Designing web pages for fast downloads
I am into web design and lots of other things. One of the issues I have faced constantly is the phobia for SEO. My clients want this more than anything else. As a result web design takes a back seat – way back. People don’t realize that bad design can ruin your chances of succeeding in this bad bad world. How can good web design help you succeed? What is good web design? These are questions I am going to address in this post.
Is your main page filled with heavy duty Flash?
In many cases, the main page of a website or blog for that matter is filled with Flash animation. You must understand that Flash files take a while to download and if you have more than one, the download becomes downright slow. Imagine yourself, waiting an eternity for a page to download. I would rather look at some other sites than wait that long. This is what happens to your visitors. They quit your site and look for other opportunities.
There is a solution for this problem. You can move your beautiful Flash creations to other pages. You can also provide two versions of main page – text and Flash. If you insist on having Flash in your home page, I would recommend that it be of very small size.
Clients feel that their Flash files take very little time to download
This is another fallacy you have to tackle as a web designer. Flash files are downloaded on the client PC or laptop and reside in the cache when a site is visited first time around. When the client visits second time and subsequently, the Flash file is loaded from cache and displayed. This makes it seem as if the Flash files are downloading fast. You must ask your client to clear the cache and then view their website or blog. The actual download speed will then become apparent.
Too many ads running on a web page
This happens when you have third party software running from your website. I have noticed that even Google ads (AdSense) can slow down the speed of download. Obviously you can’t do away with the ads since they might be your only source of revenue. I would recommend that you minimize the total number of such scripts, especially on your main page.
Video on main page
This is another common issue. Clients want to run videos and YouTube clips from the main page. You must understand that videos are memory guzzlers. If a computer has limited resources like RAM, the web page would take forever to load. Ideally all videos must be shunted to inside pages. In case of high speed internet or broadband, videos may still be a big issue depending on PC resources.
User experience and web design are a science. Ultimately your website will be known by the number of visitors. To enhance traffic to your site and reduce bounce rate (Another exciting topic in web design) you must ensure that download speed of your web pages and mainly home page, is as fast as possible. You must sacrifice Flash and other heavy duty files and embrace simplicity. You will be surprised at the difference it will make to overall efficiency leading to enhance traffic.
Victor Solovey is a web designer who loves to ideate on design concepts and user experience. He promotes several web properties including High Speed Internet Providers for fast internet browsing.