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Beautiful Web Sites Seldom Make More Sales
By: Vishal P. Rao
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    2005-05-13

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    Beautiful Web Sites Seldom Make More Sales


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    Designing an E-commerce Web site is not as simple as having a "pretty" site that is a pleasure to visit. While it is important to have an attractive site, as much thought must be given to functionality as to appearance.

    Many Web designers seem to focus more on appearance than functionality, and while an attractive site is helpful, visitors that become frustrated by the inability of a site to function well, will leave almost immediately, never to return!

    Just as important in designing an e-commerce-style Web site, is a somewhat basic knowledge of Web site design, with some simple design skills included. While a thorough knowledge of design and functionality is not important, designing an e-commerce site does have some requirements, or else you'll always find yourself going back relentlessly and changing the features and functionality in a vain effort to stay abreast of your site visitor's needs.

    E-commerce sites need to focus on some main areas of functionality in order to ensure maximum sales:

    1. Load time, page size, and navigability. Slowly loading pages, overly large or small pages, and difficult navigation will only frustrate visitors. Visitors should never have to "wait" for a page to load, should never have to scroll back and forth in order to read a page, nor should they have to "search" relentlessly for the information they want in order to purchase. Clean, simple lines, with fast loading, well laid out pages, make the most sales.

    Here's a great service to check your Web site load time:

    http://www.tracert.com/

    This one actually pings your Web site from different locations worldwide and returns the average load time for your site, instead of simply returning a theoretical value based on the size of your Web page.

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