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Improve your website's speed, layout and useability
By speed we mean (1) how quickly does your website load; and (2) how quickly can people navigate your website and find the information they want; and (3) For people selling products, how quickly can you make the sale?
(1) How quickly does your website load
If you're just starting up a simple website my main concern would be your webhost. As long as you have a decent webhost, you should not have too much trouble. If pages start to get bigger than 5 to 10MB, then consider splitting things out on to separate pages, or at least make it clear to the user that something is loading and how long it is going to take.
(2) How quickly can people navigate your website and find the information they want
My advice here is to look at how other websites get people to navigate to pages. Links within content, picture links, links at top of page and down the sides are all necessities. Then you must decide on how to describe / summarise content to make things obvious to users.
Spend a bit of time navigating your website. Decide which content you want to navigate to, and see how easy it is to get there from the homepage, and any other pages which link to it. See how many different ways you can get there.
For product selling websites, it should only take someone less than two minutes to find the product they want from your homepage.
(3) For people selling products, how quickly can you make the sale?
Crucially, once someone has found the product they want, it should take less than 3 minutes for them to purchase the item. Keep details needed to be typed in to a minimum.
How to check your website works in different browsers for free:
You can use this great free service: Browser Shots
check out stats on who uses what browser on wikipedia
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