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Speeding up Your Jewelry Website (part 2)

As we said in yesterday's Daily Nugget when you experience a slowdown on a website it's usually because of one of these reasons:

1. your computer is slowing down
2. your smartphone is having 3G connection issues
3. the website server is slow
4. you designed your website poorly

As we said yesterday, you can't control #1 and #2. We also gave you brief directions to solve issue #3.

With issue #4 we have to give you some suggestions that might be a little technical, so hold on to these or forward this to your programmer. Here are our suggestions for programming a fast website:

*Minimize the number of blanks.
The fewer blank lines and unneeded spaces there are in your website code the faster it will run. Many content management systems will generate many blank lines while programming code processes. A single blank line will not slow down your website, but if you have hundreds of blank lines per page you will see a loss of speed. Remember this is the CODE, not necessarily obvious on your page layout with the naked eye.

*Minimize the amount of indented code.
Most programmers will use a lot of indenting to make their programming job easier. This is understandable and acceptable. However, once your website's initial programming is complete, you should ask your programmer to remove all the indenting from the code. All those extra spaces in the code will slow things down.

*Minimize the size of your images.
Every content management system has the ability to upload and resize images for your needs, or to fit inside of specific design layouts, etc. These automatic upload features work for what they were intended for--to upload images. But with any online catalog you need to show photos that are clear enough to see the fine detail, yet small enough in kilobyte (KB) size to maintain a decent speed. Creating optimal size images is a manual labor process and perhaps something you should only do for jewelry styles you can reorder. If you have a choice, you should always do you best to only ever use images that show just enough detail of the jewelry.

*Structure your CSS and JavaScript code correctly
Your web browsers will read through a webpage in a sequential order, and it takes action in a very specific way. Within a single webpage you can call external style sheets, JavaScript code, or any other snippet of internet code that will make the page run. When a browser sees a JavaScript on a webpage it usually stops reading and waits for the JavaScript to fully activate. On the other hand, when a web browser sees a style sheet in the HTML code it keeps reading while the style sheet downloads in the background. For this reason, you want to tell your programmer to always include the style sheets earlier in your HTML code than all the JavaScripts. All this happens in splits of seconds, but from your visitor's point of view it's better for them to see the colors, styles, and images of your site while the JavaScript is loading. If you put the JavaScript at the beginning of your HTML code you run the risk of losing your customer's attention with a white screen.

As we said, these techniques are a bit technical, but they will increase your website speed a little bit. There are several more advanced speed techniques, but your eyes might already be glazing over. The net effect of a faster website will add up if you can find a web programmer to do these all for you.
AT: 12/29/2011 10:06:47 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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