Speed of response to a website is very important. Most people on the web have grown more and more impatient. If the page is too slow or has heavy graphics or is a flash page they tend to just move on to the next page.
While we all try to optimize our pages to the best performance that we know there are some things we sometimes forget.
First thing you need to do is to check your own webpage load time. You can do this by using the Firefox add on called YSlow.
Clear your cache before you start as this might be stacked in your server and give you a false reading. Now try a few pages which you know have both large loads and photos and see the times which pop into the box in your browser next to the YSlow tab. Do two or three and then do your own page and see what number comes up. This is the amount of seconds it takes to load your page. Now you are armed with the amount of time you need to clip seconds off.
First thing you need to look at is the size of the graphics files and did you optimize them for the web. You can resize them at webresizer. This is a simple tool which allows you to cut resize and optimizes your photos. It’s very useful if you don’t have your own photo program handy.
The next item you need to look at is that do you have quantities of Java Script that you haven’t minimized? There are several sites you can use to make the load time fast for your java and this will shave off seconds on the load time.
Try Crockfords script for this item.
Look at the number of dynamic pages and change the ones like your info pages, about pages, etc. from dynamic to Static html. This will help on load time. If you have something that is a heavy load place it in the last load for the page. This will mean that the rest of the page will come up while it is loading thus the visitor won’t notice the slower loading of the large item.
While you are using YSlow you will notice that it has a grading section. This gives you information on certain areas in the page. So you can see which sections are slowing you down. These are the sections that really need attention. See what you can farm out to other servers. Things like RSS feed, etc. even Photos can be hauled in from an online server, although this can lead to abuse of your photos by unscrupulous people. Make sure you copyright all photos preferably with a copyright that can’t be removed. It’s also a good idea to get your copyright for your webpage registered with the official registration firm. I believe it costs something like $50 a year, and you will be covered should any item be copied off your website and they will go after the people who copied it. This is interesting for they monitor the website.