Make Web Pages Load Faster

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The Html Help Guide


Page Load Time



    One of the most common and biggest mistakes that are made while building web pages is making the pages too large. Nobody likes to sit and wait for a web page to download and display. Nor do they like to scroll down forever to find what they're looking for.

    The main cause of slow loading pages is the overuse of embedded files such as images and sounds. Of course you'll want to have images on your pages and possibly even background music. The trick is in spreading this content out over several pages. A good practice is to keep the total size of any one page to under 100 kb. This includes the page itself and any files that it uses.

Images
   Any images that you use need to be optimized. Optimizing is reducing the file size of an image by reducing the number of colors that it contains. This works best with jpg images because they can contain millions of colors which allows their file size to be greatly reduced without a noticeable reduction of image quality. There are several tools available online that will optimize images at no charge.

   If you are making a page that requires the use of several photos, the best thing to do is to make "thumbnails" of the full sized photos that link to their full sized versions. This way you can keep the overall page size down and still allow your visitors to view your photos. This also allows your visitors to view only the photos that they wish to see instead of forcing them to wait for all of them to load.

Sound
   Background music can be a nice addition to a web page. The midi and wav file types are the most commonly used. The midi file is much smaller in terms of the play time to file size ratio and should be the only sound file used for background music. Keep in mind that a sound file must completely download before it will begin to play and will cause a page to load slower.

   There are ways to "stream" (plays as it downloads) audio from a web page but the effectiveness of this depends solely on the connection speed of the visitor. This also requires that your visitors have the required player and plugin.

Page Length
   If your page contains a large amount of text, the file size may not be too large, but the length of the page may require that your visitors have to scroll too much to navigate the page. This also makes finding specific information more difficult. Spread your information out over several pages that require no more than four clicks on the scroll bar from top to bottom.



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