There are way too many website elements that can (and should) be customized in order to make you visitors happy.
Website content, the amount of relevant and accurate information, eye catchy design, incorporated audio and visual effects are just some of the mentioned elements.
These are well discussed topics and a lot of professionals can argue about each of them, what they should and should not to do and how to avoid common traps and mistakes.
One of usually omitted topic is your webpage load time.
With fast Internet connection that should not be a big problem, but most of us tend to quickly forget people that are still using dial-up.
If your webpage is graphically rich, and your graphics are not well optimized, it might be a frustrating experience for your visitors with dial-up.
What should you do to speed up your webpage load time? There are several things that you can change that will boost your webpage load performance.
One of them is quick and easy to implement (if it is not already done):
- Divide your large image into several smaller images and bring them together.
By doing this, instead of one large data stream that loads your single image, you will have several small data streams that are loading simultaneously.
Usually, overseen mistake is usage of same image files from different locations on your website.
Check following example with logo.
jpg image: Page1.
Html has Page2.
Html has Example like above can be even worse if you have the same image on several different locations because you are not reusing your images.
If your images are centrally located and only a single copy exists for all of them, (ALL OVER YOUR SITE, not just each page individually) each image is loaded only once when visitor hits your site first time.
All other instances of the same image are loaded from visitor's machine cache, producing less network traffic (which takes time, especially on dial-up connection) and faster web page load.
Other than dividing your large image files into smaller chunks and reusing of your images you can optimize your images for faster load times.
Currently, the most commonly used image formats are Jpeg and Gif.
Each of them can be reduced in size with some simple tricks.
The JPEG file format (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is designed to compress photographs or images with continuous-tone color, such as a color gradient.
JPEG format supports 24-bit color (millions of colors) and preserves the broad range of color and subtle variations in hue that characterize continuous-tone image.
To optimize Jpeg image you can:
- Use a preview option in your graphic programs to compare difference in final file size with different compression levels
- Implement little blur effect because Jpeg format "likes" images with softer edges, fewer details and fine shades
To optimize GIF image you can:
- Reduce a bit depth in image.
Gif image supports up to 256 colors.
Many images can be displayed with far less color, without sacrificing the quality
- Crop all unnecessary white areas in the background.
Gif format supports transparency, so use it freely!