Website design and page loading speeds
The total number of HTML files on each page should be as low as possible although most browsers can multithread. Minimizing HTTP requests is a key to web page loading.
The total number of objects & images should be a reasonable number. Combine, refine, and optimize your external objects. Replace graphic rollovers with CSS rollovers to speed display and minimize HTTP requests.
Keep external CSS files per page to a low number and should be in the HEAD of your HTML document. They must load first before any BODY content displays. Although they are cached, CSS files slow down the initial display of your page.
Consider reducing total page size of your web page to less than 30K to achieve sub eight second response times on 56K connections. Pages over 100K exceed most attention thresholds at 56Kbps, even with feedback. Remember you still need to cater to dial-up connections.
Make sure external script files are either one or two. Combine, refine, and optimise your external script files.
Total size of your pages HTML file should be less than 20K which will allow your page to display content in less than 8 seconds, which is the average time users are willing to wait for a page to display without feedback.
Simple rather than flashy:
The use of multimedia can help you provide all kinds of features making your web pages lifelike and interesting. However, it is advisable to avoid its use if you really want your prospective visitors to gain quick access to your website and obtain the relevant information. It is a good idea to limit flash navigation, which can confuse users if over used. Always make access to your Home page direct from any page.
Focus on speed:
Files with graphic formats should never give users long download times or they will be driven away. Remember search engines find it hard to decipher text embedded in graphics and these features take longer to download. Avoid such things as far as possible. Have a look here for more technical tips on website loading and page design.
Headings are important:
While surfing the Net do you enjoy reading a huge passage without headings and sub-headings? Not really! Therefore use catchy headings and sub-headings (the juice) to help your website visitors go around your site freely without getting lost in the mass of words. Use bullets to give quick indicators to simple-worded detailed information. In your headings, choose key terms that can be easily indexed by search engines.
Finally, remember that your prospective clients and customers are your target. Put yourself in their place and ask yourself if your website will be able to live up to their expectation. Also, regularly revise and update your website keeping up with the changing technology and needs of the time.
Coding should be clean as possible, free of structure and CSS files should be off page where possible.
HTTP compression, otherwise called content encoding using gzip should be considered.
CSS alternate style sheets should be referenced in the HTML but are not actually downloaded until they are needed and therefore reduce the total page size.
The total size of your images should be under 30K. Consider optimising your images for size, combining them, and replacing graphic rollovers with CSS.
The total size of external scripts ideally should not be over 8K. Consider optimising your scripts for size, combining them, and using compression where appropriate for any scripts placed in the HEAD of your documents.
The total size of your external CSS should be under 8K. Optimise your CSS for size by eliminating white space in the code, using shorthand notation, and combining multiple CSS files where appropriate.