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Discussion Starter #1
Welcoming any comments about the way we have restructured our main page. Placing all of our designs on the front page instead of forcing customers to plow through categories and pages within categories. This will cut back on how many clicks it takes to get to the checkout.

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Well, that'll certainly cut down on the number of clicks. I'd be interested to hear how that affects your sales (not specifically, of course - just in general). It'd be great to see some kind of ecommerce study on how layouts such as your new version compare to alternates in terms of dropped carts, failed click-throughs, etc.
 

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far too many pictures on your home page.
Your design are the most important, but you could reduce the amount of loading images by using text instead of images for your menu.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
len said:
far too many pictures on your home page.
Your design are the most important, but you could reduce the amount of loading images by using text instead of images for your menu.
That is what I am attempting to do... focus on the designs... not the design of the website. The total throughput for all 50 something jpgs is a whopping 670K... not too shabby. Thanks for the input though.
 

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I think overall it's a good move because it helps people scan and see if a design catches their eye.

I think I would also include a one line t-shirt title under each design and link it to the product page. That would help both text scanners and search engines find each product page.

The one thing you will need to monitor is if it increases the number of "bounces" from your main page. Meaning, if the additional images increases the page loading time too much (think dialup users), it could make people leave your page before all the images load.

I'm on high speed DSL and the images still took a *bit* long to load. Not so much that I would have left, but if I had a slower connection, I might not have had the patience.

670k of images is a LOT of images to load for a main page. Here's what I got when I ran your page through a page load speed checker:
http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

Download Times*
Connection Rate Download Time
14.4K 523.72 seconds
28.8K 261.96 seconds
33.6K 224.56 seconds
56K 134.82 seconds
ISDN 128K 41.43 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps 3.78 seconds

*Note that these download times are based on the full connection rate for ISDN and T1 connections. Modem connections (56Kbps or less) are corrected by a packet loss factor of 0.7. All download times include delays due to round-trip latency with an average of 0.2 seconds per object. With 117 total objects for this page, that computes to a total lag time due to latency of 23.4 seconds. Note also that this download time calculation does not take into account delays due to XHTML parsing and rendering.

I tested it using the netmechanic free load time tester and this is what I got:
http://r.netmechanic.com/toolbox/summary.cgi?f=f/111/053/1459/29-17066/&s=NetMechanic&fv=5&ft=3

http://r.netmechanic.com/toolbox/load_time.cgi?f=f/111/053/1459/29-17066/&p=1&vi=1&fp=1&fv=5&s=NetMechanic

Load Time rating = 1 172.32 seconds, height/width problems

Load Time by Connection Speed
Connection Speed Download Time
14.4Kbps 344.64 seconds
28.8Kbps 173.32 seconds
56Kbps 89.17 seconds
ISDN (128Kbps) 40.55 seconds
Cable (512 Kbps) 11.64 seconds
T1 (1.44 Mbps) 5.43 seconds
SDSL (1.544 Mbps) 5.20 seconds
ADSL (2.0 Mbps) 4.47 seconds
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cool, thanks for the info Rodney. I did a comparison of competitor sites with similar layouts (Deezteez and Busted Tees). Dicktees clocks in faster than either of them. I think I'll stick with this format for a while and see how it increases sales.
 

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I did a comparison of competitor sites with similar layouts (Deezteez and Busted Tees)
Cool. Keep in mind though, that larger websites like bustedtees could be running on faster dedicated servers which would speed up the load time.

Additionally, they could have the increased overall traffic volume and brand recognition to compensate for the slower load times.

For example, nike.com could probably get away with a long load time. But joescustomshoes doesn't have the luxury of the nike brand name, server speed, etc to try the same tactics.

I think I'll stick with this format for a while and see how it increases sales.
That should be the true test :) It should be interesting to hear whether a more "design centric" homepage with links to all products serves better than having specialized categories.

I think the fact that you reduced the number of clicks to the sale should definitely be a boost.
 

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Good resource info on the load testers, I wasn't aware of this. So if I understand you correctly, these sites are not measuring actual load time, it's more of a formulaic approach?

Also, as the owner of joescustomshoes I want to thank you for the free plug!
 

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Shirt_Off_My_Bak said:
Good resource info on the load testers, I wasn't aware of this. So if I understand you correctly, these sites are not measuring actual load time, it's more of a formulaic approach?
I don't think they are measuring the "actual" load time based on someone actually visiting the page and downloading the graphics, but I think they approximate it somehow using a formula.

Also, as the owner of joescustomshoes I want to thank you for the free plug!

No problem. Always willing to help a custom shoe maker out in their struggle to defeat the big nike :D
 

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With 670K worth of images, you're pretty much turning away every customer without broadband.

You can definitely improve this though... with some simple image optimization.

The first design (alright, alright, alright) weighs in at 18665 bytes. Stick it in photoshop and do a "save for web". Choose something like a PNG-8 with 32 colors. There is very little perceptible difference in the original and optimized images, but the latter is only 6.56K.

Tweak every image on the page and you can cut the page size and load times (at least) in half.

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Even though I don't know a single person that is not on dial up or higher (including my parents) I took the advise and optimized the images a bit more. I pretty much cut the file sizes in half.
 

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an other way to display your tees, graphics is to combine everyhting into a small gif/flash animation (1 or more).
This way you'll be able to rotate all design, save some space and reduce loading time.
I hate scrolling....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
len said:
an other way to display your tees, graphics is to combine everyhting into a small gif/flash animation (1 or more).
true, that is another way. the point of getting all the thumbnails up on the main page is to allow the customer to click on a design from the very first page they come to... reducing the number of clicks it takes to get to the checkout.
 

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DickTees.net said:
true, that is another way. the point of getting all the thumbnails up on the main page is to allow the customer to click on a design from the very first page they come to... reducing the number of clicks it takes to get to the checkout.
you can easily do this with flash.
 

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Jay, I like seeing good quality images as my first impression and you accomplished that. I did not mind scrolling. I viewed on Win98 using Firefox 1.5 browser with hubbed cable modem (so slightly slower) but did not feel slow at all. Fast load.

I like the white background to pop your designs (too funny). Overall look and feel is simple and clean and balanced. Your navigation buttons are easy to find and read.

Couple suggestions...mind you I come from a marketing background...

Somehow set off the links you have on the left side. If they are affiliates then maybe put the links in nonbolded text and just use the same color blue for the "Favorite Links of Ours"

I thought the area was for your t-shirt collections...that's me quickly reading which I don't know if an average viewer would do.

I intuitively figured out that to see the shirt I need to click on the image. Well after your "Welcome" maybe invite the potential buyer to "click on your favorite t-shirt"
Just a thought. Seems silly and obvious but you don't have a lot of text on your home page and this would be known as a "call to action".

And this is just an FYI...some buyers like to know where you are located because of tax or where you are sending from (so perhaps in your contact us area).

Susan H.
 

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Jay, you are very welcome.:)

Also, you can optimize your images for free here (use it a lot when sharing pictures on other groups)

Your target market will probably have high speed internet, but some internet users don't have access to high speed because it is super expensive (like this gardener I know in Indianna).

http://featurecart.com/jpeg/

If you are doing your own web work, you might want to look into Photo Impact software. There's a little learning curve, but you can really do a lot of image adjustments and previews for web pictures.

Susan


DickTees.net said:
Awesome Susan. Thanks for the feedback!
 
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