PRO Website Management : Personal - Reliable -  Original
How to Keep People Away From Your Website - part 1

Having a problem getting visitors to your website and keeping them there? Here are a few things you may be doing.

[sarcasm] Visitors to your site are willing to spend at least 5 minutes waiting for all your graphics to load. [/sarcasm]

You have to remember that not everybody has fast internet access. People with modems might not consider it worth their time to wait for 20-30 images to load. Make sure that your images are all optimized to be as small as possible in size. I was at a site recently, where I thought the server was really slow at loading images. Well, it was actually trying to load a 900kb bmp image! An image like that with a graphics editor could be reduced to much less than 100kb.

[sarcasm] An Under Construction Website gives your visitors the impression that you are hard at work on the website. [/sarcasm]

When I first set up a small homepage in Geocities back in about '96, I thought it was cute to put "This Homepage is Under Construction". It wasn't much of a problem, considering it was a personal site, and the year was 1996. Nowadays, something like that is an immediate turn-away for people. They don't want to check out an 'Under Construction' website. Why waste their time when they don't know what links might be dead or not?

[sarcasm] Counters are a great way to inform people that they are visitor number 000039! [/sarcasm]

Counters were popular a few years ago. Counters are still used on some personal homepages, but should never be used on a business website that wants to look professional. Either your visitor will think that you receive very few visitors, in which case.. why should I be here? Or, the numbers will be high, and most visitors will scoff at the numbers. If you are going to use counters, make them invisible.

[sarcasm] Yes, you want everybody to know that you haven't updated your website in at least 3 weeks or more! [/sarcasm]

Suppose you go on vacation. People won't know that you are on vacation, they'll just think that you aren't doing anything with the website. Unless you update your website every day, don't tell your visitors.

[sarcasm] There is nothing quite like a loud blaring Midi that blasts you out of your chair in shock. [/sarcasm]

Unless your purpose is to scare people, or it's a personal website, avoid all Midi files. Remember some people are using computers in public places, and although a person may have headphones, a Midi file can be quite annoying.

On one occasion, I fell out of my chair. I hadn't noticed that my speakers had gotten turned up, way up. I had some humor page open up, and *BAM* this loud cheesy music started playing. But for a few seconds, it didn't sound like loud cheesy music. It sounded like a farm full of pigs being attacked by dinosaurs.

Please, for the health of your visitors, avoid Midi files. If you are totally set on using Midi files on your website, then have the decency of giving people a way to turn it off.

About the author

Jonathan Harbaugh is the webmaster
of PRO Website Management.

His latest free ebook, Website Traffic Demolition, is
based on these articles, which you can find at:

He also offers a free biweekly newsletter called
Awesome Solutions For Webmasters.

This article was first published in Awesome Solutions For Webmasters, in issue 4. You can read the issue here.

PRO Website Management is Copyright 2001-2003. All Rights Reserved by Jonathan Harbaugh. webmaster[at]prowebsitemanagement[dot]com