Web Site Optimization: Introduction
Web site optimization might seem to be unnecessary. The speed of the Internet is finally getting faster. More and more people are getting high-speed Internet access and that means faster pages, and so the page size can get bigger, right? Even back in 1998, most people were connecting at 56Kbps (GVU's 10th WWW User Survey (October 1998)). This is a shift upwards from the year before. But even with these increases, it is important that you perform Web site optimization on your pages to get the fast download speeds your customers are looking for.
Download Speed a Top Complaint
The three top complaints were speed, ads, and broken links. Speed and ads each had 60% of the people indicate that these were a problem. Ads continue to get more annoying, but they also increase the download times. Web site optimization takes the ads into account so that your readers aren't leaving because the page loaded an ad immediately, but left the content floating in cyberspace.
How Can I Optimize my Web Site for Speedy Downloads?
In a previous article I suggested that you keep your Web pages to around 30K in size, including images. I am not changing this recommendation. I'm not changing it because speed is still a huge issue to readers, and optimizing your site for speed is a critical factor.
But, because the Internet is getting faster, you can create pages that are longer than before. But optimization means that your page is mostly text, as that will have a faster download speed than a page that is primarily images.
There are also other issues in Web site optimization for speed. We'll look at these issues on the following pages.