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Understanding the Importance of Speed for Websites

Webfoot Website SpeedWhen it comes to you having your website it is one thing wanting something that is amazing to look at and capable of providing all of the information that you have deemed to be relevant, but there is something else that is perhaps even more important than the way it looks. That thing is the speed of the website and we are going to look at the reasons as to why this is so important.

The one thing that you can generally say about us humans is that we are often not the most patient species on the planet. We want things to happen now and to not sit around and wait for it as we get bored, irritated, and simply storm off and go elsewhere or do something different. Now, this also applies to websites and, to be honest, the problem is actually worse with websites than it is generally going to be elsewhere.

But why is it like this?

The problem is that we always feel that we are so busy that we hate to waste time. Also, we are aware that there are a number of websites out there for whatever it is that we are searching for that there is no reason for us to just be stuck on the one site as there are other options available. In other words, we hate the very idea of effectively being held captive by a website while we wait for it to load.

So, what is the outcome? Well, it has been shown in studies that if we do not see real progress being made with a website loading in a matter of seconds then we are very likely to just click off and go elsewhere. As a website owner that is going to result in you effectively having people just bouncing off your domain name and of course in this kind of situation you are not exactly going to be able to get the results that you expected from your site.

Overall this is going to have a profound impact on your bottom line and your business is going to suffer from a marketing and monetary perspective and that is hardly something that you want to have happening on a regular basis.

Often, the problem with load times is that people want to have this huge and elaborate website with all of the fancy bells and whistles as they mistakenly think that this is what people are looking for. They want the wow factor when somebody lands on their site, but what is the point in having the wow factor if it takes forever to load and nobody then sees it?

That in itself just does not make sense and it is clear that there has to be a balance between effective design and a short loading period.

This speed issue is a massive problem. In actual fact, the way in which we are now using our smartphones or tablets to access the Internet has only made matters worse. A study showed that as many as 73% of smartphone users have complained about the slow loading speed of websites and, as a result, they simply navigate away.

Now, imagine almost 3 out of every 4 people that load your URL not even bothering to wait for the page to load as it is just taking too long. How is that going to affect your business?

So, what do you do?

Well, the answer is actually easier than you think and it is all back to that key part, the website. You have to get honest and real with yourself and accept that having all of those fancy things is not all that it is cracked up to be. People are more interested in what you are trying to tell them and the information that they are looking for rather than whether or not some cool little gadget flies in on a spaceship and lands on a sunflower before the page opens up or some other crazy stuff like that.

Do yourself a favor and focus on the content. Focus on the navigation and making sure that all of the information that is relevant about your website is on there and is accessible. It is that information that is going to make your business and website a success and nothing else. It is not the cool design that takes an eternity to load.

All that we are saying here is that you need to put some more time and effort into thinking about the actual design and how it is going to work from a practical point of view. Also, you want to listen to your designer and if they say that something is going to be too heavy and take forever to load, then accept that this is going to be the case and take a different route instead.

Websites should be useful, informative, and still look good. They should not load slowly or else there is no point in having them.

2015 – Top 5 Widgets For Your Website

2015 - 5 Widgets For Your WebsiteNow that we have moved into 2015 it is a good time to go ahead and look at what we can expect to become popular, or absolute must haves for your website. Looking at design features is one thing, but there has been a real movement towards using widgets in websites in recent times. This is a trend that is anticipated to only gain more momentum over the next 12 months, so it is a good idea to check out the top widgets for 2015. Here are our top five.

1. Marketing By Email

It is widely accepted that marketing via an email list is going to give you a far higher return on your investment than pretty much every other form of marketing out there. However, the hard part is staying on top of your email list, including your contacts, but help is at hand with a number of extremely useful widgets.

The most popular ones out there just now come from companies such as MailChimp and Ininbox and they just make life so much easier on the back-end section of your email marketing. Basically, by using one of their widgets you will be able to take advantage of templates for your very own email newsletters, find it easier to manage your contacts, send out emails via automation, and a whole host of other cool features that just makes life easier. Thanks to this widget you should see an upturn in the success of your email marketing.

2. Booking Appointments

If you have a business where appointments need to be booked, then offering this option via your website is certainly something that will be appreciated by your clients. This widget shows the dates and times available and they can then go ahead and arrange it to suit themselves and it is all done in real time.

The idea behind this widget is that it does vastly improve your customer service and it also allows your staff to get on with serving customers rather than being stuck on the phone all of the time. It is also surprising who can utilize this particular widget as it is certainly very helpful when trying to organize your schedule.

3. Analytics And Search Widget

A big thing now is having a better understanding as to how well your website is doing via analytics and there are widgets out there that can provide you with all kinds of up to the minute data. One widget that should be of interest is called eClincher as that not only tells you about your website, but also allows you to deal with all of your social media accounts from one single dashboard.

This is going to make your life a whole lot easier, but we also mentioned a search widget as more and more people want to search for specific information on your website rather than read everything   that is on there. Swiftype is one example of a widget that allows you to add a search function to your site and you should see an increase in the time people spend on your site as they explore more of what you have to offer.

4. Slideshows

Slideshows are making a huge comeback in 2015 and there are a whole host of widgets out there that will allow you to have various shows all over your website. This is a great way to showcase products you sell or work that you have previously done as it is still accepted that we love visuals rather than just a lot of text on a website. However, one cool trick is to make sure that you can link it to photos that you have on image sharing websites or social media and Photosnack is one such widget. This will result in you being able to take photographs on your cell phone and upload to Flickr or Facebook and it will also then appear directly on your website.

5. Floating Social Media Buttons

Everybody already understands the importance of social media for an online business as it does increase awareness of a brand and makes direct marketing so much easier. However, previously it was a case of links to social media accounts being stuck in the corner of a website and the result was that a lot of people did not even see those buttons. Of course this is a bit of a disaster from a marketing point of view, but that has now changed with floating social media buttons.

This widget will have all of those logos linking to the likes of Twitter etc floating on your page as people scroll up and down. It sites at the side so as not to impede them and annoy them, but you will see a real increase in the number of people that then click through and subscribe or join your page.

There are of course a number of seriously cool widgets out there just waiting to be added to your website and the ones that work best for you does depend on what you hope to achieve from your site. However, the one thing that is clear is that we all need to look more at widgets and what they can do as there is no doubt that they do improve the experience that people have on your website.