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Factors that influence Download Speed on the Internet

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Don't we all cringe ... and swiftly click away ... from websites that take forever to show up on our monitors! The World-Wide-Wait is often caused by inexperienced web designers who construct websites in various manners that make the site take forever to download. A well-designed site will avoid the pitfalls of slow downloads.

The speed at which websites download from the Internet is dependent on the following factors:

Web design

  • Design of the web page - number of graphics and their size, use of frames and tables
  • Size of the web page - overall length of page.
  • Note; having valid, compliant html/css coding on your website will allow your browser to render the page much more quickly

Your browsing history

  • Whether or not you have ever accessed the site before. If you have accessed it recently, the files may be in your cache and the site will load more quickly the second and subsequent times.
  • How full your web browser cache is - you may need to clear your cache if you've set it to only reserve a small amount of space.

Your computer configuration and settings

  • How much memory you have in your computer - the more RAM the better.
  • The size of your network buffer - most overlooked setting, have your IT staff review the settings.
  • How fragmented the data on your hard drive is - you may need to run a defrag program.
  • The number of programs you have running simultaneously while downloading. Running multiple programs hogs valuable RAM space.
  • Cookies should be cleared regularly (bi-weekly or monthly) to help reduce the load on your browser thus slowing down your performance.

The network used to access the site

  • Speed of your connection to the Internet - your modem/cable/DSL/wireless speed.
  • Quality of your telephone/broadband line - bad connections mean slower transmissions.
  • Access speed on the server where the site is hosted - if the site is hosted on a busy server, it may slow down access speed.
  • How much traffic there is to the site at the same time you are trying to access it.
  • The load on the overall network at your ISP - how busy it is.

Any or all of the above can slow download time. Web designers only have control over the first two items!

Limitations of your computer

There are also other ways you can improve your speeds, here are a few:

  • Update to the latest Web browser and Operation System versions.
  • Clear out your cache: Old information retained by your web browser may be making it perform slower than it could.
  • Reformatting your hard drive: Although technical in nature, by reloading your Operating System, you will be able to get rid of uneccesary files that linger around your computer.
  • Change your ISP: As drastic as this may sound, some providers oversell their services. As a result, they simply cannot supply their users with speeds needed by modern day web activities. Before you take the plunge to get a new ISP, make sure you read some reviews about them and ask your friends for recommendation.
  • It may be time for an upgrade! Get a new computer! Modern software programs take up more and more resources and it is quite possible that your current hardware simply cannot keep up to date with the current standards.

If you are unhappy with the download speed of your current website, or would like to develop a new website that avoids the slow download pitfalls, contact the design team at Yakindo Web Designs.


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