer’s site, the first thing we noticed was a message in the status bar that read … “92 items remaining”. Argh! This meant that 92 *more* graphics needed to load before we could view the page. I thought I was going to have to find the smelling salts as poor Janet (my client) nearly fainted at the thought and was instantly non-impressed even though the designer’s site was colorful and pleasing to the eye 96 seconds later when it finished loading. After the site completely loaded, Janet noticed immediately that the web templates they were selling seemed to more graphic intensive then their site.

The sad thing is Janet is not alone in her dream for a higher internet speed. But until that day arrives Janet and folks like her will not visit these type sites that are excessively graphic oriented including the unsuspecting customers to whom these designers are selling their FAT web templates.

Another thing Janet noticed about the site and the templates they offered was that their graphic intensive designs as pretty and as colorful as they may be, left little room for page content (text). A web template may look lovely, colorful and exciting, but if the design leaves little room for text, your visitors will have to click too deeply to get at the information which is why they initially came to your site. When visitors have to click too deeply to access the information they need, they will give up and leave.

So the next time you see a colorful, graphic intensive web template design, first think about who will be visiting the site you will be using the template on. If the majority of your web site visitors will not have high speed internet access, you will be better off finding a design that is not as graphic intensive.

If the template designer does not state page weight and estimated page load time, ask them to provide this critical information.

If you simply cannot live without this colorfully FAT template, but by all means monitor your site’s traffic if you use it. If you discover that your site visitors are not clicking through more than one or two pages, find a new design quickly before you lose more valuable web site visitors and potential sales.

Click here to sign up for FREE Tech. newsletters from iEntry!

BasicTemplates.com designs Website Templates with External CSS and has been providing webmasters worldwide with affordable template designs since 1994. BasicTemplates currently offers 650+ designs which may be purchased individually or get complete access to all templates via an affordable membership plan. Most templates were strategically designed with interchangeable graphics and elements to increase the potential number of design layouts for the end user. Each layout utilizes an external style sheet for easy site maintenance and to ensure fast page load.

Web Template Designs: FAT vs. PHAT
Comments Off
About BasicTemplates
BasicTemplates.com designs Website Templates with External CSS and has been providing webmasters worldwide with affordable template designs since 1994. BasicTemplates currently offers 650+ designs which may be purchased individually or get complete access to all templates via an affordable membership plan. Most templates were strategically designed with interchangeable graphics and elements to increase the potential number of design layouts for the end user. Each layout utilizes an external style sheet for easy site maintenance and to ensure fast page load. WebProNews Writer
Top Rated White Papers and Resources

Comments are closed.

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom