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How many websites start up with: 'Hey guys, just a moment while we load up: you'll find it's worth it'?

Rather a lot, is your answer.

Meanwhile, in a way which web designers imagine viewers find reassuring, a little clock whizzes round or a tiny bar graph caterpillars along and eventually - floop! - up comes the site. You sat there waiting, so you hope the site is really and truly fully loaded. But, frequently and inexcusably the tiny clocks and bar graphs reappear as you search out different parts of the site.

I am happy to report really bad news for such 'just a moment' website owners. Your potential visitors may have taken just a glance and gone somewhere else.

Yes, merely a glance. So says some recent Canadian research on preloaded websites, published in a refereed journal and reported in a recent Guardian. A nanosecond (actually 500 milliseconds); a single TVframe-long glance; the blink of an eyelid; and 'just a minute' - and especially the foolish 'you'll find it's worth it' - are consigned to the eternal electronic night.

OK, architects have lots of images to show off and thus load up. But if your web designer can't do it really fast, find another who can.

Maybe fast.

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