Miscellaneous: Index/home page download times

started by Atodda on Nov 29, 2004 — RSS Feed

Atodda Atodda
Posts: 2

Hello - wondering if anyone can help? I am fairly new to web design and I have been looking at index/home page download times, and I am still getting mixed messages as to what is right and what is wrong.

As the company I work for currently has an index page that is just a logo then a link to the main site for fast download, is this still necessary in this 56k world?

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

A home page like this is called a splash page - and it's bad practice. Your home page is the most important page on the site and should - of all others - be semantically correct. It is the first page that surfers and search engines come to. Surfers don't like their time wasted and search engines like to be able to detect what your site is all about (and hardly ever use meta tags these days) so the text on your home page and the order of the headlines is very important.

The (byte) size of the page determines the download time. I have always tried to work to a maximum page size of 50k including graphics and although some inner content pages go above that, it is still a good maximum size for a home page and easily doable. If a page is going to take a long time to download because of extensive graphics or animations and you expect a high proportion of dial-up users, it is a good idea to warn people before they go to it and possibly offer a low bandwidth alternative as the BBC does.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/text_only.stm

Atodda Atodda
Posts: 2

Thank you very much, for this information, I did hear the term splash page before and could not remember the name or term it was given the other day, so thanks for that - BIG HELP!
Do you think then for a home page at 50k all the users not using 56k modem will still be ok viewing this page, or do you think this will really be the minority and we shouldn't bother about this today?

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

50k is okay for users with 56k but it's really the upper limit and represents about 8-10 seconds wait.

The proportion of dial-ups to broadband users depends on the type of site, the target audience, the country and several other factors.

Here are some stats

http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0408/

showing connection speeds in the USA. Broadband and 56K are about equal. This will vary in other counties but it shows that you can't write 56K off just yet!

You must login to reply