Website Hosting and Development

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Design your webpage with visitors in mind. Optimize your images to reduce the load time – Part 3

I know I already beat this topic to death, but I will remind you again, please take care of your web page load time. Folks with slow connection will get frustrated if it takes too much time for your web page to load.

Other than dividing your large image files into smaller chunks and reusing of your images you can optimize your images for faster load times. Currently, the most commonly used image formats are Jpeg and Gif. Each of them can be reduced in size with some simple tricks.

The JPEG file format (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is designed to compress photographs or images with continuous-tone color, such as a color gradient. JPEG format supports 24-bit color (millions of colors) and preserves the broad range of color and subtle variations in hue that characterize continuous-tone image. To optimize Jpeg image you can:

  • Use a preview option in your graphic programs to compare difference in final file size with different compression levels
  • Implement little blur effect because Jpeg format “likes” images with softer edges, fewer details and fine shades
If your image contains large areas of flat color, sharp detail (such as small type), or if you need to preserve true transparency, you should use the GIF file format. To optimize GIF image you can:
  • Reduce a bit depth in image. Gif image supports up to 256 colors. Many images can be displayed with far less color, without sacrificing the quality.
  • Crop all unnecessary white areas in the background. Gif format supports transparency, so use it freely!

One general advice for all web page image types: Reduce the size of your image (if you can of course) The smaller the image, the faster it loads.

...and stillmore to come...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Design your webpage with visitors in mind. Optimize your images to reduce the load time – Part 2

As I tried to point in the previous post, keep in mind your web page load time whenever you design your web page. If your visitor is on dial-up connection, waiting for your page to load can produce an empty screen for 10 or more seconds. That would be enough for them to give up and forget your site.

The physical location of your website images is important. Usually, overseen mistake is usage of same image files from different locations on your website. Check following example with logo.jpg image:

Page1.Html has
<Img Src-="/images/logo.jpg" &#62

Page2.Html has
<Img Src=”/company/images/logo.jpg” &#62

Example like above can be even worse if you have the same image on several different locations because you are not reusing your images. If your images are centrally located and only a single copy exists for all of them, (ALL OVER YOUR SITE, not just each page individually) each image is loaded only once when visitor hits your site first time. All other instances of the same image are loaded from visitor’s machine cache, producing less network traffic (which takes time, especially on dial-up connection) and faster web page load.

More to come…

Cheers, Marin

Check for more articles on this topic at Website Hosting and Development website.

You can also visit DIMM Info Systems Inc. website to see how else I can help you achive your goals.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Design your webpage with visitors in mind. Optimize your images to reduce the load time

As you may know all successful web sites are designed with visitors in mind. There are way too many website elements that can (and should) be customized in order to make you visitors happy. Website content, the amount of relevant and accurate information, eye catchy design, incorporated audio and visual effects are just some of the mentioned elements. These are well discussed topics and a lot of professionals can argue about each of them, what they should and should not to do and how to avoid common traps and mistakes.

One of usually omitted topic is your webpage load time. With fast Internet connection that should not be a big problem, but most of us tend to quickly forget people that are still using dial-up. If your webpage is graphically rich, and your graphics are not well optimized, it might be a frustrating experience for your visitors with dial-up. What should you do to speed up your webpage load time? There are several things that you can change that will boost your webpage load performance. One of them is quick and easy to implement (if it is not already done):

  • Divide your large image into several smaller images and bring them together. By doing this, instead of one large data stream that loads your single image, you will have several small data streams that are loading simultaneously.

More on this topic in following posts…

Cheers, Marin
Check for more articles on this topic at Website Hosting and Development website.

You can also visit DIMM Info Systems Inc. website to see how else I can help you achive your goals.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Display when page has been updated

It is a good idea to show when a webpage has been last updated. By doing this, your visitors will get the idea on how often new content is added to your website and will want to come back. You can accomplish this by adding a following JavaScript code in your webpage code:

< script language="Javascript" &#62
document.write("This page was last modified on: " + document.lastModified +"");
< /script &#62

Instead of JavaScript you can use php code below to accomplish same result:

This page was last modified on: " . gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s",
filemtime($SCRIPT_FILENAME)) . " GMT");

Cheers, Marin
Check for more articles on this topic at Website Hosting and Development website.

You can also visit DIMM Info Systems Inc. website to see how else I can help you achive your goals.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Convereting your Idea into functional Website

Website Idea, Creativity, Brainstorming...

So you have a GREAT Idea for your new Website, but how to do it?

Your business idea is essential. You set your goals, define and follow all the steps required to accomplish them and results are there. Now is it the same whenyou want to do it on the web? Well, there are several answers to it, each dependson many different factors, such as scale of your website idea, how soon you want tot publish it, what is your budget… Combinations are endless. Each has its own path, some are short and easy, some are complicated with almost impossible realization, but most are somewhere in between.

I believe that it is really rare to have a good website idea that is impossible to realize. It all depends on proper planning, so let's start with it.

You can think of your Idea as pyramid, you are at the base of it, with lot of widespread options. At the top is your goal, your website idea that should be realized. If you look at this pyramid as an Egyptian monolith structure you might get scared,but if you look closer you will realize that this is more Aztec stepped pyramid, with stairways following sure path from the wide base to the top. From now on we will have Aztec pyramid on our mind.

Start planning from the top and realization from the bottom.

You need to have well defined process. Put your main goal at the top of your pyramid. Now move one step below. Which steps do you need to accomplish in order to get to the top? That will be your intermittent goals. Now think about each of them as a small pyramid. Each of them has its goal at the top and you have to move another step below. Break it into smaller steps and do it as long as you need to get all stepson the level that is easy to accomplish.

