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Webpage diet- Does black text look slimming?

How "thin" should I shoot for to have a fast loading site?

     
8:22 pm on Sep 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Is there a page size that you should aim for (or below). I have two websites up, one averages about 40-60k and the other averages about twice that.

Obviously the lower the better to increase your load speeds but I'm not sure if I'm doing well at the 40-60K size or if I need to cut more to assure faster loads that won't turn people away. I've tried some "load speed testers" on the web and in programs but I get conflicting information.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

8:47 pm on Sept 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Jump on a computer with a 56K modem and visit your site. If the slow loading pages drive you crazy - then make 'em smaller..........First hand testing at its best!
10:14 pm on Sept 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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One of the most effective methods to cut your page size down is to reduce white space within your documents. Also cutting out any non required bloat is a great help.

If you edit your html to remove all white space you will be amazed at how much your doc size is reduced. I know removing all white space is not always the way to go, but it will certainly cut your page sizes down and reduce your bandwidth.

Mack.

1:10 pm on Sept 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A terrific book on this subject is:
Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization by Andrew B. King

There's a companion website to the book, located at:
[websiteoptimization.com...]

Reducing whitespace is one of the "quick win" solutions King suggests in his book, precisely because it can cut down on bloat so readily. Lots more in the book, however.

2:39 pm on Sept 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Bear in mind that there's a different standard for surface pages and deep pages. Your home page, for instance, should probably be under 20k so that it loads almost instantly on faster connections and withing a few seconds on dialup. Filling up a home page with graphics is, in my opinion, the kiss of death.

But once people are IN your site, looking at content and invested in seeing what you've got, they're also more willing to wait for pages with graphics to load.

Note: Another tip is to keep styles in an external stylesheet. Browsers download css files the first time they are called and stores them in the cache, decreasing download time on all other pages that use the same css file.

2:44 pm on Sept 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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> Another tip is to keep styles in an external stylesheet.

I thought it was strange that the source code for the "website optimization" site cited above wasn't using an external stylesheet, yet advocates "whitespace elimination" - while having 5 or 6K worth of stylesheet definitions loading in the page.

2:52 pm on Sept 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The biggest difference you can make is using gzip compression on your server to send compressed files to user agents which support them. The other big way you can reduce page size is to properly optimize your images. The rest, while useful, is only important once you've put the first two into effect.

Personally, I like pages to be under 20k. In the famous guide [webmasterworld.com], the guideline is 5 to 10k (ouch!). Things have moved on since Feb 2002, but there is still a significant majority of users on dialup at 56kbps or less.

Just optimizing the home page isn't ideal either - it assumes that most of your visitors will arrive there rather than through deep-linking.

2:55 pm on Sept 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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When I started, and 56k was considered fast, an old sage offered this as a test of page size.

Hold your breath as the page loads. If you begin to feel any discomfort, you are losing visitors.

Worked then, works now. Of course, to do the test you have to use a dial up :)

WBF

3:34 pm on Sept 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I thought it was strange that the source code for the "website optimization" site cited above wasn't using an external stylesheet, yet advocates "whitespace elimination" - while having 5 or 6K worth of stylesheet definitions loading in the page.

PatrickDeese:

I believe the reason (based on a quick check of the index of the referenced book for "external stylesheets") is that while external stylesheets have advantages -- easy to update an entire site; external CSS files are cached -- [[Direct quote from the book]] "Embedding your stylesheet can, however, save one HTTP request for high-traffic pages."

He (Andrew King) also mentions that on some sites, an option is to embed a simplified version of the stylesheet within the homepage and link to an external CSS somewhere else.

There's an entire chapter in the book on CSS Optimization. Worth a perusal next time you're at a bookstore.