Your web site should avoid anything that can break

Users of your web site are less likely to return if your site breaks or doesn’t work properly. People get frustrated by slow loading, by the addition of technologies that work only in certain circumstances or where your web site is simply too technologically “clever”.

The latest “gadget survey” by Pew Internet shows that there is quite a bit of potential for annoyance with your web site anyway…! Almost half of all people surveyed claim that they have lost their Internet connection at some stage in the last month. Apart from that being an appalling reflection of the state of the ISP industry, it also suggests that your web site could appear faulty when, in fact, it is not.

You make it more likely that your site will be broken by poor connections if you have loads of pictures, videos and other items that have high volumes of data. Always make sure your pictures are the smallest size possible. Use the “GIF Bot” service of NetMechanic to shrink your image files, for example.

If you have shopping carts or other “add-on” services, test them and test them again to be sure they cannot break or cause problems. Similarly, if you have forms – make sure they work.

In other words, given that half the people online who visit your web site are already annoyed by computer failure and Internet connection glitches, don’t add to their burden by having a site that also falls over..! You will only make it likely they’ll take it out on you and your site – their computer problem or Internet connection problem could well be blamed (inaccurately) on your site – so don’t give people the chance to put your site “in the frame” for computer problems.

As ever, simplicity works. Avoiding the “latest” trends and fashionable web site items could well do your reputation more good than the harm of not having them.

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