It takes time to fully load a website and this single factor may make or break user experience in our website. People will click Back or close the web browser tab if it takes too long for our website to load. If we are offering people some essential information, it is important for us to offer quick load time, as well as nice designs. In this case, it is important to regularly evaluate our website to make sure that the loading time is reasonable. There are online tools that can help analyze loading time. We could enter the URL of our website and a report will be displayed to show the loading time on different connections.
There are different ways we can do to reduce load time. If we find out that it takes plenty of time to load a web browser, we may need to redesign it and perform some optimization tasks. It’s true that no one is using 56.6K connection anymore, but even with high speed DSL and 4G LTE data plans, it is possible that our website will load slowly if it is improperly optimized. Videos, sounds, images and poorly coded server-based software are major menaces to load times. While they may add nice visuals and functionality to our site, it is possible that we eventually overuse them. As an example, some people may generate improperly optimized images when they use Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Photoshop. Some amateurs could still use 5MB images, although they can be optimized, while retaining acceptable clarity. In general, images should be smaller than 200KB and video files should be hosted at other services, such as YouTube. Any web development platform could already support YouTube videos, so it is unnecessary to put videos in our server, which could limit our resources.
Text should be quite fast to load, especially on high speed connections. However, texts could be improperly embedded in HTML code and this will make it much slower to properly load our content. The actual text isn’t significant in size and primary text body in our webpage could be smaller in size, compared to the smallest image in the page. Because many people are looking for some crucial information presented in a block of text, it would be helpful for them if we are able to provide it quickly. It is a bad idea to reduce user experience by adding elements that people don’t need.
During a web development project, it is important to regularly evaluate the loading time, not only for primary homepage, but also common webpages. New additions of code, image and other elements could make the whole website much slower to load. Loading time is also an indication that there could be errors in our code implementation. As an example, it could take longer for an internal code to fetch dynamic data from servers. Reducing load time is often more than using less multimedia content, but also about optimizing the internal structure and code.