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From Good Sites to Great Sites:
The Anatomy of a Great Equine Website

If you spend much time surfing the web, you will run across bad horse websites, plenty of mediocre sites, and some that are just fabulous. What makes the great sites tick? What is it about these websites that make them such a pleasure to view, to use, and to buy from? Analyzing the top horse websites from the visitor's perspective is the best way to figure out how to get a fantastic website for your equine business.

Easy to Locate

Being found is key to being a "great" website, and a good domain name makes a website "findable." The ideal domain name is intuitive, simple, and short but descriptive: "Supersaddle.com." In modern browsers there is no need to type "http://" anymore, and if the site is set up correctly, there is no need to type "www." Easy-to-locate means with "easy-to-refer," so satisfied clients can tell their friends "I bought this at Supersaddle.com."

Top search engine rankings make a site easier to locate. Obtaining good rankings with leading search engines such as Google requires intelligent design and construction and an understanding of search engine optimization.

In addition to search engine optimization, website marketing plays a huge role in making a site easy to locate. Correctly-placed directory listings (written with search engine optimization in mind), paid advertising campaigns, and other link-building strategies help prospective customers to find your site.

Fast Loading Time

Visitors like websites to load quickly. Statistics show that many people will not wait more than 8 seconds for a webpage to load. For every additional second of wait time, up to 10 percent of website visitors will click off the site. Loading times beyond 30-45 seconds seriously impair a site's usability and chance at "greatness."

Loading times are primarily influenced by the development of the web site. Great website developers design each web page to load quickly by writing clean code, correctly arranging content, and compressing images.

Sites which are hosted on fast, reliable web servers will load faster than those hosted on older, slower, and overloaded servers. The same web page with a good commercial host may load 5 times faster than one on a lesser commercial host or a free host. One of the worst things you can do is to choose a free or cheap host that is overloaded or has a lot of down time.

Not every website can be squeezed into an 8-second loading time. This is especially true with equine websites, where photographs are an important part of the content. Yet the better the development, the faster the website, and the more effective the site will be in encouraging visitors to stick around. Great websites strike a balance, providing a lot of content in the most efficient way.

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More Characteristics of Great Equine Websites

Page 2: More Characteristics of Great Equine Websites

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