Martin Dixon
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Faster Websites

A huge proportion of websites are far too slow!

Speeding up websites has a dramatic effect on the usability of a site - a slow loading homepage will often be skipped past by even dedicated surfers and potential customers.

Always remember most of your visitors are only on dial-up, and even some ADSL can be nearly as slow.

Almost every page I have ever seen can be sped up.

Many good sites have moved away from complex drop down menus, rollovers, pop-ups and fancy images for links (buttons) in favour of straight text links - they are easier to navigate and very fast! There is some suggestion that legislation will discourage such gimmicks in the future, because visually impaired visitors cannot understand or use them.


I tend to concentrate on reduction of the amount of data sent over the internet, i.e. number of bytes. This has the triple advantage of increasing speed, using less bandwidth (which may cost you money) and the reduced electronic traffic contention for your visitors.

I generally design websites with less graphics than the average, partly as they are often a distraction, and partly because I can create the the same effect by using far smaller or compressed images.

I particularly advise against using high graphic applications like Flash unless there is a very good reason and the visitor knows what he is going to see. E.g. not on the home page.

Even the HTML on many sites is full of white space and other unnecessary stuff.


Martin Dixon         5-b Julien Road, Ealing W5 4XA     +44 (0)20 8354 0510    +44 (0)79 0099 1905     2nd September 2002