w3b-Doctor - Clean Simple Web Design

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Page download and server performance

This is an area that is often overlooked now that we have broadband. But the better and faster a webpage loads the better a user's experience will be. It will have a greater effect as site traffic increases. On high performance sites they are almost a must.

  • Semantic mark-up
    As discussed in the design section. Semantic markup separates the markup from display. It also has the benefit of reducing file size. On some pages it can be as much as 75-100%
  • Image optimisation and format
    Using a .gif file to display a high resolution picture or a .jpeg for icons is just wrong and will increase file size and therefore server / bandwidth performance
  • External style sheets and javascript code
    This allows the browser to cache (remember) commonly used elements. This will help to speed up downloads of subsequent pages
  • Image sprites
    Combining several small images into an image sprite and then using css to display only the section of the the larger image needed is a great way to cut down on server requests. This can greatly improve page performance
  • Style and script stripping
    This is a little more technical but basically involves combining .css and .js files and removing excess whitespace and unused elements from them
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