Archive for December 5th, 2008

Page Load Time

Friday, December 5th, 2008

If your web pages have long load times it can have some seriously negative effects on your online business. At first consideration, page load time may not come across as a significant issue. However, the typical surfer is so impatient that a delay of a couple of seconds is enough for you to loose potential customers. Furthermore, if you have significantly long load times, it can adversely affect your AdWords quality score, ultimately costing you more money for your online advertising. Thankfully, there are many ways that page load times can be reduced to avoid these problems, and most of them are very straight forward.

Use External Javascript And CSS Files - Javascript and style sheets often make up a large amount of a web pages code. Using separate pages for CSS and javascript can significantly reduce page file size and load time.

Limit Images On Page - A lot of images can really slow down a page’s loading speed. Be aware of the size of your images and make sure there are none that are disproportionately large. Try moving some images off the page by setting them as backgrounds in CSS.

Minimise Domain Lookups - If you use a lot of page rewrites and other commands in .htaccess, your page load times will suffer. Try to keep domain lookups to a minimum.

Use Clean Code - You may have a lot of redundant tags or html errors in your code that cause problems. Ensure that your code is valid to W3C standards and consider rewriting complex table structures into divs.

You can check your site pages’ load time with net mechanic’s load time checker. You may have good load times and not need to take the steps above. However, the points listed above are generally considered to be good practice for all websites, and it never hurts to have smaller file sizes and more efficient pages.