|Nobody likes to be kept
waiting. That's especially true
in the internet world. So if your
site loads with mind-numbing
sluggishness, you probably want
to fix the situation.
Fortunately, there are solutions
to this problem.
Before delving into
solutions, however, it's a good
idea to get an overview of the
extent and source of the problem.
You should view your site from a
variety of computers to make sure
the slowness isn't just something
particular to your internet
connection (like a slow computer
or ISP). It's also a good idea to
visit at different times of
day/week/month and so forth. A
brief slow-down that occurs
infrequently is much less of a
problem than chronic lag. Of
course, some times may be more
important than others for you. If
you have a Christmas themed site,
for example, it probably won't
console you if it runs fast
January thru November, but lags
badly in December.
confirming that there really is a
speed problem that needs to be
solved, here are some questions
that might help in coming up with
your web hosting service to
if you notice that not only your
site, but every
site that is serviced by your web
hosting provider is slow, it
might be time to upgrade to a
faster host. There might, of
course, be some cost to
increasing speed in this way. A
free or very inexpensive host
might not be as measure up to one
for whose services you pay a
little more. (I have been very
happy with the cost/speed of the
hosting provided by Futurequest).
it your whole site dragging or
just certain pages?
you have some pages that load
fast and others that don't, it
makes sense to look at what
differences exist between the two
to see what might be changed to
speed up the laggards.
too many (or too large) pictures
causing a problem?
appropriate pictures can liven up
a page, but every picture adds to
the time it takes for the page to
load. A lot of pictures can mean
a lot of loading time. A single
huge picture can be just as bad.
You might want to reduce the
number or size of pictures on the
pages to speed things up. By all
means, use compressed images such
as gif or jpeg to cut down on
some other site's slowness
affecting your site?
your pages pull in from some
other (slow) site can cause
things to grind to a halt while
your pages wait for the object to
arrive. Video, advertisements,
and pictures can all do this. If
an element you really don't want
to get rid of is exhibiting this
behavior on one of your pages,
you might consider at least
moving said element toward the
bottom of the page, so that the
items above the offending element
can render in the browser first.
your pages just too long?
fast in a browser ... well, most
of the time it does. Even text
can cause a page to dawdle,
however, if there is enough of
it. Maybe that blurb you wrote
that runs on for thousands and
thousands of words can be split
up into several smaller pages.
They'll load faster, and your
visitors won't have to do as much
that applying one or more of the
preceding ideas may be all you
need to do to accelerate a
lethargic site. In other cases,
particularly if your site is
complex or unusual, more effort
and research may be required.
Either way, be sure to back up
anything you'll be changing in
case the changes have
consequences and you need to undo