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Why Shorter Web Pages Are Best

Keep you web pages short and lean for best results!

Have you ever clicked on a link to visit a website and just sit there... and sit there... and sit there waiting for the page to load? Probably not. If you're like most web surfers you simply hit the back button after a few seconds.

This user behavior is typical. Very few people will wait more than a few seconds to see your web pages. Small pages that target just one or two keywords also typically do much better in the search engines than larger ones that discuss everything under the sun.

This is why it is so important to keep your web pages lean and small (in kilobytes). Here are a few tips for keeping your pages as small (yet still useful) as possible:

  • Use graphics sparingly and optimize them for the smallest file size possible. I try to keep my web pages at 20kb or smaller, including the graphics files, text, and HTML code.
  • Make your logo images as small as you can. I have seen web pages with logos in the 100k range and up! Most visitors will never hang around to view these pages.
  • Keep your pages focused on one topic and create additional pages for additional topics. Your visitors will thank you and the search engines will love you!
  • Format your pages with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and call the CSS from an external style sheet (.css file). This tip alone can cut the size (and page loading times) of your web pages in half or better.
  • If you use javascripts, place them in a separate .js file and call them when needed.
After you have reduced the size of your web pages as much as possible, here are a few tips you can use to make them load even faster:
  • If your pages simply must have a lot of graphics, preload them with javascript.
  • Use nested tables as little as possible because they slow down your browser's rendering of the page quite a bit.
  • If one of your pages still ends up being fairly long after applying the above tips, organize the content into several consecutive small tables instead of one huge one.

    That way the table at the top will load completely and then the lower tables will load in turn. This gives your visitors the illusion that the page has finished loading before it actually has (and something to read while the rest of the page is loading).
  • Set the height and width attributes for all images used on your web pages. This allows the browser to go ahead and render the page with the proper spaces allotted for the images. The text will load ahead of the images giving the user something to read while the images are loading.

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