Keeping File Sizes Small

Description: Why do you need to worry about keeping file sizes small? So long as the files load that's all that matters - isn't it? Read on to find out why small files are essential.

One of the main things to keep firmly in mind when you are designing websites is the end user - that is, the person who is going to find your site and see what you've created and what you've got to say.

At least, you hope they will. Because if you don't bear in mind certain important points when you are designing your site, they might not hang around long enough to find out how good your site actually is.

So what's the big deal about small file sizes in all this?

It's quite simple. As a rule of thumb, the larger the file size, the longer that file takes to load. The longer it takes to load, the more likely it is that you will lose visitors who don't want to hang around long enough to see the wonderful graphics you have designed to go on your website.

When you add to this the fact that not everyone has broadband, and files will take even longer to load for someone who has a dial up connection, you can see why making those files as small as is practically possible is a very good idea if you want to please your visitors and put their needs (and impatience to see your site) first.

What you need to do is compress all the files you can, so that the size of each web page is as small as possible. If you don't already have software that can compress files you can download free versions quite readily online.

While there is no specific size that a web page should be in order to load quickly, it makes sense that you should keep it as small as possible. Even with compressed files it stands to reason that the more images you have on each page, the longer that page is likely to take to load. That's why it pays to think about how you are using your images, because you can cut corners here and there without actually doing your site any harm at all.

For example, you can use smaller images instead of having huge ones on each page. You will still need to compress them but even a few tiny changes can add up to a much faster loading time overall.

Even more basic techniques such as compressing JPEG files to a smaller size than you would normally can help, as well as using image editing software to manage your images more easily.

Perhaps the most important rule to remember when you are thinking about keeping your file sizes as small as possible is to ask yourself whether or not each image is actually serving any purpose. While a certain number of images are worth having on a website, some of them can be no more than fillers, and the best way to reduce the size of those is to get rid of them altogether.

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