Web Design Tips & Tutorials - Layout Tips

One of the most significant problems that faces most web sites is slow loading time, which often annoys users to the point where they give up and go to another site. As a result of this problem it is extremely important to design your pages to load as quickly as possible, which means keeping page size as low as possible. By keeping your page layout simple, your site will not only be more user-friendly, but it will also load more quickly, ensuring that your visitors don't go to another site. The following layout tips will help keep your users where you want them at your site!

I. Keep It Simple

One of the most important things to remember when developing your page layout is to keep it simple. Gimmicks like java script, scrolling text, and other unnecessary add-ons only make your site slower, and are largely unappreciated by users. In addition, it is generally a good idea to stay away from video, audio, or graphics files which require plug-ins. These forms of media require a long time to load, and many users do not have plug-ins installed on their computers. If you insist on using a plug-in not found on most computers, it is a good idea to provide a link to a site offering a free download of the plug-in.

II. The Four GIF Rule

Generally speaking, most servers load four GIF's at a time, and it is therefore a good idea to limit the number of GIF images used per page to four or less. By doing so, you will limit the number of server calls, and your pages will load faster.

III. Nestled and Vertical Tables

When laying out your web pages, it is typically a good idea to avoid nestled tables (tables inside tables) and long vertical tables, as they take a long time to load, and will make your page load much slower. Ideally, your pages should be comprised of stacks of tables, which make your pages appear to load faster, as the top tables load first, giving the user something to read while waiting for the rest of your content to load.

IV. The Advantages of White Space

In order to avoid giving your site a cluttered feel to it, make sure to use white space between content and images. This tactic will not only make your content easier to read, but will also make your site more attractive, and give it a balanced look and feel.

By following these four simple tips, you can help give your site a professional look and feel, while making sure that your site loads as quick as possible. Remember, as a rule Internet users are among the least patient people in the world, because if your site is slow, they know they can get the information, products, or services they desire at another site.

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