- 1. Use images sparingly.
- 2. Use HTML to design your pages
- 3. Minimize animated gifs and flash usage
- 4. Use background images
- 6. Optimize your HTML
- 7. Avoid using multimedia files
- 8. Use Templates
- 9. Optimize images
- 10. Check your loading times
Images may enhance the appearance of a website but it greatly increases its loading time. While optimizing images will make the pages load faster, overuse will not have the desired effect. For example, if you use over 75% of your page content as images chances are that your pages will load very slow.
HTML when used well can be very effective in creating fast loading pages. You can create simple and elegant sites using plain HTML, CSS and few images.
Wherever possible use very few animated gifs and flash files. As much as they enhance web page appearance they usually bog down the loading times so use sparingly.
Instead of using full images, use background images for headers and footers. In this way you get to use a strip of the image of uniform design instead of using an image 779px wide.
One of the reasons why pages may load slowly is huge page size as a result of useless or repeated HTML tags. Validating your site is one way of optimizing your HTML.
Unless your site is an entertainment one don’t use multimedia files especially as background music unless you absolutely have to. Providing a download link or an online player is better than using the files as background music.
Using templates will not only ensure uniformity throughout your site but will enable subsequent pages load faster because the structural images will have cached and thereby reducing the load times significantly.
Using an image editor like Photoshop, or Ifarnview, images can be optimized to load fast depending on their intended use. Appropriately resized and cropped images will greatly reduce the loading times of a page and at the same time maintaining their integrity.
Finally check your loading times using plugins such as Fasterfox in Firefox to see how long your pages are taking to load.
This article was written by Hilum Mburu, the lead web developer at http://www.simbahosting.net a web hosting & design solutions firm.