Speed Up Your Web Site For More Sales

Written by Alvin Apple

Margaret spent a lot of time and money to get her web site just right. The big photo of a professional at work beckoned visitors to stay and learn how they, too, could be as successful.

Links to her main pages flashed when a vistor's mouse passed over them. She even featured a classy animated mailbox atrepparttar bottom ofrepparttar 134827 page to encourage visitors to send her email.

But something went wrong. When Margaret checked her web site visitor statistics after one week, she noticed most people clicked to her site, then clicked away after just a few seconds. No sales.

Like many sites, Margaret's takes too long to load. The very graphics and programming tricks that seem so exciting are loading at a snail's pace onrepparttar 134828 dial-up connections 85 percent of her customers have.

For a while there I thought all we needed to do was wait for a few months and most North American's would have fast cable or DSL hook-ups. Evenrepparttar 134829 fanciest sites crammed with eye-popping graphics would download in a breath.

But Wall Street's telecom melt-down has all but sealed our fat- pipes fate. It looks like most of us will be using dial-up to get on line for several more years if not another decade.

Here's what you need to do to get onrepparttar 134830 right side of this important trend:

Step 1. Start cutting. Right now you can't do better than to scale backrepparttar 134831 time it takes your site to load. Last year Zona Research estimated 40 percent of sales were lost due to customers who left a site early after waiting on slow web pages. That translates into $21 billion in lost sales.

If you've visitedrepparttar 134832 FedEx site lately to track a package, you may have noticed their pages come up much faster. Now pages download in less than two seconds. Big sites like FedEx have special server tricks up their sleeve, but some ofrepparttar 134833 time- cutting things they do will work for anyone.

Step 2. Reduce those graphics. FedEx tookrepparttar 134834 big jpeg file photo offrepparttar 134835 page and replaced with a much faster loading gif file graphic. Jpeg files, commonly used for photos, require thousands of colors. A gif file, used for drawings and simpler graphics, can be compressed to include only a few colors.

Think of your favorite cartoon character. Chances are he or she is created with a just a few colors, maybe as few as two. That translates into a graphic that downloads fast. A designer confided you can get killer graphics with just 16 colors.

Wouldn’t you like to be a Flasher too?

Written by Amanda

The most basic type of web page is a static one – a page that rests docilely within your browser window. It doesn’t do anything. You can view it, then hit your browser back button and go away again. This is notrepparttar sort of page one normally sets out to create (I hope), but rather a minor but important lesson in what to avoid. Web pages exist so thatrepparttar 134826 visitor can interact with them. There is an exciting quid pro quo between a site and its viewer that simply doesn’t exist in any other medium. It’s important to take advantage of that. So, what do you do? Well,repparttar 134827 simplest form of interactivity on a page is links to other pages, whether inrepparttar 134828 form of text or snazzy buttons of one sort or another. Another way to interact with a page is to fill out a form, which offers an exchange of information (again, unique torepparttar 134829 web, particularly in its sense of immediacy). Almost all web site hosts offer scripting support of some sort, and there are also sites that exist to dorepparttar 134830 fetch and carry work for you. Interactivity is whatrepparttar 134831 web is all about – a designer’s quest may be seen to be a Zen like goal to make a site one withrepparttar 134832 person visiting it. Very cool. Butrepparttar 134833 palette of surfers out there has been increasingly jaded as one whiz bang notion after another has hitrepparttar 134834 web and shaken and painted over its HTML foundations. Never lose sight ofrepparttar 134835 idea that what your site looks like is perhapsrepparttar 134836 most important part of your web presence. What you say and how you say it are what keeps people coming back, but how you present it is what gets them interested inrepparttar 134837 first place. And since a form is a form is a form (to paraphrase a writer a lot better known than me) there comes a time when you must augment your toolbox in order to create a souped up model. That’s where Flash comes in – it combinesrepparttar 134838 necessary strengths of interactivity with powerful animation techniques. Very very cool.

Inrepparttar 134839 not-too-distant past, web based animations were almost doomed before they began due to their hefty file size trying to squeeze intorepparttar 134840 bandwidth available to it on its way from server to browser window. A scary but analogous idea might be to visualize a very large person trying to fit into a very small swimsuit. A lot gets left out. Animated GIF files, AVI and MOV files – all those are created with bitmap graphics, which basically means that each and every pixel of each and every frame must be downloaded & processed in order for it to display. Flash files, otoh, are vector based, which means that they are scalable (may be easily resized) and processed based uponrepparttar 134841 geometry withinrepparttar 134842 file – curves and lines, rather than dot1, dot2, dot3. It makes for a far more compact means of displaying animated graphics. Also, Flash files are open format – intrepid and fearless third party software developers can make their mark by utilizing Flash file technology. Macromedia,repparttar 134843 company that markets Flash, hasrepparttar 134844 file specifications available for downloading at their web site (http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/open/spec/).

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