A core promise of the Internet is speed. So if your web site loads onto a customer’s screen slower than the speed of instant gratification, you run a serious risk of losing that customer forever.
This is an increasing problem, especially for small businesses that don’t have the help or knowledge to optimize their sites for faster loading. So here are seven simple ways to make your web pages load faster, according to the experts at the Mequoda consulting firm:
1. Measure your load times (see box). For the best user satisfaction, keep load times to:
- 4 seconds or less for broadband users
- 12 seconds or less for those with 56k modem
- 25 seconds or less for 28k dial-up modem
2. Eliminate as many nonessential images as you can.
3. Reduce the overall size of the initial HTML page. Fewer lines of code always load faster. To stay within the load times mentioned above, experts recommend keeping your HTML code under 60kB and page graphics under 60kB for dial-up users.
4. Use a small, effective style sheet to reduce the redundant definitions of font, size, color, effects and the other attributes of objects.
6. Explicitly define the width of tables and cells, and the width and height of images. The browser will not have to wait until the entire image or contents of the table are loaded to begin displaying them.
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