Buying a Website? Beware of the Long Load Time Problem
Numerous studies have show that, while most web designers use fast internet connections, the majority of their audience still use comparatively slower connections. Because of this, many designers create web pages that may load quickly enough on their own computers, but take excessively long to load on their audiences' computers. Many web designers have not dealt with this issue on their websites, resulting in the loss of a valuable audience, even though numerous ways of dealing with the long load time problem exist.
The largest cause of long page load times is the graphical content of the webpage. While text generally does not take too long to load over most connections, images can adversely affect even the fastest connection speeds when used incorrectly. Because websites use images more than almost any other media, this problem affects web designing decisions for practically every website created. Many web designers use large, full-quality graphics on their websites, which often take up much of the page. These images, while very attractive, do not justify the long time they require to load. In addition, many designers use full screen graphical interfaces for their sites. Even when text is the main component of these pages, the graphical interface slows the load time to a crawl. This forces viewers interested only in the text to wait unjustifiably long for the graphical interface to load first. For websites created for image viewing, there are often numerous, large, high-quality images placed on a single page in a giant column. Even if a viewer wants to observe just one of these images, they must wait for the other unwanted images to load as well. All of these problems cause viewers to become frustrated with websites, oftentimes causing them to give up on a site altogether.
If proper design techniques are used, however, they can prove beneficial to the effectiveness of a webpage. While it is impractical to stop using images altogether for websites, managing images appropriately can enhance a website's impact on intended audiences. An obvious and simple solution to slow load time problems is to use smaller pages. Since...