Fast loading Website Tips
10 Important Tips for a fast loading web site
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.
Learn how to create and maintain a fast loading web site with these useful tips on load time and website optimization. Follow these tips while designing, programming and maintaining your web-site:
Optimize your HTML code
Make sure that your site doesn't have any unwanted tags or broken links and that it is optimized for load time. Errors on your web pages can slow down your website - Make sure your website is error free!
Maximize content area
This not only reduces load time, it enhances the readability of your site.
Minimize use of graphics, Flash and 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.
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.
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 neatly
In case you find yourself having very long pages of content, break them down into separate logical sections and thus bring down the sizes of the individual pages.
Use Text Links instead of graphic buttons
Basically try to make use of text links as much as possible as they are easier to maintain. Use CSS Styles for text links to make them as attractive as buttons.
Read our CSS Styles tutorial.
Use Server Side Include (SSI) files
SSI files once called from the web server reside in its cache so on subsequent requests they load faster. Use them where ever possible.
Read our Server Side Includes tutorial.
Use Div tags instead of Tables
Go in for a pure CSS tableless design right from the beginning. Using Div tags instead of tables for your design is what you need to do for better load time and total control over your layout. It also ensures that it is scalable for whenever you want to make design changes in the future.
Read our CSS Website Design with Dreamweaver and Fireworks tutorial series.
Effective Table Design: In case you must use tables use them wisely and sparingly. 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.
Check your W3C standard validity and Load time regularly
To maintain an excellent website you must give thought to how to improve your website on an almost daily basis! Maintain an error free website and tweak it regularly. Do remember to check your Load time and W3C code and CSS validity regularly.