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Keep Each Graphic Under 50k So It Will Load Quickly

Most Web surfers don't have the time or patience to wait for large images to load. Even with a 56k modem it's often a long wait for a large image Never use GIF files over 80x80 pixels in size UNLESS you have utilized a special program that compresses the image for quicker loading OR the GIF file has 4 or less colors. You should use JPEG files for large images with many colors (photos).

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2000


Keep Each Graphic Under 50k So It Will Load Quickly

Most Web surfers don't have the time or patience to wait for large images to load. Even with a 56k modem it's often a long wait for a large image Never use GIF files over 80x80 pixels in size UNLESS you have utilized a special program that compresses the image for quicker loading OR the GIF file has 4 or less colors. You should use JPEG files for large images with many colors (photos). There's a lot of other useful information at this site.

Here's some good advice we read at MoLLER DIGITAL UNIVERSITY

Some other sites with information that we have found to be useful:

How to Make Your Images Load Faster Creating Graphics for the Web The Smart Way to Get Your Images In Shape Trimming Graphics by Limiting Bit Depth Creating Graphic Images for the WWW Simtel.Net: Programs to make/view/print/convert GIF files

Avoid Large Imagemaps

Large image maps take *so* much time to load it's guaranteed that some people won't stick around to wait for them to load. Image maps are popular, but they take more time to load than individual images. An image map will increase the load time of your web page for no reason. You can take that same image map and break it into segments that load quickly.

Remember, when you use a large graphic on your entry page lots of people will abandon the site before it ever finishes loading and they'll never see the rest of your site.

A good alternative is to use multiple GIFs to make up the picture. The Web Magnet opening page is a good example of a group of GIFs that would be in an imagemap on many other sites. These individual GIFs load much more quickly than the imagemap would.

Use the ALT tag with all of your images to define Width and Height

You've probably been on a page where the images took forever to load and you couldn't even scroll down to read the text portion of the page while you were waiting. That's what happens when you don't use the ALT tag for width and height. It's a very frustrating experience for the surfer who wants your information, but has to wait..wait..wait..wait.......

We say this over and over throughout this document because it is *so* important. You want to do everything in your power to make your viewers have the best experience when they visit your site. If you're not using the ALT tag with your images, defining the width and height, then you're slowing things down for a lot of your viewers.

Use the ALT tag for width and height with all of your images because the tag tells most browsers to reserve a specific amount of space on a page for you image as it prepares your page layout for viewing. That means the text will go ahead and load so your viewers can be reading and scanning worthwhile information at the same time the images load. They'll be happier and less likely to abandon the site.

Alex Knowles has written an excellent explanation of why using the ALT tag is a good idea. You can read it and also download a program he has written called WWWis V1.8 that will go through HTML and automatically add the right HEIGHT and WIDTH tags for you! Wow!

Use Thumbnails Whenever Possible

Sites such as photo galleries and artist pages use many images. It's best to provide thumbnail images (small images that the viewer chooses to click in order to see the full-size graphic) so the page will load more quickly.

Avoid Nested Tables -- They'll Slow Down the Load Process

Use of tables on your page causes the viewer to wait longer for the page to begin loading. You could lose some people if the wait is too long.

Since tables are necessary in many cases, you need to be sure the benefits outweigh the negative aspect of a slow load.

Avoid multiple tables nestled within a table. We've discovered that a table with tables netstled within it causes a huge wait. Sometimes absolutely *nothing* appears on the page for up to 30 seconds until the browser has loaded the entire table. The majority of your viewers will abandon it before it has a chance to load.

Consider using the PNG (Portable Network Graphics) Image Type

There's a new image type called PNG (Portable Network Graphics) that was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It is sharper and takes less memory than a GIF. You can read about it at http://wpeedy.siegelgatle.com/solutions. We'll be adding more information on PNG as it gains in popularity.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- Utilize Multimedia Wisely Even though multimedia often slows down the load time for your site, there *are* times when multimedia can enhance your site.

You've probably noticed that throughout this document we have offered warnings about using JAVA, Shockwave, and any other multimedia applications. That's because they might cause your viewers to abandon your site due to the slowness of download or inability of their browser.

Bandwidth has been the major problem over the past few years, but the majority of people on the Web still have a 28.8 modem although a few have 56K modems and ISDN. If your target market is the high-tech early adopter, then by all means, make full use of multimedia since it's the high-tech sector that's most likely to have 56K modems and ISDN -- and, these days it's unlikely your site will be considered "cool" by these high-tech viewers if you're not using some useful and easily accessed form of multimedia.

Gif Animations Are Effective When Not Overdone

A few well-constructed GIF animations carefully placed on a few pages within your site can add interest and can help to deliver your message. There's no need for the viewer to load a plug-in for the GIF animation to work.

Statistics show that a banner ad that is animated gets a much higher click-through rate, so by all means utilize the gif animations in your banner ads.

