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Tutorials > Webmaster > Decrease Load Time

 

If your site has a bit of a problem loading fast, or if you just want to see if you can make it load faster, this article will help.


Many webmasters get caught up in the design and creation process that they forget that visitors will have to download all of it. Forgeting to optimize your code and graphics for your site will increase your website's load time and will determine future visits.

In order to keep your site in peak condition and always loading as fast as possible even for visitors with slow connection, consider the following aspects:

Image Optimization
An image's file size is usually the main reason web pages load slow. To combat this problem, you can either decrease the image's dimensions or decrease the image's resolution. When creating your images, always ask yourself if you can decrease the dimensions but still create the same effect you would like. Can I accomplish the same thing by starting off with smaller image dimensions or by using the crop tool in my image editing program? If so, always use the smallest image possible while maintaining visiblity.

You can also optimize your images by reducing the image's resolution. With a program like Image Ready, which comes bundled with Adobe Photoshop, you can use a "Save for Web" utility. Always use this utility to change the amount of colors in an image. Always use the least amount of colors, again, while maintining visibility. Changing the format of the image from GIF to JPG, or vice versa, can also drastically reduce an image's file size.

Image Quantity
As I'm sure you already know, the more images there is on a site, the slower the page will load. If you can, try to keep images down to a minimum, but don't sacrifice your vision for page speed. If anything, try an alternate way to achieve your layout goals - when used correctly, the minimal presence of images can be an effective design technique.

Image Tag Formating
Another way to decrease a page's load time is to predefine the dimensions of your images in your source. By doing this, the browser can read ahead and determine how much space the image will occupy on the page. Although doing this won't drastically speed up your site, it still helps. If you are not sure how to do this, here is a quick example.

<img src="yourimage.gif" width="200px" height="100px">

Image Use
Do you have a secondary page where you could use an image that you used on your home page or different secondary page? If so, use it! By doing so, the image will have already been downloaded to the visitor's browser cache. The computer will not have to download the image again and will decrease load time.

Text Management
If you have large pages of text, break it down into more manageable chunks. Spreading text out isn't a bad thing; it's easier on the eyes and faster to load.
Learn more about website optimization at http://www.websiteoptimization.com/speed/toc/

 
 

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