Any Webpage taking longer than 8 seconds to load on a 56k connection needs to be further optimised. This article lists 6 different ways you can decrease a page's load time.

1. Webpages that use JavaScript are programmed with the script at the top of the document. The content cannot be seen until the JavaScript has fully loaded. Put any JavaScript at the bottom of the document and it will load after the visual content has finished, thus diminishing the loading time of the page. The page will still be loading when it is viewable within the browser but the user will be unaware of this.

2. Loading in external code such as style sheets or JavaScript files can also add to a page's load time. Including them in the html file decreases the readability of the code for a developer but does lessen the load time of the page considerably. When you've got your webpage functioning correctly, take some time to copy paste external code into the main html file.

3. There are three main formats of graphic that are used for webpages. These comprise of: Portable Network Graphics (png), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) and Graphics Interchange Format (gif). Making sure you use a format that retains the quality of the image at an optimal size is crucial when it comes to page load time. A gif type image is the smallest format so if your images only contain a small number of colours then this would be the primary choice. JPEGs can be manipulated to vary in quality, you should aim for the lowest quality possible without compromising the quality of the image. PNGs can provide images with transparent backgrounds but have a bigger file size than the two previous types. Bitmaps (bmp) are also a familiar image file type but take up a lot of memory. These should be avoided altogether for web use to guarantee speedy page load times.

4. A minimal use of images, in particular animated gifs will also lessen page load time. An animated gif is made up of numerous different images and will have a substantially bigger file size than a regular graphic. The lower the file size of the externally loaded graphic, the faster the page will load. The amount of images being loaded is also worth noting as it also effects page load time.

5. Flash animations or swf files are more common these days than animated gifs. Swfs are a siginificantly greater size than that of animated gifs. They should be used sparingly on a page and only where essential. It is worth taking into consideration using an animated gif in oppose to a swf if your animation is short and doesn't require any user interaction. However if your animation requires sound a gif won't be appropriate. The use of swfs will also require extra code to check if the user has a flash player installed. This requires further coding and is another reason to only use Flash files where necessary.

6. It is advisable to combine separate images where you can to lessen page load time. Two separate graphics will have a greater overall file size than one. Also with only one image the page needs to make less http requests, which is another determining factor of page load time.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Kostner has been building websites for over 5 years and runs, showing everday people how to build a website