Does Your Web Site Need A Tune Up?

Written By: Bill Daugherty

Your web site may contain flaws or glitches
that are driving your visitors away! Such a
thought is enough to give the most laid back
webmaster a migraine. How can you uncover
and fix any problem areas that may be lurking
in the dark recesses of your site? Relax gentle
readers, there is a simple answer.

All you have to do is follow a few basic
guidelines that all web sites should adhere
to and you can be assured that your site is
in tip-top shape. It’s not unlike giving your
automobile a little tuneup.

1 – Slow Loading Pages

Nothing drives a visitor away faster than
having to wait around for a web page to
load. Most experts will tell you that 8 seconds
is the maximum load time for your pages, and
anything slower needs some attention. But,
this doesn’t take into account the visitor’s
modem speed. Here are the results from
a load time check I had conducted recently
on the first page of one of my sites.


This diagnostic checks how fast your page
loads up under 6 common modem speeds.

Connect Rate Connect Time
————– —————
14.4K 10.12 seconds
28.8K 6.05 seconds
33.6K 5.34 seconds
56K 4.41 seconds
ISDN 128K 2.04 seconds
T1 1.44Mpbs 1.00 seconds


I have included these results so you can
see the difference in load time for various
modem speeds and use it as a guide
instead of the 8 second benchmark you
are often given. Please note that the page
tested has very few graphics. A page with
more graphics will load slower, but may
still load in an acceptable time.

Slow load time is usually caused by either
too many graphics or by graphics that are
too “fat.” You can have those “fat” graphics
optimized by an experienced HTML
programmer. If your problem is too many
graphics, you need to eliminate a few.

2 – Typos and Spelling

Typos and misspelled words can severely
undermine an otherwise great site. Check
and recheck every page for these errors.

3 – Navigation

Broken or missing links are all too common
on many sites I visit. So, double-check all
your links and make sure they are functioning
properly. Those 404 messages are a big-time
turnoff, plus it means part of your site is

If you have a lot of links on a page, arrange
them in neat rows with uniform spacing
between each.

It is critical to have all links clearly identified.

4 – Design

Your color choices are a matter of personal
taste. But try to avoid using too many colors.
This can give your site a carnival-like effect
that leaves your visitors tired and dizzy. As
a general rule you shouldn’t use more than
four colors.

Too many different fonts on a page can also
have a negative effect on your design. When
I look at a page that somehow just doesn’t
look quite right, but I can’t put my finger on
the problem, it usually turns out to be the

Animation is great, but too much movement
is distracting.

Don’t load your pages with too many banners.
One or two at the top or bottom should be the

This concludes your web site’s tune up.
These guidelines are by no means an
exhaustive list of all the problems and
errors that can plague a web site. But,
it is an effective checklist of the more
common flaws, and it will serve to greatly
improve the performance of any web site.

About the Author

Bill Daugherty is editor and publisher of the
marketing and advertising ezine “E-Power
Marketing.” Visit his site and subscribe at:
Visit Bill”s latest project at:
To contact Bill mailto:bill@epower.zzn.com

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