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GENERAL

APPROACH

BANDWIDTH

limits
< data traffic >
text
graphics

LAYOUT

GRAPHICS

      The time it takes for a page to appear in your browser, depends on the size of the page. And by that I do not only mean the length of the page, but also the amount of data, the bits that enter your computer via the modem. You can fill a regular page with about 2 kilobyte of text. But just the logo at the top of this page is 4643 bytes in size. So you can easily understand why you will have to keep your images as small as possible.
    Also keep in mind what will go from your computer to the server. If you click a link, your browser will send a 'request header' to the server containing the page. If the server exists and is not too busy, it will send a 'response header'. It will determine if you may see the page and if it is still available. After that it will send the page or else an error message.
    When the page is delivered to your browser, it will see what it has to do with it. Text can be displayed instantly, images cannot. They are still at the server. These will only be requested after your browser meets an appropriate tag on the page. And only if your browser is set up to automatically load images.
    The more images there are on your page, the more requests your browser will send to the server. If you for example make a menu with a lot of images, the data traffic will increase. You may want to consider combining the images to one larger image. The links may be setup using an image map. With a client side image map, the data traffic can be reduced even more.
    All browsers use a so called cache. A part of your harddisk and RAM is used to buffer data. It stores the data requested by your browser. This will be reused if you request the same page at a later time. The same holds true for images, sounds and video fragments. The pages stored in the cache will load much quicker the next time you load them.
    This will also work if you use the same images on another page. The more you repeat or reuse information, the faster the pages will load. The browser will only check if the data is still the same. Normally the browser will check this only once during a session, making the process even faster.
    Make sure the same images and files are located at the same place every instance. The server only recognizes place an date of the files. It will not check if two files are the same, only if it is the same file you requested earlier. When you are using an image more than once, only make one file for it. Specify the links to that file the exactly the same every time you do it. Only then you will use the caching capabilities optimally.
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