Web Design Philippines

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10 Tips for a Fast Loading Website

Internet download speeds may have increased over the years, but every web designer should still create fast loading web sites. You might have a stunning design but very few people will see it if it takes forever to load.

Many online researches indicate that web surfers have very low tolerance for slow loading websites. Some studies even show that site visitors leave if the page does not load in about three seconds.

So how can we make fast loading websites? Here are 10 practical tips:

  1. Keep images to a minimum – the bulk of any online page is composed of the images. The key to a fast loading web site is to keep images to a minimum. Yes, images enhance the overall look of a site. But using huge images slows a page down. Instead, break images down to simple HTML. Notice the popular sites like Yahoo, Google, Ebay, Amazon etc., they have very few images because the load time is more important.

  2. Optimize images for the web - Once you have decided on the images that you need on your site, make sure that it is optimized for the web. They should be in the gif or jpeg format. You can also minimize the size of the image by choosing the number of colors you need, from the color palette. The less the colors you choose, the less the size of the image. You can also use online tools like Gif Wizard to optimize your images or to get a recommendation on how to cut down the size of an image.

  3. Use Tables creatively - You can get some great looking designs by using tables creatively . Tables load very fast because it is just HTML code. Tables can be used in the homepage, menus or anywhere you like. Check out our homepage and our menus to see how we have used tables in our site.

  4. Cut down the use of animated gifs - Don't use animated gifs unless it is necessary. Animated gifs take a long time to load and can also be very irritating. But since they catch your attention you could use small animated gifs to draw a visitor's attention to a particular section of your site.

  5. Design simple icons - Instead of using big, bulky images use simple and small icons that add a little color and draw the attention of a visitor. We have used small icons in our homepage to highlight the main sections of our site.

  6. Use background images instead of big images whenever possible - Use background images whenever possible. This is usually a very useful tip for headers and footers. Instead of using an image of width 580 which is a uniform design you can use just a part of that as a background fill. This reduces the size of the web page as the image is small.

  7. Try out CSS Styles - Have fun with CSS styles to get some cool text effects. Again, a CSS Style is simple HTML code so it loads very fast. You can create cool rollovers using CSS Styles.

  8. Use Flash sparingly - There seems to be a lot of hype about Flash but I recommend that you minimize the use of Flash on a site. Don't make entire sites using Flash. It may look great but it takes hours to load and can really put off visitors. If you do want to use Flash use it within an HTML site and make sure it loads fast.

  9. Design most of your site in HTML - As much as possible try to design your site using HTML. You can create great designs by just using HTML code. Use tables, CSS Styles and simple fonts to design your site. Minimize the use of animated gifs, Flash, bulky images etc.

  10. Keep checking your load time - Last but not least, before you decide on the final design of your website, check its load time. There are a lot of sites out there that give you a free analysis of your web site which is extremely useful.

Get examples of fast loading yet engaging website design at WebToGo Philippines.

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