Website Speed

I have some questions and would like your input.

Should I worry about my websites speed to load? What speed should I be aiming for? How can I reliably check? What can I do to make my site quicker?

Thanks for any thoughts :slight_smile:

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Apparently reducing the download time makes users happy and statistics are shown where one is led to believe that shaving a fraction of a second from the download decreases users leaving the site before a page is loaded.

There are numerous articles available all claiming to decrease the load time. Google Webmaster Tools offers suggestions and highlights problem areas along with suggestions.

I think a great deal of time can be wasted trying to optimise your web pages. The wasted time would be better spent on having better content and increasing SEO marketing techniques.

Just my two pennorth :slight_smile:

You should try to make your website load as quickly as possible! If it takes more than a few seconds, people are likely to get bored of waiting for it.

The best ways to speed it up are:

[list][]code efficiently, using the bare minimum of code you need to achieve the goals - get rid of layout tables and unneeded elements and other cruft
]externalise all stylesheets and scripts, so that they only need to be loaded once and can then be cached for subsequent pages
[]minimise your use of scripts to only essential functions - in particular, try to avoid using frameworks like jQuery, because these add massive bloat that is rarely needed
]likewise, don’t use CSS frameworks if you can avoid it, they tend to be absolutely massive for achieving very little
[*]optimise your images, use the most appropriate format (jpg, gif or png) for the type of image, and save it at the lowest acceptable quality (you’ll rarely need jpgs to be more than about 80% on the web)[/list]

Thanks John for the info, that pretty much looks like all I need. Regarding the ways to speed it up Stevie they were all the things I would have said and I have tried to do them the best I can (with my limited ability) so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

Thansk again

I just stumbled across these “Time Wasters”. Both sites have some informative blurb.

enjoy and remember your final goal :slight_smile:

Very good point :slight_smile:

One more tool

Thanks Javr, that is a pretty nifty tool :slight_smile:

Avoid over doing graphics or flash works on the Home page,hosting on a high speed server helps loading faster keep Images,widgets and plugins to as minimum as possible.If you are on word press enable plugins for cached files and increase the loading speed

If you gave us an url for your site, we might be able to spot obvious problems.

Nice one Dr John, never thought of that please see here Website

Another good tool is Firebug…works in your browser and you can get a lot of information just by clicking a button…

I couldn’t agree more with that one. Myspace destroyed itself because of it’s long load times and java-script heavy pages. Compare the page loading time of Myspace and Facebook. There is no comparison. Facebook loads fast and Myspace can take 30 seconds or longer.

When Myspace did the redesign last year, they made things even worse. Browsing a photo gallery, everything is done in Javascript. The pages are all Javascript and AJAX, making it a nightmare for usability (back button does not work). Then there is that annoying pop-up window that expands to load the image you are viewing. It’s just terrible. Photobucket is now heavy on the Javascript, too, making it impossible to right-click to view an image.

If you are using an older computer, these Javascript-heavy websites are a pain to browse, possibly even on a newer computer.

Honestly, do jQuery tricks like fading, accordion menus, and other things add to the usability experience or detract from it? I say it detracts. You could end up downloading a couple hundred K of Javascript (which takes time on dial-up) just to do some stupid and unnecessary jQuery tricks.

Poorly written javascript can really make a browser choke. Unfortunately, I see more and more web developer job postings demanding a strong knowledge of jQuery. This use of bulky Javascript scripts is likely to only get worse. jQuery is going to become as big of a pain in the butt regarding navigating websites as Flash was.

Hi cheesedude,

I agree with everything you say but must also add that the points you make mostly apply to this moment in time. . Can you still remember the download noise of the old dial-up modems and the wonderful websites and email available at that time?

The internet download speed is increasing on a daily basis and as one good friend of mine (now dead) used to say that instead of optimising the program just buy a faster computer.

Google seems to be pushing faster download speeds and I keep monitoring popular sites and note their size and download speeds.

Web design is a constant juggle, with rapidly moving goal posts which keeps us forever hopping on our toes :slight_smile:


I really don’t understand people who say this. Unless your doing some trivial things Jquery is a huge time saver. I mean if you were writing JavaScript properly you would need to do much of what it does anyway in regards to normalizing AJAX, events, etc based on browser implementation. Maybe not sizzle (which is probably the bulk), but its a nice thing to have. Granted I’m not a die hard JQuery person but really its quite a good tool. I guess if your creating some stupid portfolio or dumb mom and pa static site I guess you don’t really need it. However, in the world of “real” application driven web development its a huge time saver and probably results in less code down the line in many cases. Than again I am talking more so from an application development stand-point, than these many stupid static sites around, which are pretty much worthless in the first place but that is another story.

I agree on CSS frameworks though. The only things those do is promote none semantic mark-up and bad practice all around.

I think my main criticisms of JQuery are that (as I understand it) you’re downloading the whole library regardless of the fact that you might only be using one or two functions, and that it encourages people to do stupid, unnecessary and often downright irritating things, which they wouldn’t do if JQuery didn’t encourage them to by making it so easy.

Yes, I’m sure that for some things, the use of JQuery can genuinely improve a site in a way that it would not be feasible or economical for the author to do by writing the script out from scratch … but let’s be honest, that only accounts for a very very small proportion of the JQuery use out there on the web.

I have similar issues with Jquery. However, I’m not going to let the fact morons use it prevent me from using it. I just recently began using it having 3 years experience with JavaScript and in the beginning I was very much against it though. Now, I think its actually quite nice, I mean many of the things I have to do anyway when writing my own code, I might as well let JQuery do it for me. The same thing with all the plugins available, regardless of how convoluted or stupid something is I don’t have to spend aeons writing it! – normally… someone else already has leaving me to focus on accomplishing a specific business goal rather than writing pointless crap – most of the time things people want using JS is pointless crap. Guess I’ve just already had my share of writing JS “effects” for the hell of it, I now rather let someone else do it since so many people are dumb enough to spend their free time working – might as well take advantage of it. Its like… you guys can write the “cool” effects for sh*ts and giggles and I’ll be making money (win? win),lol.