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*10,000 Calorie Graphics: Just Say No. Impatient Americans will not wait half an hour for a big fat graphic to download. The rest of world pays for internet access by hour, and can't afford to wait that long.
*The First Magic Number is 100… Most web experts advise keeping pages under 100k for efficient loading. The best program I've come across for shrinking images without compromising their quality is Ulead Smartsaver. You can dowload a copy of SmartSaver 3.0 on ZDNet. http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,,000MF0,.html And for more info, visit Bandwidth Conservation Society: http://www.infohiway.com/faster/index.html
*The Second Magic number is 216. For best results, stick with 216 known web-safe colors. Find out more at Smart Color Picker: http://reallybig.com/resource.php3?catid=21&id=1583
*Thumbnails. If you want so show off photographs of your product, be smart-use thumbnail images in your catalogue that link to a larger version of photo, so user can choose to clog up his or her phone line, rather than feel ambushed by a huge picture of tap shoes or home-grown herbs. More on that: http://www.collectorsforum.com humbnail.html
*Crimson and Clover, over and over Got a logo or a top bar? Good. Use that puppy on every page for your graphic. If it's same graphic on every page, you'll speed things up for your users; their computer only has to download that image once, thus speeding things along for everyone.
And now, I'll print this list and take it home with me; it's time to get down off my soapbox and follow my own advice!
Stefene Russell is a freelance writer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has worked as a print journalist and as Senior Content Producer for citysearch.com. For a free website analysis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or for a detailed analysis, visit http://www.fixmywebsite.com/analysis.htm