Sunday, January 17, 2010

Web Trick #4: Should Load Fast

This could be the most technical part of all four parts. I like this part as I am from technical background.

I like use the word “webify” myself as this is the process of converting your photoshop design to HTML file(s).

The explanation of this section can be very extensive but for the sake of clariness, I go for the blog style, the simplified version.

Basically in order for a web site to load fast, the number of image file and their file size must be kept to the minimum.

For example, you have a big area of the design that is required to be converted image files. Choose the biggest chunk you can have to convert it to either JPEG or GIF format whichever gives you the smaller file size. That should improve the load time a lot. If you cut the image into small pieces, it will end up loading slower as every loading of image file requires a connection to the server which introduces extra time for establishing connection and disconnection for each image file. Our broadband also tends to download faster in burst mode (which data are loaded consequentially). Dissection of images to smaller pieces was once a popular practice when the time modem was used to make internet connection. The smaller pieces although will extend the overall loading time but it is good to show bits and pieces before the visitor gets frustrated for having nothing on browser after loading for sometime. The new broadband technology has changed the way web developers to “dissect” their design and “webify” into HTML format.

This is from 10-year experience. For those who read back dated Web books, get this updated method and your web site should load faster.

Other thing that can affect the loading speed is the location of the server. Please try to use server that is closed to the potential or targeted visitors.

The last but not least, please make sure your javascript doesn’t hang up the broswer. This is very common especially if your visitor is using IE of any version.

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