Practical Techie: Enormity of the web requires lightweight design
Like a fast and agile athlete, keeping internet business pages running fat-free, stringy, and lean is a must. The colossal nature of the web forces commerce portals to do constant liposuction to superfluous, distractive content. Make pages quick to download, easy to navigate, and be user-friendly.
CRUNCH – There are 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide in 2021, a whopping 59.5% of the global population. Of this total, 92.6% (4.32 billion) accessed the internet via mobile devices and millions bought merchandise or services via the mobile devices. Revenue from e-commerce in the United States amounted to $431.6 billion in 2020. The Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates that by 2025, revenue will increase to 563.4 billion dollars. Worldwide, retail e-commerce sales amounted to $4.28 trillion and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to $5.4 trillion in 2022.
Who turns away more than a 100 million virtual customers at the door of a digital business? The only problem would be physical space to accommodate them, but the Internet has plenty of dimensions. What there is never enough of is bandwidth, or the speed of moving content from one place to another in the vast cybernetic cosmos.
Experts estimate that more than 150 million people use the internet every day to search for some type of service or product. At least, 85% of this search is done through “search engines” or data trackers, which have multiplied in cyberspace as they were rabbits.
Thus, given their usefulness and intense use, data engines are today the main tool for small entrepreneurs to bring visitors to their pages. And this use of search engines and browsers is open source. In other words, free.
BROWSING — Two forces drive this cybernetic business dynamic: market globality and low cost of digital access, or connectivity.
Since the internet makes everything global, there are no longer any local stores, physical or virtual because most are interconnected to users. If a business is placed on the Web, it goes international immediately. People from all continents and islands can enter the business portal throughout all the time zones, 24 hours a day. The web never sleeps.
The important thing is to understand how this search technology works, what is its effectiveness, who uses it, and what advantages they offer the merchant. First, a bit of history to understand browser evolution.
The internet emerged circa 1962 as a secret military project and it spawned the great commercial web, circa 1992. These technologies were developed by so many artificial intelligence cyber scientists and computer engineers that it is difficult to ascribe a date, place, or person specifically as a protagonist, although there are well-recognized ones, including Tim Berners-Lee, described as the father of the web. Initially, there were browsers like Gopher, Netscape (Internet Explorer), and Yahoo! Then they incarnated in search engines like Google, Bing, Wolfram, etc.
LEAN – The typical business page today weighs 1,300 kilobytes, 60% of which is visual. Ironically, with the advent of dual-density displays (retina displays), prodigious images are becoming increasingly fashionable, but online merchants have to resist the glitz.
A good tip is not to place images larger than 1,110 by 860 pixels on your pages. The optimal visual file size is a one or two full-screen background images no more than one megabyte. Most other small web graphics can be 300 KB or less. Put another way, a resolution of no more than 72 dpi (dots per inch). No more than five to 10 photos per page and only one video at a time, per page. A common width for pages is 1200 pixels, which will accommodate the scrollbars and still leave a bit of room on a widescreen. Height is less important to most web designers.
If possible, keep your page dimensions light, as they will end up mostly in someone’s smartphone screen.
These figures guarantee that the pages of a business site will be fast, easy to navigate, agile to read, and well accessible to search engines and browsers. Texts must be to the point and “optimized”, which means that they must contain keywords that warn Google, for example, that they exist in some corner of cyberspace. Keywords must be specifically relevant and descriptive of each type of business, and then some more.
These basics for agile content are key for capturing more visitors to a website. Also provide easy downloads and search engine capture. Remember, ease of use and magic keywords, not spectacular photos, sounds, or animations will bring the visitors.