Make your pages load faster

You probably know the basics. The rule is simple- keep your images small (in KB) and your code clean. What is considered “fast” loading? Well, practically, if your visitors don’t close your site before the page loads, the site loads fast. Usually, “fast” is considered as “less than 30 seconds on 56k” (there ARE still people on Dial Up!)You should never forget about the obvious: your server speed. If it’s slow, none of these tips are going to help. So avoid servers infamous for being slow, and not to mention redirection services- they’re really annoying! However, you could always try these things:

Clean up your code

Try to make your HTML as short as possible. Instead of implementing your style sheets directly into the page (with

tags) use external CSS. Avoid using unnecessary scripts which could slow your pages. And while you’re there, try to find errors in your code (not closed tags or similar) and fix them. Stop using tables for your layout design.

JavaScript

Very close to the above one. Not that it makes code longer, JavaScript also significantly slow pages (this goes for Java, DirecX, DHTML as well). Do you really need animated status bar? Or one of those “lake” applets on images? And not to mention the popular “no right click” script. Everybody knows how to steal your “precious” images anyway. Stop using DHTML to create navigation menus- same look can be achieved using nothing more than CSS. By all means, keep JavaScript to minimum.

Stop using tables for creating layouts

HTML for tables is very complicated (you usually get lines and lines of code), and that increases loading time.

Slice all huge images?

This is pretty popular trick, but it almost never works. Slices created using graphic programs are placed in a table- and we’ve already learned that tables can have really complicated code. Use well-optimized images instead of slicing.

Use text links for navigation instead of buttons

There are so many link effects you can use (by editing your CSS) and make navigation look pretty and “button-like”. Animated DHTML buttons might look exciting, but they make pages load slower.

Careful with custom cursors!

Custom made cursors (especially animated) can slow pages, and in some of the cases, people won’t even see them. Do you find your custom cursors THAT important? Most of them are ugly anyway.

Fireworks optimizes better than Photoshop optimizes better than Paint Shop Pro

Maybe it’s just me (and my computer) but whenever I save an image in PSP, I get a larger file and worse quality. Photoshop gives much better results. For example, one image saved in Photoshop (image quality- high (8) ) gives 45KB large file, while PSP creates 90KB (or more) large image. Plus, quality is better with Photoshop. So, even if you sue PSP to edit your images, save them in Photoshop. And a note- Fireworks optimizes even better than Photoshop.

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