The Web Developer's Virtual Library at http://WWW.stars.com provides information on GIF Animation at http://www.stars.com/Multimedia/GIF/.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2000

This module supports four different types of content sections: admin (administration pages), system (news, bboard etc.), custom (url directories) and static (html pages). Custom Sections: allows the administrator to create and manage different custom sections of the site. Content Tagging useful for finding/screening naughty words, but with wider potential as well. Display: allows the site administrator to set the most commonly used Cascading Style Sheet properties and the logo for the site. Dynamic Publishing System (integrated with ACS release 4.0 as of summer 2000) a fully-featured publishing system for managing content and design templates. FAQ: a simple interface for creating and maintaining FAQs in which the work of FAQ maintenance may be shared by specific people, and access to any given FAQ can be either public restricted by group. General Comments allows you to collect user comments on any item within your site. General Permissions: adds row-level permissions (read, write, comment, owner) to arbitrary tables in the database, and also provides a standard interface for editing these permissions. Graphing: a procedure for generating bar charts in plain html with 1x1 pixel gifs stretched to the correct width and height; this technique is preferable to other loftier schemes because it works on any browser that supports tables (i.e., pretty much all of them). New Stuff: a central facility for identifying new content posted by users across the entire site; useful for the site administrator (might want to delete stuff), for the surfing user (might want to see the new stuff), and for generating email summaries of what's new! News: news is truly different from discussion; this module present (and expires) news by date rather than by topic, and it allows the publisher to be selective about what gets posted, how many news items appear at one time, and how long they stay visible. Permissions : allows the administrator to associate a user group with administration of a particular section of a site; in general, these user groups will have a group type of administration. Essentially, a standardized way of answering: "Is user x allowed to do y?" Poll: this simple module allows you to solicit opinions from your users by means of polls; polls are configurable in terms of publication dates, formats for choices and results presentation, and whether or not the voter must be a registered user. Press: allows you to list, chronologically, articles in newspapers, magazines, etc. where the site or company is featured. example Prototype Builder: allows you to quickly build standard ACS pages via a web interface. Redirects: a module for ensuring that legacy URLs pointed to by bookmarks and search engines still work. Robot Detection: a system for making sure that your entire site gets indexed by web-crawlers (search engine indexing agents). Spam: this module enables site administrators to broadcast email messages to a class of users, or to periodically send mail from a script or file repository. Survey: two different survey modules are available: the Simple Survey module, for surveys involving a series of questions of different types, and the more elaborate Quizze module, for presenting something in the format of a cheating-proof quiz. Tools: collections of scripts providing services to perform common tasks such as spell checking. TOP

Personalization Modules Curriculum: enables publisher to establish a curriculum for site, identifying areas of content user is prompted to visit; progress bar shows a condensed description of suggested articles, with checkboxes indicating which articles have already been visited. example Customer Relationship Management: tracking customer relationships over time through various "states" such as new user to great customer to slipping customer. These states can then be used to target actions at particular classes of users. Email Handler: allows you to build a gateway for incoming email messages for your application, which will accept an incoming email message from the mailer and insert its contents into a queue table in the database. This lets you do things like generating email replies to Tickets for unified customer support. Member Value: a way of accumulating charges for users and then billing them out at the end of each month (commercial sites) or excluding them from the community if the charges get too high (non-commercial). Portals: allows the site administrator to anticipate what a specific type of users would like to see, and then construct or choose the data-feeds and do page layout tailored to that type of user. The system can also be configured to allow each user to act as his own manager, by specifying preferred data-components and layout options. example User Administration: how the publisher can select a class of users and what can then be done with that class; for instance, the administrator can identify all users who have contributed to the "disgruntled user" forum within the past two weeks and send each user an email-coupon for a free widget. User Groups: a general mechanism for lumping users together in groups, which is vital to group-based modules (Calendar, News, and many others). User Profiling and Content Categorization: matching users to content by associating a user's interests with specific content-types; for instance, a user's prior behavior can determine from what bucket the banner ads get plucked and served. User Registration and Access Control: allows a site administrator to set up an access control system by choosing from a palette of options, fine-tuning access according to group membership and role within group. User Session Tracking: keeps track of registered and unregistered user behavior, allowing for personalization of user-experience; for instance, web pages can be configured to highlight stuff that's "new since your last visit" while minimizing "stuff that you've already seen", etc. The system can also be used to keep track of the total number of user sessions, the number of repeat sessions, and how this was evolving over time. TOP

Collaboration Modules Address Book: a simple contact manager and reminder service. BBoards: the discussion forum system; users can post to public bulletin boards, create private discussion groups, attach photos to postings and do keyword searches of all postings. example Bookmarks: share bookmarks with other people, and access your bookmarks from any web browser. Calendar: offer a calendar of upcoming events, either as a calendar-grid (using the Calendar Widget module tool), or as a list. example Chat: web-based, with HTML and Javascript options; also, Chat is configurable per-room; for instance, the administrator can set chat to be moderated/unmoderated and open or restricted by group. example Calendar Widget: helps you display calendar-based data, in conjunction with the Calendar module. It produces both large monthly calendars with daily details and small monthly "outline" calendars. Contact Manager: a system for managing and distributing contact information for all the entities with whom you do business (customers, partners, vendors, etc.). The module allows you to track the usual contact details (name, title, phone number, email addresses, etc.) plus other useful data such as initial date of contact, name and email address of person who recorded contact, and a text notation. File Storage:

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2000

monitors run 600x800 pixels

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2000

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