Online Appointment Booking

Have you seen the latest appointment booking at your car dealer, your dentist, your GP, your hotel, your everything?

You have, hmm. So, why do you not have an online booking system for your veterinary services. Could it be inertia, lack of knowledge, fear of the unknown, negative employee feedback, change resistance or many other reasons.

First, I would suggest you identify really why you don’t want an online booking system – there may well be a very good reason why you would not want such a system. But, I suspect that very few veterinary practices would argue that none of their clients would use it. The reality is that every woman, dog and man is using such a systemt and they really don’t understand why they have to ring up, go through the menu, eventually get a receptionist and then debate when the booking should be. They just want to book it now and know it won’t take more than a minute.

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Is Your Website Fast Enough?

Web pages take time to open in the browser. How fast depends on many factors. Is your web page loading fast enough?

We have all experienced pages loading slowly or not at all and sometimes with various error codes such as 403, 404, 500 etc.
Before answering the question ‘is it fast enough?’ we really need to define what the context is and what the likely user behaviour is going to be.
Sites that provide for supermarket product purchase need a fast interface to let you go from product to product and place your total order quickly and accurately. A site that allows you to configure your next car can afford to take longer since the user hasa already bought into the ‘car’ concept and wants to get more detail.

A Veterinary website, you might call it a ‘shop front’, sits somewhere between. It does not need to be lightning fast, but it ought to be as good as or better than local competitors.
So, for me, this means betwen 0.5s and 2.0s

Is your page load time between 0.5s and 2.0s?

If not (or you don’t know), read on to find out what you can do to check/improve this speed.

How to make your page load faster?

a) Reduce the size of the page – text is not the issue here. This is mainly about image size and quantity and maybe the technology that is included in the page. Aim to get images to below 250kb and perhaps not mre than 4 on your home page.
b) Make sure your logos are optimised for loading speed.
c) Talk to your web host and website developer about other factors like server performance, caching, minifying and combining files, aynchronous loading for CSS and JS, deferred JS loading, and others.

How do I check my site is available?

If your site is not available then page load speed is irrelevant. To be sure your site is up you need a monitoring service such as Hot Mon.

How do I know my page load time?

You can use developer tools to measure this and a whole lot more. But one simple action is to use a monitoging service like Hot Mon. This monitors website availability and also provides a page load time for your home page.

New Site

Finally, after many months of deliberation, I have decided to rework the Hot Business Solutions website and use the WordPress platform. I have been using WordPress and Drupal for a long time and finally decided that for this purpose WordPress suits best.

Drupal is a great platform, especially for a CMS (content management system) such as a company knowledge or communications platform, an extranet, or client facing platform for content that is always growing and changing.

There are many other CMS platforms, such as Joomla, or wikis (like Wikipedia) for those who want to investigate further.

Our new site should be up on 22nd October 2018 – don’t miss it.