In time gone past I am pretty sure most of us are guilty of just putting items on our websites and not really thinking of how long it will take to load. I am probably as guilty as the rest of you, although I must admit I had it drilled into my head from the start if your site takes longer than 20 seconds to load you have lost your customer. That is a maxim that more web designers need to take to heart. Many a time I have waited while heavy graphics are loading only to click out of the web site within another 20 seconds as it was obviously a poorly done effort with someone only trying to be fancy as the cost of someone else’s time. Have you checked how long it takes to load your website? How often do you totally clear your cache on your machine and then try to load your site externally using Firefox? I never cease to be surprised that owners of web sites either don’t know or don’t care that their site has been marked as an attack site.
Today our goal is to encourage you to make your website faster to load, to work and to perform by giving you a few tools and ideas to implement.
The first thing we are going o look at is your Images and Photographs
Most of the up to date photograph software has a save section, which offers you the opportunity to safe the photo for the web. Save the original in the normal raw or Jpeg format. You should always save your photos the first time as anything but the original or you can’t go back if you need to get the better clarity. Now make a new folder and save all of those images for the web as well. These are the photographic images you will then apply to your designs. If you are in the position where your images are already up, it is advisable to take them one at a time and optimize them on line with an optimizing tool such as Dynamic Drive.
There are three formats you will use on your website dependent on what they are for. Photographs you will save as .jpegs. Although these are what is called lossy the change in shape is hardly noticeable and the pixels are far lower. When you are doing things, like your logo, the best to use is .gif or if it’s a highly colored image use .png.
Always put the sizes of your image in your image tags. Why: Because if the sizing is there the search engine knows the size and will save a space and come back to load them later. Those height and width tags do save time.
How fast is your CSS?
This also needs to be optimized for faster loading. I know it sounds silly but how many times is the same item appearing with superfluous items in it. There is an online tool which will clean up your CSS for faster loading times, which is called cleancss.
The beauty of this is you can just plug-in your URL and get the result. Before you use this it is a good idea to make sure your code is valid at W3C Validator.
This should result in your combining a lot of unnecessary sheets into a style sheet instead of body, side and footer.
Are your links Search engine friendly?
Did you know that if you are writing out the link, and you put a / at the end of it, that the search engine will know that is part of the directory: By telling the search engine that it will make a faster loading time.
Making your site faster makes it far more visitor friendly.