If you're like most business people, then you probably haven't "surfed" your own web site lately in its entirety. However, as things change, and links can become out of date, perhaps now would be a good time to give your site a checkup?

The best way to experience what your visitors are seeing is to clear your Internet Browser's "Temporary Files" (cache) first, so that you're not accessing the site's components any faster than anyone else is.

With Internet Explorer, this is simply a matter of choosing the "Tools Menu" and then "Internet Options" and finally "Delete Files" from the "Temporary Internet Files" section.

Once you've done so, now "visit" your site and be sure to load each page and check every link - sometimes they're "broken" and at other times they no longer lead where you might think.

During your tour, be sure to pay close attention to how long the pages take to load, and whether your graphics are large enough to be useful, while being small enough to load quickly without overwhelming the aesthetics of your pages.

Using excessively sized graphics, and using too many of them, are two of the most common mistakes many web site owners make.

From a functionality standpoint, you should consider whether all of the information you're providing is truly easy to find. Ideally, every page on your site should be accessible with no more than two mouse clicks from your home page.

Another special consideration is to evaluate how you're providing links on your site. You've probably put a great deal of money and effort into creating your site, so providing visitors with an "off ramp" may not be in your best interest.

Offering too many links away from your site is another common mistake made by many site owners. I'd suggest removing any links that you don't truly believe to be necessary to accomplish your goals.

Additionally, provide basic links that redirect your visitors to another site. Instead, take advantage of the "target=top" command to open links into a new "window" while keeping your site still active in the original window.

The HTML for this little trick is quite simple. For example, to provide a standard link to my web site you would use the following:

<a href="">

However, to create a link to my site that opens in a new window, you would simply modify the HTML as follows:

<a href= target=new>

The simple addition of the "target=new" to your HTML will help keep your hard earned web traffic on your own site.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale