May 2010 - Newsletter

Hi guys,

Hope you're having a great week. In this issue we're going over the importance of having a fast loading website and tools to assist you with measuring and improving the speed of your website. We also have a couple of announcements - please see the headlines below for a complete list.

We'd also like to invite you to attend the Bizzone Business Expo as a free guest of Zeald. This is New Zealand's largest small to medium business expo and it's your chance to check out the latest business offerings available to assist you and your business. The Expo is held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and you can go along to any of these venues - Register for your free entry to the Expo.

Hope you enjoy the read!

Does a slow website really cost you?

There is a lot of talk about fast loading websites and what they can do for your conversion rate. Based on a number of tests conducted by the experts, it is widely believed that having a slow website means that your users are not getting immediate feedback when they look around, which in turn effects their willingness to make an enquiry or a purchase. What's more, a website that takes any longer than 10 seconds to load will completely lose the interest of your visitor and they will not even wait around for the page to load, let alone be persuaded to do business with you.

Some of the big industry players like Google and Amazon have also quantified the effect of a slow website on their results. Read our article on these results and how the speed can impact your results.

How can I find out how fast my website loads?

There are a number of online tools available to measure the speed of your website but the one tool that gives you the best information and is easy to understand is the Website Optimization site. You just have to enter your homepage URL and you'll get an instant report about your website. Scroll down to 'Download Times' and you'll see how long it takes to download on various internet connections. We use 56K as a benchmark at Zeald because if you cater for that kind of low speed download, you'll pretty much be OK for broadband connections.

If you test the Zeald site, it will come back with a download time of over 12 seconds on a 56K modem, which is pretty close to the threshold. Since most of New Zealand's internet usage is estimated at a better speed than dial-up, we consider this to be acceptable. It still doesn't mean that it's perfect so we are always looking at ways to reduce this time even further. So when you are testing for your own site, you want to make sure that you are around the 10 second benchmark – if you are slightly over that's still OK but if you are far off the mark, you'll need to look at ways to reduce the speed because it could be losing precious sales.

The analysis from this website will also give you a list of objects on your page and the size of each of these objects so you can instantly see what's holding your site from downloading fast.

If you find that your website is taking too long to load, read our tips on how you can speed it up.

A faster, smoother, better Rich Text Editor

As mentioned in the last newsletter, our products & infrastructure team is always looking to make ongoing improvements to the Website Manager software so you have a better experience of managing your website. Last week, our team upgraded the Rich Text Editor, which is what you use to edit the content of your website. This upgrade makes the whole editor look better and load a lot faster than the old one. You can also re-size the editor, where as before that was not possible. Read the full list of changes to the editor in our What's New blog.

Have your say on what comes next!

We often get requests from our clients about things they would love to see changed or added to the Website Manager software. To allow you to have your say and influence on what things we will be building next, we have created a dedicated area where you can make suggestions on what changes or improvements you'd like to see. Enter your comments in our forum, or vote or comment on someone else's idea that you like, and we'll consider your recommendations when we decide what areas to put our time and resources into. Please note that the site will ask you to sign up – it's a quick and easy process and the site won't use your details to send you any spam or unwanted email – it's just to validate that only legitimate Zeald customers have their say! :)

Zeald Terms of Trade notification

We have made a few changes to the Zeald Terms of Trade with regards to the privacy, confidentiality, suspension of services (we will now give more notification) and future Terms of Trade updates. We encourage you to have a look at the updated Terms of Trade which is available on our website.

We hope you enjoyed the read. If you have any feedback for us, don't forget to post it on our Learning Centre - we love hearing from you! If you have any friends or colleagues who could use our help, please do let us know, and don't forget to check out our Friends & Supporters Club!

Thanks and we hope your week goes well,

The Team at Zeald