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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : March 11, 2011

Top 3 ways to decrease page load times

In 2010, a TagMan study found that for every second a page does not load, consumers click away. Most don't return, figuring if the page didn't load the first time, there will be no change with a second or even third visit. Their research shows that for every one second delay in page loading 10% of consumers are abandoning the website.

by Kristina Knight

The problem of long page load times remains. In many cases these slow load times are caused by third party tracking pixels or tags, but those tags are actually the simplest fix - by taking them off and using tags not associated with slow loading times. There are, of course, other ways to boost page loading time. Here are the top three from SixRevisions.

First, optimize, optimize, optimize. Check the types of images you are using on-site and ensure the file format is appropriate. GIFs, for example, are best for logos with few colors. JPEGs are best used with multi-colored, detailed images and PNGs are best used for high-quality transparent images. While you're optimizing those images, don't forget about the content. It can be compressed and optimized so that the files are sent in smaller files - and therefore upload more quickly.

Second, minimize HTTP requests. Rather than forcing your site to request multiple files for images, content or ads, combine some pages. Not every page, but pages that make sense to have together - multiple stylesheets, for example, can be combined to reduce the number of requests and make page loading faster. While you're changing those stylesheets, consider putting CSS and JavaScript files in an external location rather than in the HTML document.

Finally, resize elements before they are uploaded into the HTML. Graphics, for example, should never be scaled down. "If you need a 100X100px image and you have a 700X700px images, use an image editor like Photoshop to resize...this lowers the file size of the image, thus helping to decrease page loading times," is written on SixRevision's tip sheet.

Tags: page load problems, page load times, SixRevisions, TagMan, website optimization

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