Website performance is a reflection of the efficiency and credibility of your company or organization. From the most technical power users to people just learning how the Internet works, a slow website is a slow website.
Sometimes the best way to avoid poor website performance is to create a checklist of things NOT to do.
First, here are the quickest and easiest website performance killers:
- Don’t optimize any images. Many website images or graphics are un-optimized – reduced in colors or density to ultimately reduce file size. Even with today’s blazing fast connections to the Internet, slowly loading images are noticeable. Images over 50KB in size should be optimized.
- Create long pages of seemingly endless text and images. Often seen as helpful to SEO, long web pages can take longer to load and incur more traffic between the web server and a web browser.
- Avoid cascading style sheets which can reduce page size and load time. Cascading style sheets also make it easier to create a consistent look-and-feel for your website.
- Use nested tables – tables within tables – to give the appearance of nothing happening when a web page is loading.
- Use frames. Frames are pages within pages that need to load as individual pages.
Next, here are some of the more subtle yet lethal ways to slow your website down:
- Open database connections but never close them. Database connections that are not properly closed, can hold on to system resources, i.e. memory, that can eventually lead to the entire server performing slowly or crashing.
- Don’t optimize database queries by testing them first or by using stored procedures.
- Use lengthy comments in the HTML code which no one will ever see but will be loaded by the browser.
- Use java applets for unnecessary animation. While java applets can be useful, using them for showing a simple animation can be time consuming as the java compiler needs to load.
- Don’t monitor your website for performance trends of web page response times. Software to monitor website performance is widely available and can pinpoint the best and worst time periods that your website is responding. It can also alert you when your website is not responding at all.