Thursday, September 27, 2007

how to make your pages fit most visitors...?

Making your visitors navigate easily on your website is good to obtain the loyalty and more page views. Every web developer has to take care about the fluidity of navigation on his pages and enough flexibility to fit all users. That means fitting most used browsers and speed networks. So how can we make this task easier?

Pam Hoffman, one of our dearest readers asked previously in this blog:

Something I've been wondering for awhile - how many users are on what kind of machines?
My thinking is that you optimize your website for the majority of users on the most popular machine.
For example, if I wanted to add video to a blog post. Will it be viewable by the majority of visitors?

Well to answer that, let me explain that for such compability with your visitors, it's not the hardware that counts but the software. I mean if a visitor couldn't view your website content that is because of his browser capabilities: browser, Java support, flash versions, Operating system, Screen resolutions and Color bits.
Second, the speed network has an impact on his navigation ; if your putting a video in your homepage that will make the page more heavy and slower to show up. Nevertheless, streaming this video ( as youtube or google video) will take more time if he has a slow network. So he won't wait enough to play it.

For the notice, some statistics showed that more than 65% of Internet users still navigate with a connection between 28kb/s and 1 Mb/s. That means that the majority won't have enough time to open heavy pages and play video content. They will wait and wait then they will end up clicking the "X" button ! That doesn't mean not to post videos on your pages but do not exaggerate.
Here are some statistics about connection speed :
" CONNECTION SPEEDS Less than 14.4K bps 3% 28K bps 17% 33.6K bps 16% 56K bps 24% 56K - 1M bps 14% Greater than 1M bps 26% " source

1- Get to know your visitors..
You should have an idea what kind of software your visitors are using.. which browser,OS and can they run Java and flash with it. Than what are the connection speed do most of them have ( DSL, cable , 56k Dial up...). Then try to make your pages fit these criteria ; no heavy pages, no heavy Javascripts etc..

2-How can I get these information ?
As I previously posted, a good Web analytics tool will make all this job done.. I recommend Google analytics or Xiti.. Both of them give detailed statistics about your visitors.


Pam Hoffman said...

Thank you so much!

So, when I look at my Google Analytics (which doesn't always work on my machine either!) I should check out the browser my visitors are using and the connection they make to the internet and basically 'cater' to them. I remember seeing information like that there.

This is terrific! I thought it was more about the machine and the software they are running. I'm still on a Windows 98SE machine and I just can not see certain things.

It just happens to limit my browser capabilities - I can't load anything beyond IE6.0.

Maybe there is a better way to go. We're getting cable modem here which should be a plenty fast connection so that isn't the issue for me. I need to upgrade or get a better browser somehow then, correct??

Thanks again, I am lovin' this site for the great information!!

Pam Hoffman

Cassanova said...

Well i you're getting a new cable modem and the connection will be faster i think you should reconsider browsing with IE 6.0 ... Let me say straight : IE 6.0 sucks !!
it has a lot of security vulnerabilities, and compability problems with new javascripts.. I highly recommand Firefox.. I wrote an article about it :

check the label "navigators" in my blog you'll find a lot of things about it.