When you have defined your plan you can start with realization. This could be tedious and exhausting process. To succeed you needs a strong quality control and assurance. Once when you have all your small pyramids aligned start from the base. Spread feely all that you have, regardless if it is directly related to your idea or not. Spend some time and be creative, let the creative juices flow, let sparks fly!

Next step in realization is to see what elements that you have can be used to realize your first level of goals. In short the whole process can be represented as the following:

  • Identify your goal
  • Set quality standards for each level. Higher level should inherit accomplished quality from lower level
  • Recognize interim steps that lead to accomplishing stepped goals
  • Complete all steps on the lowest - widest level of your pyramid
  • After finishing each level of interim goals check if they fulfill your project quality, if not, return one step below and improve steps that failed below your quality standards
  • Go to the higher level when all goals from lower levels have been accomplished with quality standards As you can see, the process is not that complicated. If you define all steps required and follow the path you will be there (sooner or later).
Good Luck!

Cheers, Marin
Check for more articles on this topic at Website Hosting and Development website.
You can also visit DIMM Info Systems Inc. website to see how else I can help you achive your goals.

Website Hosting and Development - What is this blog about?

A Website is your Home on the Internet. Building it is the same as building any new business; it can be very simple, fast and cheap. But it can be very tedious, time consuming and expensive too. With a simple, fast and cheap solution that is exactly what you are going to get, A CHEAP website that will not serve a purpose, won't attract potential users to come again. Sooner or later it will become your hobby site that will not bring any visitors. On the other hand, if you aim way too high you can spend months in planning, development and design, a big deal of money can run out of your pocket and, at the end you will (probably) get what you want. In that case, you need experienced people that can put things together, manage this project with maximum effectiveness and keep your expenses on an acceptable level.
I will try to follow a smooth path, which will explain each individual step and procedure, give you a clear guideline on how to accomplish all your goals and to tell you what follows.
Watch for my new posts on this blog and you will get a valuable info that you can count on.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Terminology related to Website Hosting and Development

Website, Internet, Hosting, Network, Development, Webpage, Html, Javascript...

Terminology that can easily confuse most of us. And what do all of those words mean anyway? OK, we know what Home, Site, Web, Development and Internet are; Network (probably) too... Website, Hosting, Webpage,
Website, Internet, Hosting, Network, Development, Webpage, Html, Javascript...

Html, Javascript... Humph... are we getting too technical? You may ask: "What is he talking about? I did not subscribe to this blog to find out meaning of words!" As a matter of fact you don't need to, and you probably won't next time when you read new article from this blog. If you are not interested to read more or you think this is a waste of time, you can go straight to the article that you are looking for, but sometimes it is good to start from a firm base of knowledge. If you agree with that, please keep on reading.

So let's start with the known stuff, shall we?

Home, Sweet home!

That is easy, we know what Home is. According to Dictionary:

  • A place where one lives; a residence
  • The physical structure within which one lives, such as a house or apartment
  • A dwelling place together with the family or social unit that occupies it; a household
  • ... and so on, we know all that stuff. And what about Thesaurus?

    Defined as Domestic, Habitat, Birthplace

    Synonyms are: at ease, at rest, central, down home, familiar, family, homely, homey, household, inland, internal, local, national, native, abode, address, apartment, asylum, bungalow, cabin, castle, cave, condo, condominium, cottage, crash pad, villa (not bad)...

    Now we are going to explore the meaning of Site, Dictionary states:

  • The place where a structure or group of structures was, is, or is to be located
  • The place or setting of something
  • A website - Hey! Wait a moment, do not jump on it yet
  • Our good old friend Thesaurus defines it as Place

    Synonyms are fix, ground, home, layout, locale, location, plot, point, position,post, range, scene, section, situation, slot, spot, station, stomping ground...

    Next on our list is Web. Dictionary again:

  • A woven fabric, especially one on a loom or just removed from it
  • The structural part of cloth
  • A complex, interconnected structure or arrangement: a web of telephone wires (now it's getting interested!)
  • Often Web The World Wide Web (yep, that's the one that we are looking for!)
  • ... and Thesaurus defines it as Netting, with following synonyms:

    cobweb, complexity, fabric, fiber, interconnection, interlacing, involvement, maze, mesh,net, network...

    We already mentioned the term Internet. So let's check a Dictionary...

  • An interconnected system of networks that connects computers around the world via the TCP/IP protocol
  • A computer network consisting of a worldwide network of computer networks that use the TCP/IP network protocols to facilitate data transmission and exchange
  • The Internet is the largest internet (with a small "i") in the world. It is a three level hierarchy composed of backbone networks, mid-level networks, and stub networks. These include commercial (.com or .co), university (.ac or .edu) and other research networks (.org, .net) and military (.mil) networks and span many different physical networks around the world with various protocols, chiefly the Internet Protocol.

  • If you think (and probably hoped) that we forgot a Thesaurus, we did not, so it is defined as Data Highway, Communication Network, Information Superhighway with lot of synonyms such as Website, Web site, World Wide Web, WWW, Cyberspace... just to name some that are important for what we intend to talk to you about.

    The rest of words are covered on my website, under Dictionary.

    I hope that you are intrigued so far (at least I tried to do so). If you are wandering what all this talking has in common with the title of this blog, well, we are getting there. Without (some kind of) Home, Site, Web (of course!) we can not even start to think about a Website. The term of Website stands for: A set of interconnected
    webpages, usually including a homepage, generally located on the same server, and prepared and maintained as a collection of information by a person, group, or organization. And that is EXACTLY what I am trying to talk about here.

    Cheers, Marin