There are quite a large number of tools available for testing and checking a website, but the most valuable is (without doubt) the Web Page Analyzer – as it does tell (and help) you optimize your site in ways you may not have thought of.
I am assuming that the site in question is either valid HTML (as any good site should be) or at least tested and found working in the browsers it should work in. The tool is for the “post design” process.
The Web Speed Report helps you figure out if a page is too heavy and thus will take unreasonably long to load for users not connected through broadband Internet – a point too often forgotten it seems by many websites with bloated designs.
I’ve been tweaking my site’s new design somewhat the past few days and while there are no visible changes, there are vast improvements for users browsing with a modem (- I’ve especially noticed improvements on my Opera on the SonyEricsson P800).
The tips are basic, but they do make a difference:
- I’ve limited the number of host names I use. Now only two is in use.
- I’ve limited the number of comments in the HTML source.
- I’ve cleaned up the images and optimized their color palette.
These are the few things which I’ve done so far, and this has saved more than 50% in the total page weight. I’m currently considering changing some of the CSS-ids to be shorter, but this would potentially hurt their “ease of use/remembrance” for me as a developer, so I’m still thinking.
Before going further with the optimization efforts though, I need to figure out how to make my MovableType produce valid HTML – it’s still teasing me and causing a few bugs.