Medical Website Best Practices: Lose Weight
Today’s super high-speed bandwidth connections have created a false sense of security for modern designers.
Before the days of “fat pipe”, website designers spent a lot of time worrying about download speeds. After all, everyone on the internet used a dial-up connection. They obsessed over the size of their images, cut unnecessary code, and measured the amount of time it took to load their web pages.
That all changed in a hurry. With the advent of broadband internet, designers suddenly (over just a few years) had the freedom and flexibility to create almost anything online, with little reason to even think about speed. Those were the glory days of big Flash animations and splashy, image-rich websites. Today, desktop computing in the first world has progressed even farther. It’s an immersive, media-rich experience. Instead of downloading web pages and videos at around 6MB per hour, surfers can now stream HD movies at close to 1,700MB per hour.
Everything old is new again
It’s almost 2013. The internet has been around for more than 40 years. The World Wide Web is two decades old. Once again, website designers need to obsess over speed. While traditional internet connections are faster than they’ve ever been, “code monkeys” must go back in time and think small. Why, you ask? Mobile.
Smartphones are changing the web. Most web jockeys don’t realize it yet, but their work needs to change as well. The old days of slow connections and confusing technology are back, and a lot of professionals aren’t keeping up. A lot of web designers (and their clients) are going to get left behind. At this time, over half of U.S. cell phones are smartphones, and almost 30% of Americans own a web-enabled tablet. This number is expected to rise dramatically in 2013. I’ve seen the evidence first-hand, at my local AT&T store. My 13 year-old son is getting a cell phone for Christmas. How many “dumb phones” does AT&T have for him to choose from? THREE. Every other phone offered is a smartphone. You can’t even buy a smartphone and use it like a dumb phone…as soon as the smartphone connects to a cell tower, you’re automatically enrolled in an expensive data plan. When regular old cell phones leave the market completely, mobile computing will truly skyrocket.
Because of the explosive growth of smart devices like smartphones, iPads, Kindles, and the rest, the web is being consumed differently today than ever before. Desktop computers are blazing fast, but cellphones are not. That cool Flash animation you had built for your website doesn’t even work on a lot of devices. Where it does work, it takes forever to download. It’s time for a change, and smart web designers are looking to the past for guidance.
Web design must be thoughtful
Did you know that approximately 25% of traffic to medical practice websites comes from a mobile device? If your website doesn’t look great for them, you’re losing money. Omni Medical Marketing specializes in the thoughtful application of best-practice web tech including Responsive Medical Website Design. We can transform your website from a web loser into a web winner in no time at all.
How to Decrease Page Load Time for Your Medical Website Design | Go Back in Time
Here are some practical tips for creating websites that rock on mobile devices. They’re a combination of old-school techniques and universal principles that every designer needs to keep in mind:
- Write clean code. Simply put, less is more. At Omni Medical Marketing, we recommend moving to HTML 5 to future-proof your website.
- Use fewer images. Designers can now use CSS3 and web fonts to reduce the number of images on a web page. Box shadows, text shadows, borders, gradients, and fancy fonts are just the beginning…and each element that uses CSS3 is one less image that mobile visitors have to wait for.
- Use smaller images. That high-quality image on your home page doesn’t work for cell phones. At Omni Medical Marketing, we can show big images for desktops and smaller, mobile-specific images for cell phones and tablets.
- Put content first…again. High-speed connections allow designers to substitute flashy graphics for quality content. Mobile surfers are looking at your website for information, not entertainment. Let Omni Medical Marketing help you measure the effectiveness of your current website and plan for the present and the future by getting back to basics.
- Responsive, not “m-dot”. Some web companies may try to sell you a separate, mobile-specific website. Don’t fall for it. They’ll make a lot of money on those websites, but you won’t. The best practice is to make your website work well for everyone without creating multiple sites for different devices. Who wants to update two websites instead of one?
Take a tip from a web guy who’s been around the block: don’t let just anyone work on your website. There’s too much at stake. You need thoughtful, industry-leading professionals to help you navigate the constantly-changing internet. We promise to make the process as painless as possible.
If you would like to see how to put these tactics to work in your Medical Website Design as part of a Medical Marketing plan, contact Omni Medical Marketing today. Let us start improving your conversions now.