Written by Bob McElwain

Slow loading pages are site killers. Splash screens as well. Most webmasters appear to know such things. And most know better than to demandrepparttar download of some plug in to view their site. Still, many are breaking other rules as if unaware even of their existence. The cost in doing so is incalculable, as it amounts to what visitors might have bought had they lingered for a time.

I findrepparttar 134819 following rules broken routinely. And it continues to puzzle me. It is difficult to believe anybody who has put together a website is unaware of these rules. If they are aware of them, and break them, this makes even less sense. Whateverrepparttar 134820 case, here they are.

What's In This For Me?

When a visitor hits your site, there is no thought of you, your site, or how hard you worked to put it all together. All that matters isrepparttar 134821 above question. And you have only a few seconds in which to answer it to your visitor's satisfaction.

So what's withrepparttar 134822 giant logo up top that fills halfrepparttar 134823 first screen? Or that blinding, bright red slogan sprawled acrossrepparttar 134824 width ofrepparttar 134825 page? What's with that blue and purple thing torepparttar 134826 right whirling like crazy?

Such things to do not answer your visitor's question. In fact they sendrepparttar 134827 mouse cursor scurrying to hover over repparttar 134828 Back button.

About Table Width

One that's becoming a favorite of mine is ...

This site is best viewed with your browser window adjusted to 800 x 600 pixels.

Hey, if I've got a horizontal scroll bar, I know this is so. Why waste valuable space belaboringrepparttar 134829 obvious? And if you think I'm going to readjust my window dimensions to accommodate you, you're out of your mind.

And what about those WebTV viewers? 12 million, maybe. What are they supposed to adjust? And of those 24 million AOL members who userepparttar 134830 AOL browser, what magic button do they press to increaserepparttar 134831 maximum of 585 pixels to your "desired" setting?

As recently as January, 2001, TheCounter.Com reported 7% of surfers are still using 640 pixel monitors. Do you expect these people to try a hammer or something?

Your site is not about you or what you want. It's all about your visitors and what they want. Provided you want to sell, that is.

A Fast, Easy Read Is What It's All About

While other factors of your website matter a great deal, nothing matters more that providing pages that are quick and easy to read. Picture a fellow standing in a crowded subway car, bumped and joggled this way and that, trying to readrepparttar 134832 evening paper. How much patience does he have with copy difficult to follow?

The same is true of your visitors. Can you draw them past your headline? Do your sub-headings grab attention? Will one of them slow your visitor long enough to start reading that body copy you so laboriously crafted?

If they do, they won't stay long with line lengths greater than 65 characters. Give me five bucks for every site I've seen bust this rule, and I can afford to takerepparttar 134833 next couple of years off!

New Happenings Don't Change Old Rules

Sure,repparttar 134834 Web is new. But some things don't change. Parents and teachers have been searching frantically for over a hundred years for better ways to teach kids how to read. Why? Becauserepparttar 134835 better kids read,repparttar 134836 better they do in school. Droprepparttar 134837 accumulated research intorepparttar 134838 lake of your choice and watchrepparttar 134839 water level rise ominously.

Making pages attractive to both visitors and search engines!

Written by Bill Quimby

We all put keywords inrepparttar title and thenrepparttar 134818 meta tags, but we often forget or skiprepparttar 134819 next most important place, in a headline


. We know that they are important but we try to design attractive pages and use nice graphics that look better and can't work in a good way to use big headlines reasonably.

Well, I'll let you in on a valuable secret. Big headlines don't actually have to be as big as you might think. There are two parts to this trick. The first is to shrinkrepparttar 134820 size of your big headline by usingrepparttar 134821 font tags insiderepparttar 134822 headline. Don't shrinkrepparttar 134823 entire headline, but put one character (I've been using a period) betweenrepparttar 134824

andrepparttar 134825 and I also only shrink it to 2 instead of 1. That makes it harder for a clever search engine to catch, since I suspect that they may penalize or ignore size 1words.

The code looks like this

.Keywords, Keywords.

You can see how it fits in and looks good on a page at It makes a really nice caption or tag line to a graphic like this and looks important to a search engine. I recommend using as much ofrepparttar 134826 same things you put in your title and meta tags as possible.

You can take this trick one step further by combining it with another clever trick. The

should berepparttar 134827 first words onrepparttar 134828 page, so put them as high up in your code as possible. And if you have more than one screen height in content on a page you can hiderepparttar 134829 headline even further, by pushing it offrepparttar 134830 top ofrepparttar 134831 visitors screen.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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