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How Design Affects Performance
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,693

Joe Velez began developing for the web in 1998. He is an avid vBulletin user and volunteers his services as a administrator. He currently spends his time maintaining and developing

Vineland, NJ
by Princeton Princeton is offline 18 Oct 2007

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

Last edited by Princeton; 02 Nov 2007 at 14:20..
Views: 72297
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Old 18 Oct 2007, 20:43
amnesia623 amnesia623 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Real name: Blur
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.
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Old 18 Oct 2007, 23:17
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davidw davidw is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Real name: David
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.
Former Staff Member * Web Design * CIW Certified * My hacks

Check my hacks to see which ones are marked as re-usable.

Please do not contact me through my site for vBulletin matters. These issues should be handled on vBulletin sites. I am not the only person who handles the contact us mail for my site.
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Old 02 May 2008, 04:37
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fourat fourat is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
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 ?

Last edited by fourat; 02 May 2008 at 08:35. Reason: Auto-Merged DoublePost
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Old 02 May 2008, 13:39
Jasem's Avatar
Jasem Jasem is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Thank you very much
Forum Nokia
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Old 04 May 2008, 05:22
fourat's Avatar
fourat fourat is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
can you answer me please
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Old 03 Sep 2009, 13:02
seostudio seostudio is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Thumbs up

Very good!

Design is very critical to a site's performance
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Old 04 Sep 2009, 02:10
yahoooh yahoooh is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
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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