Fast Page Loading
Andrew King adds that the average time people (with broadband) will wait for a website to load is 8.6 seconds. 8.6 seconds isn't a lot of time...
Of course, visitors will wait longer if they already "have a relationship" with your site - if they regularly visit it, if it provides a unique specialist service, etc. But for the casual visitor following an idle search link... it's in those first few seconds that they need to be captivated by your site. And that means fast page loading.
There are several strategies for WPO (web page optimisation); they include minimising graphics and other media, optimising those graphics and media files so that they look (or sound) good but take up as few bytes as possible, ensuring that code is clean and elegant, having CSS in a separate stylesheet, and so on.
It's tempting for designers to pull every flash and dazzle trick... to utilise the fluid nature of the internet to give a total immersion experience.
One day, perhaps. One day, when browsers and connections the world over give users audio, visual, all-singing, all-dancing, information-rich pages in the blink of an eye. Clearly that day has not yet arrived... and that first bemused fascination with the internet has gone forever. The days when people sat and made coffee while a page loaded... gone.
For now, designers need to concentrate on FAST information. It's of pivotal importance to establish your business, your organisation or yourself on that first page - fast.
If it's at all possible, external media files are best kept on separate linked pages, to give users the option of deciding whether they want to wait while an audio or visual file downloads.
If your first-time visitor likes that first page enough to explore the rest of your site, he or she is in the door and much more likely to be interested in further information or content which your site provides.
Another issue to consider - the longer your page takes to load, the more bandwidth it is probably using. Fast pages make everyone happier, including you.
Web Empress focuses on designing cleanly - and that means good page loading times. It pays to be fast.
From concept to design, Web Empress works to provide you with a website to suit your design criteria.
P.O. Box 4292,
Ringwood, VIC 3134
Phone: 0418 328 516
61 3 9879 9150