Yesterday, I posted about a blog post from Conversion Marketing, listing the 59 things you should be doing but probably aren’t. I thought it was a great list but could do with a bit of expansion on why you should be doing those 59 things (and how to do them right!). Yesterday, I wrote about the first few in the list.
Today, I’m going to cover a few more of the issues Ian discussed in his post. First of all, error pages.
Get Your Errors Right!
From time-to-time, every website has an error. Whether you’ve got a typo in your code, or a user mistypes a URL, or maybe your database server decides that it’s out to lunch – every site has had to deal with such things.
From a user’s point of view, there’s little more irritating that getting an error page. Even worse, getting an unhelpful error page with technobabble and no real help.
Therefore, it helps to create a useful, on-topic error page to handle different kinds of error. If a 404 error is encountered, give a helpful, friendly error message inside a corporate themed web page. If possible, try to link to what the user might have been looking for – if they seemed like they were looking for a product page, show them some product categories. Show them a search box. In short, do what you can to help them find what they were actually looking for.
The more you help a user who encounters a problem, the less chance there is that they’ll turn round, head out, and buy their red widget from some other website.
Go For Diet HTML!
However, each time you request a new file from a server, the browser has to go and fetch it, which slows down the rendering of the page. Additionally, if the file is on a different domain, the browser also has to lookup the address of the server to find where it is before it can fetch it, which slows down the process further.