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How Design Affects Performance
by Princeton
18 Oct 2007 14:09

The first few seconds when visiting a site is important. You need to grab the reader's attention immediately. So, if your site is slow to load - you have a problem.
Success is based on
how the reader
perceives your site.
Complaint I
Members complain that your site takes forever to load.

Complaint II
Members complain that some parts of your site takes forever to load. For example, the body will load but the column navigation is slow (delayed).
If you heard any of the above complaints and you wondered why - then continue reading.


This 6 part series will focus on a few key areas that affect performance on the client-side. Our focus is specifically on first-time visitors as their experience determines if they become a member.

Let me clarify a few terms before we continue:
  • Performance - the reader's overall experience when visiting your site
  • Design - the generated page (everything - not just the eye-candy)
What Affects Performance

The following affects performance:
  • Progressive Rendering
  • HTTP Requests
  • Style sheets / Javascript Files
  • Size of Page / Objects
  • Other
Progressive Rendering

Progressive rendering is the act of displaying each object as it is downloaded.

There are 2 popular browsers right now: Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Both support progressive rendering but they differ on how they render tables. Hence, your choice of design and the reader's choice of browser can affect performance.

HTTP Requests

An HTTP Request is a request from a browser to a server. A request can be made for an HTML page or any object included within the page. Too many requests can affect performance.

Style sheets / Javascript
  • Style sheets describes how an object on a Web page are presented. It's a means of adding style such as font, color, position, etc to objects on a Web page. There are 3 methods you can use when styling an object: inline, internal, or external. The method that you use, it's location, size, and number can affect performance.
  • JavaScript is a client-side scripting language. It enables Web authors to create interactive sites. Size, location where JavaScript is embedded, and the number of files (external) can affect performance.
Size of Page / Objects
  • The size of an object can affect performance.
  • Location of an object can affect performance.
By understanding what affects performance, you can create a better user experience. Visitors who have a good experience will spend more time on the site. The longer a visitor stays on your site the more revenue you can earn and the more members you will have.

Next Article in this 6 part series:
How Design Affects Performance : Progressive Rendering

Learn More about Princeton

amnesia623 18 Oct 2007 20:43

thank you!
But don't forget to mention that Safari is the Mac's browser that ships with OS X and IE isn't available for the Mac.


davidw 18 Oct 2007 23:17

Very good! Design is very critical to a site's performance. Most people consider design as visual when actually most of the site's design is the backbone and can make or break the site.

fourat 02 May 2008 04:37

very nice ... waiting for the next articles :)

--------------- Added 02 May 2008 at 05:40 ---------------

i have a question .. when i but javascripts codes for Ads and check the page in w3schoole i see there are errors

how i but the javascripts codes without errors in validation ?

--------------- Added 02 May 2008 at 08:35 ---------------

what the function of this code ?

Block Disabled:      (Update License Status)  
Suspended or Unlicensed Members Cannot View Code.

is it for resizer images ?
how i use it ?

Jasem 02 May 2008 13:39

Thank you very much :)

fourat 04 May 2008 05:22

can you answer me please

seostudio 03 Sep 2009 13:02

Very good!
Design is very critical to a site's performance :cool:

yahoooh 04 Sep 2009 02:10

i use YSlow to chick my design and site
it give me: A complex page means more bytes to download, and it also means slower DOM access in JavaScript. Reduce the number of DOM elements on the page to improve performance.

how to fix this ?

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