Google has posted in a recent blog that they will ‘Score’ fast websites higher. At first, this will affect advertisers who use Google’s AdWords, raising their costs if their website does not download fast enough.

But the inevitable fallout should be that we will see a needed separation from ‘professional’ websites, and those put together with non-web tools like Microsoft Word or Publisher.

Professional Web Designers know to optimize images, monitor total page download size, and not over-burden a web page with graphics. Proper web design reuses images from page to page, so the company logo is downloaded once to a visitor’s browser and then re-used on each page. Even basic web designers should know this, but it seems there are a lot of so-called web design tools that have no idea of proper design.

Instead, these easy-to-use, and sometimes free tools, focus on making it easy for ‘anyone’ to create a website and get online in 10 minutes. And users who have no idea of image size vs image resolution vs image file size, are going to feel the pain. Too many simply just paste clipart and photos into these cute little tools, and think it’s done. No thought to how the Internet and Web works. They rely on these ‘Fisher Price’ design tools. And the sites might look ok to the non-professional, non-experience web designer. Since, they are likely just focusing on ‘look’ and not understanding the need for ‘performance’. They check out their wonderful creation using their own web connection, and their own browser at their own screen resolution.

Do they know if the site works on all browsers (Firefox, IE6, IE7, Safari, Opera) or how it looks on a screen resolution smaller than 1080x800. Do they even know what screen resolution is, as opposed to screen ‘size’?

Now customers come to visit the new business website, maybe connecting with a phone line (yes, there are plenty still using modems). And they probably have an old computer with small resolution. Maybe they bought that 19” monitor so they have a ‘big’ screen, but they still have 800x600 resolution. They view this ‘kiddie’ website, finding it takes over a minute to view the first page. And when it finally appears, they need to scroll down and to the right. And they quickly hit the back button never to visit again.

Finally, a big player like Google is saying ‘enough’ with the junk sites. They want their visitors (users searching with Google for information) to have a good, fast experience. In a way, the sites that Google sends people to is a reflection of the Google service. Fast, informative, quality websites enhance the Google Experience, and Google is taking a large step by penalizing ‘poorly designed sites’ and sites hosted on ‘slow servers’.

Hopefully, this helps bring up the importance of using the right tools, and the right ‘craftsmen’ for the job. Don’t have your website built by a toddler using cute, free ‘Fisher Price’ tools. If you want a professional web site, use a professional that uses professional tools. Google has spoken.

Google Reference: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2008/03/landing-page-load-time-will-soon-be.html

Brian