10 Important Tips for a fast loading web site
December 17, 2006 2:26pm CST
It is important to have a reasonably fast loading web site so that viewers are not made to wait for a long time and to accommodate users on slow internet connections. Search engine algorithms also do take into consideration your load time. Follow these tips while designing and developing your site: 1. Optimize your HTML code: Make sure that your site doesn't have any unwanted tags and that it is optimized. 2. Effective Table designing: Design using nested tables instead of using cell merges and splits. Use separate tables where ever possible. Not designing for 100% height is better as if you use just one outer table, the web page is displayed only after the table is loaded fully. If many outer tables are present [you can have different tables for the header, content, footer, etc.] the page displays the content of each table as soon as its elements are loaded. 3. Maximize content area: This not only reduces load time, it enhances the readability of your site. 4. Minimize use of graphics, Flash, scripts: These are the major contributors to the size of your web page, so try minimizing them. Try using background colors and fills instead of heavy images. 5. Optimize all heavy files: As much as possible optimize heavy graphics, Flash files and scripts. In editors like fireworks and flash you can see the various options in the preview panel to reduce the sizes. See how popular web sites like google and yahoo have pages that are very small in size and thus load in seconds. 6. Stick to simple designs: Most fast loading sites have very simple designs. Take the hint! Complicated designs will slow down your pages. Spread out your content: In case you find yourself having very long pages of content, break them down into separate sections and thus bring down the sizes of the individual pages. 7. Use Text Links instead of graphic buttons: basically try to make use of HTML as much as possible. Use CSS Styles for text links to make them as attractive as buttons. 8. Use Server Side Include (SSI) files where ever possible. SSI files once called from the web server reside in its cache so on subsequent requests they load faster. 9. Using Layers instead of tables is a new concept for better load time. Check your Load time Do remember to check your Load time regularly. Use free site tools available on the internet (example: netmechanic.com) to check your site load time.