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Re: Slow page load for dial up users

__/ [DiversityTech@xxxxxxxxx] on Wednesday 23 November 2005 15:31 \__

> I've got a site with some features that might be slow to load for dial
> up users (only about 7-10% of visitors), but I want to make it
> accessible to as wide an audience as possible.


You might find the following Web-based tool handy:

http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/


> Several visitors - now clients - with faster connections have
> complemented the aesthetics, noting that it set us apart from the
> competition, so I'm hesitant to dumb it down.


Attractive-looking pages are the key to enticing visitors who will return.
Having  said  that, heavy pages deter users with slow connection  and  may
lead  people to hate you (your site rather). The secret is to compress  as
much  as  possible (bearing browser support in mind) and using CSS  to  do
tricks  that otherwise require unnecessary graphics (i.e. bandwidth).  See
http://meyerweb.com , for example.


> The easiest option I can think of is to redirect dial up users to a
> simpler page with same/similar information on our services.


You  could  give a choice as an opening page. Do not re-direct  without  a
warning.  "Your  connection is not good enough for our /real/ page"  is  a
poor  excuse, which can make matters even worse. Flash and "No Flash  ver-
sion"  is  a different situation where taste, compatibility  and  patience
play an important role.


> Any suggestions on how this can be done without creating duplicate
> pages that will be frowned upon by G? A redirect in the header with a
> no follow tag?


Do  not  misuse the rel="nofollow" option. It might not lead to  penalties
yet, but it gets used where it mustn't. In my humble opinion, action might
be taken against it in the future.

How  about  building the site with rich CSS (if it is not already so)  and
then  using  different  layouts (styles), which the user can  select?  The
browser  cookie often 'remembers' which layout its user felt most comfort-
able with. There are also plenty of gains due to centralisation of content
and standards-based design. Think about PDA's too.

Hope it helps,

Roy

-- 
Roy S. Schestowitz      |    Useless fact: sheep outnumber people in NZ
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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