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Lesson 1
1  Site Optimization Tutorial — Lesson 1
2  Don't Need It? Don't Use It.
3 Image Formats
4 JPG and PNG Basics
5 Standard Image Compression
6 Advanced Compression Techniques
7 Faster Than a Speeding Progressive Download
8 Cache Is Your Friend
9 Size 'Em Right

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Site Optimization Tutorial
Lesson 1

by Jason Cook

Page 2 — Don't Need It? Don't Use It.

Nothing tricky or techie about this, but, friend, it works wonders. Before you do anything else, remove every superfluous image from your page's design. Now "superfluous" doesn't mean your company logo or a useful map to your office. We're talking about that clever, animated envelope next to your Send Mail link. Or, if your site has a splash page with a big logo and a [CLICK HERE TO ENTER!] link, ditch it and send your audience directly your main page. Trust us: a fast-loading, functional website gives your business a better image than some splashy intro that offers the user no real content, and nothing to do but wait for the next page to load.

Remember, shaving a paltry 10KB image off your site may not sound like that impressive an improvement, but if you're working with a 40KB page, that 10 KB represents a healthy 25 percent reduction in download time not a bad trade for the loss of hi-res picture of your new Hello Kitty toaster.

If you're really hell bent about creating split-second page loads or you have a page that desperately needs trimming, consider axing graphical submit buttons and replacing them with text submits. They are recommended by user interface experts and users alike.

or the plain-old-text kind:

[Click to Submit Data]

Also, you can replace animated GIFs with static images, which take a fraction of the time to download.

Finally, a lot of fancy "header" and navigation graphics can be replaced with larger text, appropriately styled with a <font> tag or CSS. These days, this option works better than ever, because Windows XP and Mac OS X browsers natively support text anti-aliasing. This process smooths the jagged edges around fonts, giving screen type a more natural, refined look, especially at bigger font sizes.

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