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Page load delay
only shows after loading is completed - why?

 2:26 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)


Our new website is exceptionally slow to load in the browser when using a dial-up connection - but to make things even worse;

The homepage only shows in the browser after it has finished 'loading' - i.e. the screen is just white and then after the loading time, the 'completed' page shows on the screen - there is no chance to read the text while images are loading - or for the user to at least see that that the loading is happening on their screen.

The thing is we don't why this is happening - it didn't happen with our old website. The page is very CSS orientated using a full CSS colum layout - does that have something to do with it?

Any ideas would be much appreciated.



 5:42 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Really, all sites should load in about 10 seconds, even on a modem. Even after 5 seconds you've lost sales... What browser(s) did you test with? This makes a big difference...

You've got height/width/alt text for EVERY graphic, right? Maybe there mighr even be a missed closing tag or something? Have you tried using img lowsrc?


 5:52 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

You say you are using css colum layout.
Are you "Wrapping" the overall page in one container.
If so, depending how that is done, it could be the cause.


 6:03 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do you have heights and widths defined on all your images? if not, you'll have that problem.


 6:05 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nested tables, with one main table holding EVERYTHING within? That causes IE problems if you don't specify w/h!


 12:42 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

The page is very CSS orientated using a full CSS colum layout - does that have something to do with it?

Before a browser can even begin to draw a page it must download all css information. For example if your css info is 12,000 bytes and you have 10,000 bytes of javascript you'll have to wait until the 22,000 bytes have loaded before the browser will even begin to start rendering the page.

22,000 x 8 = 176,000 bits @ 48,000bps = almost 4 seconds

The same goes for images and tables. If you don't tell the browser what size the images are it has no way to show place holders until it downloads the images and checks the sizes itself.

If your using netscape, opera, or mozilla they all will download the favicon image. Since favicons images are uncompressed if you have a 32x32 favicon image it could be as large as 3,000 bytes adding another half second to your page. If your using a 64x64 image it could be larger than 12,000 bytes adding 2 seconds. I don't know if browsers download the favicon before or after it downloads the page. It's just something you might think about if your using them.


 10:28 am on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank you very much, all, for your help in this - much appreciated.

I think I have virtually got to the bottom of it. We were using @import tags to link to the style sheets - by changing these to the normal link tags the page starts to render on the screen gradually, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve.

Thanks again.

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