website accessibility

Do your site visitors stay for hours, happily reading your content, buying your merchandise, and admiring your design techniques? Or do they take one look, then laugh all the way to the next website? Check out our top 10 list to see why visitors don't last long on some sites.

10. They were led astray by a broken link.

Visitors hate broken links. When you link to another section of your site or to an external site, you promise to take visitors to more interesting and useful information. But a DNS error page or 404 File Not Found message is neither interesting nor useful! When visitors get them, they're irritated that you broke your promise. On large sites, it is time-consuming and monotonous to regularly check hundreds of links. Let SiteTechnician do that boring work for you instead!

9. They grew weary waiting for your pages to load.

How long does it take a modem to download your pages? Internet users are notoriously impatient and hate waiting to view pages. Yet many inexperienced Web designers load their pages with bloated graphics that take forever to display. Visitors retaliate by leaving the site without ever viewing the content. SiteTechnician's Load Time analysis shows you exactly how long each page takes to load under different connection speeds.

8. They were lost and disoriented.

Most websurfers still connect at dial up speeds. Many of these users surf with their browser's images disabled in order to speed download times. If you've failed to provide ALT tags for your website's images, these visitors won't know where to go. SiteTechnician's website Accessibility Report identifies all images on your site that are missing ALT tags.

7. They couldn't read the title.

When users "bookmark" a page, the page's title is the text that gets saved to their "favorites" section. If your pages are missing titles, or have non-unique titles such as "home" or "products", users will lose track of that bookmark and never return. SiteTechnician's META Tag Audit catalogs the titles, META descriptions and META keywords of all your pages (and notifies you if they are missing!), so you can take the guesswork out of troubleshooting these problems.

6. The site hasn't been updated since it was built.

If your site's "news" section contains no more than articles and press releases from 1999, you've got problems. Visitors return to websites that are continually updated with fresh and interesting content. SiteTechnician's Old Pages and New Pages reports help you keep track of when website content was last modified or updated.

5. They drowned in your splash page.

A splash page is like a book cover. It tries to lure visitors deeper into the site to view the real content. However, that's an invitation that many visitors are happy to refuse. Web sites that use splash pages report that as many as 25% of their visitors leave instead of clicking on the splash page and entering the site. Splash pages hurt sites in other ways too. They usually contain large graphic images and very little text. That type of design increases page download time and confuses search engine spiders.

4. They went blind from shock.

Colors and background images can add visual interest to your site and help emphasize important points and sections. But don't make them too shocking. A tiling background image that looks just great as a thumbnail image may look like something out of a horror movie when it's spread across the screen. Busy background images can make your text unreadable.

3. They didn't have the right plugin.

Be honest now. Have you ever, ever downloaded a new plug-in, a different browser or even upgraded to a new version just to view a particular Web site? If so, you're a distinct minority. Most visitors are extremely reluctant to install plugins and update browsers.

2. You didn't spellcheck your work.

Typographical errors and misspellings hurt your site's credibility more than you think.

1. Teeny tiny text

You get the idea.