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Optimize for Speed

When someone complains about how long it takes to view your Web site, it may not be your fault--sometimes users' systems are not set up for maximum performance. But your site should be. Your goal should be to limit your pages to 30k.

Start by making sure your images are optimized:

  • Choose the most efficient format between .gif or .jpg
  • Crop to show only relevant part of the image
  • Convert the image to the fewest possible colors without distorting it
Next, clean up your HTML.

  • Some packaged HTML editing tools add unnecessary code. If you can, read through and remove any unnecessary attributes
  • Avoid nested tables (tables within other tables) even though it sometimes makes for better design. If you want speed you may have to sacrifice design
  • Make sure all images have height and width designated.
Then, reduce content.

If you can lead a user to the next page to continue a story, do so. Users don't like reading overlong, drawn-out columns of information--otherwise books would still be printed on scrolls.

Jennifer Frost is Art Director at Register.com.

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