I know I covered web page size a few times but I thought a few more things to say. Web page Load times are very important especially for WordPress blogs. Many people are switching to dial up or switching to lower speed broadband to save money. AT&T offers a 750k service for $20 a month now. Even if that were not the case I know everybody has dealt with slow web page load times on their expensive high speed connections. If you have a cable modem you are sharing an Internet connection with your whole street probably. Not to mention many people share an Internet connection in their home. If you live with somebody that plays games and/or downloads movies and music you have seen slow web page load times. Even if Google analytics is showing you 5% dial up users that does not mean you donâ€™t have to worry about slow web page load times.
The problem is that many websites are built on top of some CMS or shopping cart. It may be impossible for some people to make these changes. The advice I give is that if your website is doing well and making you money it is worth the investment to redo the site so that it loads faster. If your just starting out or already invested a lot into a website it may not be worth the extra expense. Slow web page load times will not kill your site I’m just talking about how to make your site better. If your running a business you should always be looking for little ways to squeeze out more profit. I mentioned in a previous post on this subject that Google Maps reduced their page size by 30% and traffic went up 30%. I have also read that you have anywhere from 3 to 5 seconds to convince people to not to hit the back button. If your content does not load very fast you will lose sales.
I just recently created a new site for a client and he decided he wanted to do PPC. I created a landing page for him. I still wanted the users to be able to see the rest of the site but I wanted to show a specific phone number to PPC visitors. I created some PHP code that gives a 10 year cookie to anybody who hits my PPC landing page. On every other page in my site I put in some code that checks for that cookie and gives then a PPC phone number if they find that cookie.
Code for PPC landing page. Must be very first thing on page.
setcookie("ppc", "this works", time()+60*60*24*365*10);
Code for every other page.
echo 'ppc info';
echo 'non ppc info';
You can use that code to display a different logo or image with phone number in it or special text. If you have your phone number all over the place I would put your phone numbers in different include files so that you can change them easily.
Code for include
Do you have a 404 strategy? Do you know what a 404 is? First off lets describe what a 404 is just in case you donâ€™t know. When somebody comes to your website using a URL that does not exist by default your server will just send the user a 404 error which shows your visitor a white page with huge letters that say â€śNOT FOUNDâ€ť. Most the time the person just hits the back button and moves on. The answer to the other question should be obvious.
Iâ€™m not going to get into the technical side of how to create a 404 page there are lots of blog posts and articles already out there. Iâ€™m going to talk about your strategy. What is your goal? Do you want to entertain, solve the problem, or act like nothing happened?
Here is a list of strategies that people use and the pros and cons of each.
1. Redirect all 404 traffic to the front page. This only slightly better than doing nothing. This confuses some people. They clicked on a specific link and they end up at your front page that may have nothing to do with what they clicked on.
2. Create a template page of your website and put a page not found message on that. With this method at least now they know that something went wrong but still does not help the person. They still canâ€™t find what they are looking for.
3. Create a custom 404 page with some logic that tries to guess what the person is looking for. I would also put a search box on this page as well. If part of the URL is correct like the folder you can have a specific 404 landing page with a list of things they might be looking for. Try to help the visitor find what they need.
4. Create some gimmick like a funny video, cartoon, or game. This can get you some attention and might get you some viral attention. Here are some examples.
Another benefit to using a custom 404 page is that you can put your analytics code on it. If you donâ€™t have a custom 404 page it will not show up in Google Analytics. You need to modify the tracking code on your 404 page so donâ€™t just use the normal footer. Here is a link to how to modify that code. It is very important to monitor your 404 errors. You can find where people have linked to you incorrectly. You can send them a message to fix it or 301 redirect it to the correct page.
I have a new site that our company is working on. I noticed that in google all of a sudden we have all of our pages listed in Google with very weird things added to our URLs.
I found out that this works on any IIS server. Even on www.microsoft.com. I have no idea what this is. I do know it is a bad thing for SEO and any site hosted on IIS needs to address this. This goes back to what I say about site architecture. Your site needs to have a URL policy set up and enforced. Nobody can go to any page unless that URL is already known to the site owner. This means no page can be access from 2 or more differnt urls. The site owner needs to redirect any rogue URL to the correct one and 404 anything you can’t predict. What this does is create duplicate content that the search engines do not like and can even hurt a sites rankings.
Why are so many web designers/developers still using tables? I see new website designs all the time and when I turn off CSS in Firefox very little changes. Most designers seem to think CSS is there to replace the font tag or make header tags look better. CSS1 has been around since 1996 and CSS2 has been around since 1998. Tables were never intended by the creators of HTML to control the layout of a web page.
Using tables to control the layout of a page shows a lack of professionalism. It also makes things a lot harder when you have to do a redesign or have to make changes. Using lots of tables makes very ugly code. When you use CSS your writers can very easily make changes and additions to the website. There is no reason the source code for a website should look like a C program. A non-web designer can write an entire website and hand it over to a designer and the designer will not have to make hardly any changes to the copy with CSS.
There are many excuses why people donâ€™t use pure CSS. All of them come out of the fact that people are lazy and stuck in the past. The biggest excuse is that CSS is hard because IE does not follow the rules. The rules that IE donâ€™t follow are known and well documented and easy to avoid. Those who donâ€™t get with it and learn CSS will be left behind and struggling to find jobs like Pascal programmers or Windows NT server administrators.