Website Speed Test
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By : Ron King
designing a website, it's easy to start loading it up with graphics. While
tempting, you have to resist -- otherwise, you'll end up with graphical
Why is that a bad thing? Here's why.
It Takes Too Long to Download
The first reason to cut down on graphics is that the more there are, and the
larger they are, the longer it will take each of your pages to download.
People are impatient when waiting for pages to download -- you only have
around 5 seconds before your visitor hits the Back button.
What can you do about this? Apart from using fewer pictures, you can also
make sure that you resize your images in a graphics editor. This actually
makes their file sizes smaller. If you just resize images by specifying a
width and height in HTML or CSS, they will still be slow to download because
the full file size is being used.
You should consider turning on compression in your image editor. JPEG files
can often be compressed by up to 25% before there's a noticeable difference
in quality. Try different formats and compression levels to see what works.
It Gets Too Busy
If you use a site with more than 4 images on the page at once, your eyes are
being pulled all over the page. They're not sure where to focus because the
page simply has too much going on.
Look at the front pages of newspapers, and notice how they lead on 1
picture. Putting 2 pictures on a front page is considered to be poor: the
reader doesn't know where to look.
That goes double for websites, where the viewable area is much smaller than
a newspaper page. Even if you have more than 1 thing to say, it's better to
'go large' with 1 picture and then explain the other things in text, next to
or below it.
It Distracts from the Content
Users visit your site to get information, not to look at your graphics. Too
many graphics will distract from your content, or, worse, force readers to
search for it. Any time your graphics get in the way of people readily using
your site, you're suffering from graphical overload. And that is a bad
What's the solution? Simply decide which of all those graphics are really
necessary. Remember, don't add graphics just to look nice, each graphic must
have a specific purpose.
An Exception: Photo Galleries
If the purpose of your site is photo presentation, then clearly multiple
images are appropriate. However, don't just stick up several large
photographs -- provide thumbnails: smaller versions of each image. If
interested, the visitor can click on 1 to make it larger.
This fits more pictures on each page, and avoids wasting user download time
and your bandwidth.
Keep in mind that in all web design, the images are there strictly to
support the content. Even when the content is graphical.
About the Author :
http://www.webtopdesign.com to learn more. Ron King is a full-time
researcher, writer, and web developer, visit his website at