The time it takes to load your site can make or break a visitor’s first impression of your site. If your site takes too long to load, the visitor will click “Stop” or “Back” and leave your web site. If you are a business and offering people important information, it is critical to have a nice design, with a quick load time.
You may want to check out the load time of your page, to indeed see if your site loads quick enough for the average user. A great site tool can be found at http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/ where you are able to enter your site and it displays a report on the time it takes to load your site on different connections, in addition to tips to decrease load time.
Upon doing a speed test, if your first page takes a great time to load in the visitor’s browser, it is in the best interest to do some redesigning to decrease load time and increase the number of visitors that will not click back on the browser. We must remember that not everyone is running on DSL or Cable modem. Many users still dial up using a 56K connection. As web designers and site maintainers, we want to ensure our site’s load quickly, as to not lose potential visitors to your site.
Images, Sounds & Animations are the major menaces to download time. While these add nicely to a site, they may take up a lot of time to load. If you may avoid large sized files, please do. Many images may be optimized to look the same, however taking up less space, and download more quickly. Many image editors such as Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro can perform these tasks.
Sounds & Videos should be avoided on your main page, as they take up most time to load. Keep these for inner pages if possible. Videos and sound files can be from 100 KB to 1 MB in size or larger. If the user needs to load a 500 KB video file on a 56 K modem, it will take upwards to 89 seconds to complete. This definitely could turn the user away from your site. So keep these files to a fairly small size, or avoid if possible.
Text can also play a significant role in the load time. If you have a large amount of HTML code and large amount of content on your main page, it will also increase the load time. Text however is not as significant, as the entire text you have on the site may not be even the same size as a couple of pictures combined.
So limit the large sized graphics on your web sites. Your visitors will appreciate the fast loading site with the information being presented that they are looking for!
About The Author|
Michael Kralj is owner of Emenki Web Solutions and Domains at Retail. Emenki Web Solutions are web site designers and programmers based in Hamilton, Ontario, providing businesses with an informative and strategic approach to establishing an online presence on the web.
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