Author: Nola Young
The performance of a Web site is dependent on a number of variables: the hardware, operating environment, and bandwidth of the server. Performance also depends on the client site with respect to browser versions, operating environments and connection speed. If Web pages only contained static, HTML performance wouldn’t be so much of an issue. However, the picture changes greatly with the addition of multiple pages, images, forms, custom scripts, audio, video and databases.
Today’s Web sites, and their wide range of options, can challenge even highly-skilled Web developers in terms of optimizing and keeping performance issues in check. Companies with intricate Web sites pay close attention to performance and will do extensive testing to ensure peak performance. The degree to which you should be concerned about this depends on many factors, but if you have any of the technologies listed above you might want to consider looking into this in more detail.
If you are trying to improve the performance of your Web site, there are many things that need to be done. Start off right from the planning stages. Don’t wait until the end of a project to look at performance issues.
Many people test the performance of their Web site by using a single browser to view their pages. This will certainly give a good indication of the responsiveness, but you cannot count on the fact that other visitors will have the same browser version, the same monitor or the same connection to the Internet. That is why testing on multiple browsers, on multiple operating environments, using various monitor sizes, and over various connection speeds, are the best ways to test your performance.
Here are some tips to help you achieve optimum performance:
- Be lenient with If a script slows down performance, consider whether you should re-work the script or use another one.
- Optimize your Dropping colours out of your images will greatly reduce the file size, thus enabling faster load times. The human eye cannot see the reduction of these colours.
- Design with performance in mind. If you plan out the site in advance you can figure out where the performance bottlenecks will be, thus saving you a lot of time in the
- Design with the lowest common denominator in mind. Consider your customer at all times. Don’t assume that everyone has high speed Internet
- Be consistent. This will make your site cleaner and easier to maintain in the
- Remember to re-check your performance when you update or make changes to your Web site. Forecasting the effect of change is sometimes not possible because real situations cannot always be measured until the change has been fully However, careful planning in advance is always the best and safest measure to take.
Nola Young is the president of KW Digital Solutions. Send your comments or questions by email or call 519-741-7641.