Monday, April 07, 2008

CIL2008: Fast & Easy Site Tune-Ups

Jeff Wisniewski -- rough notes below. His slides will be on the conference web site -- likely next week.

Interactive change, rather than major changes.

Users do pay attention to the freshness of our web sites.

Regardless of when you updated your site, update your copyright statement. There are ways of scripting this so it updates automatically.

You can add a last updated script to every web page. Use an external script.

Add photos to your contact page. Will increase trust and recognition.

MicroFormats -- using XML code. So turn borring old contact information into exciting hCards! Some programs will know what to do with microformats. There is an extension for FireFox, for example.

Harness the power of the 3 question survey -- Why are are you visiting today? Were you able to complete your tasks today? If not, why not? Ask for their email address so you can do some follow-up and outreach.

Don't make your server think. User the final / when referencing a directory, so the server knows to automatically look for a directory.

Don't use the phrase "click here." Helps when people scan a web site quickly for info.

Provide graphic clues to what is happening on the web site.

Web 2.0-ify your logo -- Web 2.0-ify your logo -- Web 2.0 STYLr

Benchmark the speed of your web site. In FireFox, install FireBug and Yslow.

Get static elements of your site into the user's cache. Set certain files to stay fresh and not expire.

If you are not your server admin...
Step 1: You should have a file called .htaccess in your server root. If not create one.
Step 2: Add code....(see his slide) This code will help files not expire during a user's session.

Combine small images into a image map.

Eliminate in-line scripts. Put these scripts in an external file. Except for your homepage.

Use the HTML validator. And you can have it fix errors.

CleanCSS is another tool -- Will clean up and compress your CSS.

He has lots of info that Yahoo has discovered through his research.

People do not pay attention equally to all sections of a web page. Banner blindness.

SEO: Page Titles -- Have really good page titles. He recommends Google webmaster accounts. Has diagnostic tools. Can do page title analysis.

A recommended format for titles is:

Document Title / Section Name / Site Name

Accessibility -- Add labels to forms.

Use radio button and checkboxes correctly.

Make your site social media friendly.

And social bookmarks links. The Social Bookmark Creator.

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