Download time: I came across a website for a rural Midwest manufacturer marketing saddle and blanket racks for horse owners. The website was very attractive, but it included some video that downloaded with the homepage. It took some time for this to occur even on my broadband connection, and I can imagine that some of the company’s audience would be on dial up in rural areas. Those folks would probably give up on the home page load and order a saddle rack someplace else.
If you want to incorporate video, animation, or other large files in your website, make sure that you structure the website to operate without them and give visitors the option of downloading. That way, your customers using dial-up connections can still use your website.
Layout: Try to make your website easy to read and easy to navigate. A really great guest ranch I know has a business website that is incredibly busy with 26 primary navigation links scattered all over the home page, animated horses running across the page, and a background foliage scene that would give you a headache. A serious effort in condensing the links, removing the distracting animation, and removing the multicolored background would make the site much easier and more pleasant to use. Using the latest version of Firefox, I couldn’t even view the homepage without installing plugins — you don’t want to force visitors to your site to install software just to see your homepage.
I would be happy to review your website and offer any suggestions that might help. Please use the contact form to send me an email and I’ll respond within 24 hours.
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