I have seen immediate improvement in the site: The main page loads 4X faster; it now generates much more detailed page analytics (what people are and are not clicking on/reading); the page views/visitor have increased. The average length of time per post has also increased.
Based on your comments and emails, here are the changes I implemented:
• Changed the color scheme from candy color to something more subdued
• Reduced the size of the artwork (“marginalia”)
• Reduced the size and color of the navigation links in the header
• Removed the Twitter/Facebook/G+/Linked In icons from all 10 home page posts (only on the top/open post)
• Removed superfluous content in the sidebar
• Reduced the number of adverts on the page;
Since the last few iterations, the site is light and fast and pleasing to the eye.
I still think the navigation links up top are too big and spread out – since the way I run my business is strictly word of mouth and referral, I prefer these to be smaller and less in your face. Also, I think I can get rid of “Home” and just go with: Asset Management/Speaking/Book /Contact.
I still have a few other things left to tweak:
• Reduced the size of icons next to each headline ((I’d like to make those icons about 30-40% less large on the page as well)
• Reduce navigation links down a font size
• Replace blue Favicon with old color (black & tan)
• Make the “Read More” red or more visible
The 5 little icons correlate to the tabs in the old design. According to Google Analytics, those old icons were hardly clicked. The reason, I assume, is as soon as you scrolled an inch or two, they were off your screen.
Your most emailed questions and their answers are after the jump . . .
Q: I don’t like clicking to open each new post.
A:When we had all 10 posts open, it loaded very slowly. The new version does not have to load 10 posts of graphics, charts, videos, etc. And, I now get analytics as to what specific posts you folks actually are reading. Its a huge improvement
Q: I am reluctant to click on something that I may not like.
A: You have to have a wee bit of faith in me that I ain’t publish crap — I would hope that after 11 years, 25,000 posts and a 137 million page views, I have earned at least a teeny bit of trust. Besides, its a click — what’s that cost you?
Q: I might be interested in posts if you gave me more info — a teaser paragraph
A: That’s a really good idea. Currently, the teaser intro is automated (the first XX words), but I can use a specific excerpt as a teaser (I just have to remember to cut & paste it each post).
Q: Sometimes the home page loads slowly.
A: Its likely the adverts. When we see an add slowing the site down it gets tossed. (Please email me if an ad is problematic)
Q: Could you set it up so that the post expands within the open page like Andrew Sullivan or FT Alphaville does?
A: I am looking into that; but note that Sullivan is now a subscription site. He bills his readers for the extra bandwidth programming costs!
Q: I don’t care for the mobile site you developed with OnSwipe.
A: I love it! Its functional, easy to navigate and looks great, Besides, you can always default back to the desktop version.