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Don't Let the Graphics Grinch Steal Your Christmas Bonus

Summary: Know what jolly old site owners get when they let their graphics get so plump they shake like a bowl full of jelly? A lump of coal for Christmas. Let our Rudolph guide your way to a merry Christmas and happy New Year with an inspirational rendering of 'Twas the night before Christmas.

By now most web developers, advertisers and executives know the mantra: slow web sites lose money. But what they may not know is how much of those losses are due to the single biggest common source of site bloat: overweight graphics. So this season we have a little gift to help you remember how important it is to fix this problem on your site right away (unless you really want to send your business to your competition). Herewith is this year's mangling of Clement Moore's "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (a proud tradition) and a sincere wish for a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year to you and your loved ones. With permission from our poetry mangler in residence, Bob Peyser....

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our site
The graphics were bloated, their file size a fright;
The shoppers had hung on as long as they could,
In hopes that the pictures would display as they should:
All the buyers were restless and filled with the dread,
That their stockings, still empty, would be coal-filled instead:
And Ramma our new web-chief, at her keyboard did tap,
'Stead of settling down for a much deserved nap;

But our site and its wait-times had grown so much fatter,
That I rushed to her side to see what was the matter.
Away to her Windows® I flew like a flash,
To gaze at the cause of our losses of cash.
She typed in our address, an URL you all know,
And we waited with baited for web site to show,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an absence of presence, I pronounced it "quite queer,"
And instead of our pages, all lively and quick,
Was an hourglass-shape timer that made me feel sick.
More rapid than eagles our pages should come,
And I stamped and I shouted, and called them "quite dumb";

"Now Bowman, now Veen, now Roelofs, and Jesse!
On, Zeldman, On, Molly, On, Lynda, and Wendy!
To the top of the speed list! Overtake the wait wall!
Now optimize! optimize! optimize all!"
As was seen once before when our pages were spry,
When the graphic file sizes are small they do fly;
So by squeezing, converting, combining and more,
The world's graphic gurus showed what compression is for.
And then, in a twinkling, Ram and I saw the proof,
That their image crunch wisdom was not just a spoof --

As I drew in my breath, and was turning around,
On our web site much quicker web pages did bound.
They were dressed all in graphics, from footer to header,
But their far smaller file sizes made them much better;
A bundle of adverts did lead the pack,
And they came up so quickly I was taken aback.
We saw how they twinkled! Their pixels so merry!
Their colors so rosy, as if selling a cherry!
Their toll, little south of the total I know,
That a page with so many web adverts could show;

But ads were just one of the things they'd bequeath,
For the gurus also worked on the graphics beneath;
It was there that we found our logo, a telly,
That jiggled when clicked by our engineer Kelly.
It was chubby and plump, a right jolly new screen,
And I laughed when I saw its dance quite obscene;
A click of its image launched our "about" page,
So I knew the advice we had gotten was sage;
I spoke not a word, to the others who sat,
But anxious to know, I clicked on the link "stats",

And seeing a chart of our site traffic flows,
I stared there in wonder as "unique visitors" rose;
Then sprang to the side of our marketing team,
And watched as the click-throughs to buy pages screamed,
And our CEO cheered with a hearty delight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good site!"

By website optimization on 11 Dec 2006 PM

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