Content is king and there’s no doubt about it. Good stuff will keep bringing people to your site. That’s a fact. However, have you ever thought of Usability? What’s usability, you say? In short: it refers to the quality of a system (i.e. a web site) and the process of designing a system.
A common usability problem among most blogger is about loading times. Most visitors will leave your site immediately if it’s taking ages to load. Sometimes it our host’s fault. Most of times it’s our fault, even if we’re not aware of it. Read on, I’ll tell you why.
Put your Styles at the top
Having your stylesheet in the HEAD section will makes your pages appear to be loading faster. This is because the browser will load the styles first and apply them to your contents as it renders them progressively.
Avoid image filters
The AlphaImageLoader filter blocks rendering until the whole image has been downloaded. Use PNG-8 instead. As far as I know, it is well supported by IE so it’s worth the shot.
Keep scripts and stylesheets outside of pages
Don’t resize images in HTML
Using large images in your pages and resizing them by changing its width/height attributes in the IMG tag won’t do any good to your site’s performance. Don’t be such a lazy ass – resize it to make it fit your needs using a image editor as GIMP.
Optimize your images
Try converting your GIFs into PNG-8 and check if there’s a saving in file size. Most times it will result in a smaller file, save your bandwith and decrease loading times.
If you have access to the .htaccess file in your server then this baby can come in handy. Gzip compresses the files that are being sent to the viewer’s browser. Then, the browser itself decompresses them and displays the page to the visitor in full format.
Don’t overuse images
While images can greatly improve your site’s appearance, most of them are unnecessary. Use CSS to manipulate the background colour of those elements in your page that doesn’t need an image.
Applying these tips when creating / working a site will be greatly beneficial for your visitors and increasing your websites position in Google. And hey, it’ll save your your bandwith and your visitors’ time, too!