Web Page Optimisation – Rules of Engagement

Web Page Optimisation – Rules of Engagement

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Rules of EngagementAny website owner wants to have an attractive website that leaves your visitors amazed with what they are looking at. Most visually attractive websites often involve a certain amount of graphics hence enlarging the size of the page and ultimately causing the page to download at a slower rate. Accordingly, the following article will offer some tips about how to make your website download fast whilst maintaining visual appeal.

Given that the average rate of bandwidth is on the rise for computers, webmasters are developing complex sites using a large portion of graphics along the way. I have seen in some rather extreme situations where a website can take as long as several minutes in order to fully load content to the web browser. Needless to say, the visitor attempting to access that page will never wait such a long time for the page to load, and would understandably move onto the next search result.

This begs the question as to why webmasters are still building and developing web pages in this manner? Primarily because some web developers have a lack of knowledge when it concerns optimization techniques that ultimately permits them to still build web pages that look attractive yet the page size is small enough to load at acceptable speeds.

Many website designers do not realise, for example, that in order to use rounded corners on a box, it can be done so by simply using CSS code and without any need to use a graphic image. Even making these implementations compatible for any type of web browser is possible when sound optimisation solutions are enforced.

You should never limit yourself by using restrictions that could effect the outcome of the design. Some people may claim that by using web design graphic software  limits the possibility to implement correct code. This train of thought is something that I disagree with. Once the final design is complete and you’re ready to slice it into that will be utilised within the html code, this is a true test of your creativity and imagination. Everything that is used at this stage of the project is going to affect the overall sizing of the web page. With whatever design elements you use, such as rounded corners and shapes etc that possibly overlap each of the elements and gradients, then it is essential to slice wisely in order to produce a small file size as a result.

Looking at efficient means of slicing

Refrain from making slices that are too large and contain too many varying colours. Try using only a small number of slices so each slice only contains a certain amount of colours. Avoid using large slices which use the exact same graphic component. Try using a smaller slice of it and then replicate or copy this into the code. Mistakes like this are quite common among developers when manipulating background colours. Quite often, a GIF format will produce a smaller result than using JPEG. The opposite outcome generally applies with slicing a high volume of colours using JPEG format. Each KB that is reduced within the file image ends up in a dramatically reduced size in page.  Additionally, if you are using page text on top of a plain background colour, I’d recommend not slicing it. Instead, try using code elements in order to design the background. Don’t forget, you are able to easily define the background shade and style of the font by adopting CSS.

Using Improved Solutions

Optimising a website graphically is much more than simply being able to carry out image optimisations. Advanced levels and techniques of development are needed. CSS2 has the ability to offer more solutions than standard CSS coding. Even though not all web browsers have moved to CSS2 yet, it would be wise to be prepared for when they do. And by using Javascript as a way to create some neat effects is a great idea as a way to not to overload the web page by using flash. Even though the concept of using Javascript instead of flash to create a certain outcome might be difficult, for the extra effort involved, you’ll make a huge difference in comparison to other websites and the site will load much faster while offering the same professional visual appeal as flash.

Looking towards the future

More and more, mini laptops, tablets and other mobile gadgets that use wireless connectivity for browsing the net, publishing web pages that load fast will add a positive impact to the end user visiting your website. Fast loading web pages are also said to be part of the Google search engine algorithm that contribute to a websites search engine rankings.

Even though most of us will soon be able to access high bandwidths hence somewhat eliminating slow page loading, it’s far better to adopt best practices and to stay on top of the game as it continues to evolve.

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