As a follow-up to’ Make Your Website Design Engaging, not Frustrating’ I thought it might be useful to give you some honest to goodness practises that will help your web pages load faster without breaking the bank.
Starting with the very basics:
- Images – very pretty, adds colour, interest and supports the textual based content on your website page, an image speaks a thousand words and all that, but also adds weight. By weight I mean the amount of data that is on the page and has to be requested and served by the web server. Now don’t get me wrong most websites have images but all too often, I come across the website that has IMAGES, Large (imposing on the page), pointless (offers nothing to the user) and Heavy (takes valuable seconds to load).When designing your website page make sure your image adds value to your page, are correctly edited and well proportioned in size for the page that they sit in and correctly compressed.
- CSS– where possible use CSS files for layout and formatting. Your browser can cache the style and format of your page form an external CSS and loads your page a lot faster than if it had to parse through longwinded style script tags on every load.
- Duplicated Code – If you are going to use the same piece of code multiple times throughout your website then you might want to think about putting it in an external script file. This way your browser will already have it in cache and will recall it much faster than if it has to run the script multiple times.
- Clean Valid Code – Clean code is king. Search Engines love it, reward it and on top of all that your browser will render well scripted tags faster than any ill formed tag. If you happen to be using a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) HTML editor, take care to remove the (never ceases to amaze me) oodles of unnecessary, pointless scripting.
Tables– try to avoid using tables for anything other than data, and nested tables are a definite ‘Don’t Do’. It takes the browser some time (valuable time) to work out which end tag belongs to what, match everything up and render your web page correctly.
If you’re unsure what any of these tips mean then you should ask your website developer or you can ask us (we will be happy to help) by either leaving a comment on this post or emailing us directly, we are really friendly and tend not to bite.