Articles for Webmasters     You Need a Fast Loading Home Page

You may have spent many months designing your website, and many more months tweaking its content until it was just right. But once that website is finished and online you have less than a minute to get the attention of your would be viewers. If your website does not load fast enough your potential customers may click away - never to return. If you want to capture the attention of your viewers you will need to make sure your home page loads quickly no matter what type of internet connection they may have.

When designing your website it is important to consider the fact that not everyone will be on a high speed connection. While the availability of cable and DSL internet connection has grown exponentially in recent years, high speed service is not available everywhere. Wireless connections can also be slow at times, so it is important for every website owner to design their home pages to be both fast loading and attractive. That means reducing the number of complicated graphic elements, and eliminating slow loading elements like animation. Keeping the home page clean and straightforward will help it load faster - and that means your customers will be more likely to stick around to see what else you have to offer. You can add those fancy design elements to the other pages on your webpage - just leave them off the home page.

If you want to see the power of simplicity in action just take a look at the Google website. Google is arguably the most successful internet company in history, and yet their home page could not be simpler. When you type into your browser you are greeted with a simple graphic and a search box - nothing more and nothing less. The page loads almost instantly even on a dial-up connection, making it easy for the user to get just what he or she needs.

Design Tips for a Fast Loading Website

When designing your website it is important to design that site with the goal of being fast loading and easy to use. Some of the best ways to create a fully optimized and fast loading website include:

  • Keep your graphics small - if the pictures you plan to use on your website are high quality digital images chances are they are also very large - and they may take awhile to load on a slow internet connection. Before you add those images to your website be sure to resize them and reduce the number of pixels - the optimal size for website use is 640x480 pixels.
  • Avoid animation - that dancing bear may look cute if you have a high speed internet connection, but users with dial-up connections are unlikely to stick around to see it. Try to avoid using animation elements on your home page - they can take forever to load on a slow connection. If you want to use animation on your website those elements can be placed on interior pages.
  • Use a simple design - using a simple design template will make your website easier to use and more user friendly. A simple design will also help your page load more quickly.
  • Maximize the content area of your website - chances are your viewers found your website because they were searching for something specific. Give them what they want by maximizing the content portion of your website. If your viewers have to hunt for what they want they may click away and never return.


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