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Columbia University Testimonial

Recommendation of Andy King and www.WebSiteOptimization.com.

Columbia University School of Continuing Education makes Columbia courses accessible to an array of users who have widely differing browsers, platforms, and Internet connections. We needed to improve our site’s accessibility for those with dial-up connections, as well as for people with disabilities, especially those who use text readers.

I found Andy King through a colleague who recommended his page analyzer (http://www.webpageanalyzer.com). I was so impressed by the efficiency of this tool that I bought Andy’s book, Speed Up Your Site, and later hired Andy.

We were faced with the challenge of improving our site’s loading time while maintaining our current design (an integral part of our graphic identity). Andy embraced this project and figured out innovative solutions to the limitations we presented. For example, a small, but critical, percentage of our audience still uses Netscape 4.x, which in the past has prevented us from implementing an all-CSS layout. Andy created a workaround by integrating a conditional server-side include to check for the browser version and load different style sheets accordingly.

In all, Andy’s work helped us significantly reduce the loading time of our web pages (upwards of 70%). I had originally hired Andy for the sole purpose of speeding up our site; however, in the course of our working together I discovered that Andy was also expert in site accessibility. This was a boon, saving me from hiring an additional consultant.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Andy. He is extremely knowledgeable, professional, and prompt in his turnaround, answering each of my queries in fewer than 24 hours.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide any additional help or information.

Julia Hess
Assistant Director for Web Communications
School of Continuing Education
Columbia University