Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Load Speed

Something often overlooked by people outside the web development industry is page load speed. Plenty of people know it's importance, but yet, it often takes a back seat to presentation on Web sites. I'm not going to focus on why it takes the back seat, that would require too many words for a Tuesday. I just want to highlight one of the things I was striving for in my last project.

My last project.* It was a really inexpensive Web site for a small business. One of the items I discussed with the owner of the company was price, and there was no money in it for a designer. Normally, I wouldn't be willing to work on such a site, but I made an exception. I rationalized the time I was going to spend on the project as having the opportunity to really bake a template into Django-cms. You can see the finished project here: jlong.jeremymcneal.com.**

*Not in the final sense, I'm working on some new stuff already. When I retire, I'll still be programming, it's one of my favorite past times.

** There are some odd content things on this site. Ignore those, this isn't the final version.

The template I utilized has absolutely 0 images on it. The files required to download and display the page are under 80k, and 70k of that is jQuery. And when I compress that, I'll be down to under 60k.

it's great to have Web sites that look pretty. But page speed is often under-rated; and often more critical to making a Web site a success, as opposed to just an art piece. Often, if you're doing good work with your css; your site can still be aesthetically pleasing as well as successful.

Warning: Don't get caught up in the details too much. Remember what the purpose of your site is, and focus on how you can best spend your time to improve it's (hopefully) track-able success.* You can be doing everything else right on a site, but if your not doing this on your site, you are wasting your time.

*Google Analytics

Note: it's been awhile since I've written a post, and blogger has really improved their interface.

Please leave a comment. I <3 comments.

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