Converting graphic text to styled text is an effective way to speed optimize your website. Graphic text is simply text that has been pixed in stone in a graphic design program like Photoshop. While graphic text allows you to use any font face (see Figure 1), it has a number of disadvantages.
Brevity is a good thing. Absolute, verbose URLs are out, relative short URLs are in. By carefully naming your files and directories, and judicious use of abbreviation with mod_rewrite and content negotiation with same, you can speed up your pages while maintaining legibility and search engine positioning.
Called the “Swiss Army knife” of Apache modules, mod_rewrite can be used for everything from URL rewriting to load balancing. Where mod_rewrite and its ilk shine is in abbreviating and rewriting URLs.
You can make your URLs shorter and more abstract by using content negotiation to strip file extensions from your markup and source code. You’ll save a few bytes off of each object reference, and migration headaches in the future when you change technologies.
Lowercase markup compresses more efficiently than uppercase markup. Along with the benefits of XHTML compatibility, lowercase markup allows HTTP compression to work more efficiently by increasing redundancy. In this article we show the benefits of using lowercase markup on five popular sites.
Redundancy and repetition can be useful in mission critical and learning applications. But for web pages, browsers are smart enough to glean what you want without redundant markup. By omitting redundant classes and default attributes often inserted by overzealous WYSIWYG XHTML editors, you can streamline your CSS and XHTML and put your code on a low-character diet.
Many sites use one table to layout their entire page. This technique can force the browser to render the entire table before any content displays. The trick is to break up your table into layers, like a layer cake.
Ah, the wonders of web standards The oft-cited separation, the lifting of your spirit knowing that you’re helping the semantic web evolve. The sheer joy of CSS. Adopting purely structural markup for your XHTML ensures a longer shelf life and faster pages. Written properly, structural markup can eliminate unnecessary classes by targeting content with CSS selectors.