If you’re looking to conquer the Web, consider dividing your pages with tables. One of the most frequently cited complaints among Internet users is the slow-to-load web page. It’s one of the main reasons why so many websites lose visitors. Studies show that your site must load within eight seconds, preferably less, or else you’re at risk of losing a lot of traffic.
So, a quick download time is essential, but just how do you achieve that? There are many tips out there for decreasing load times, including optimizing images, minimizing the size or amount of graphics, shortening your content, and so on. Though these are certainly effective methods, there is another simple tip which doesn’t require that you compromise your images or your content. This involves using tables to divide a page. In order to understand why this works, it’s important to first understand the difference between ‘perceived’ download time and ‘actual’ download time.
The actual download time is the amount of time it takes for an entire page and all of its content to fully load. The perceived download time, on the other hand, refers to the amount of time it takes for enough elements to be displayed on a page so the visitor can begin studying your content. The perceived download time is typically more important than the actual download time because the risk of a visitor leaving due to a slow load time is much less once they have something before their eyes.
Dividing your page into two or more tables can help you to improve the perceived download time. The reason for this is that a web browser will display the content in the first or top table once the entire table has been compiled. Any tables after that need not be completed. If, on the other hand, all of your content is within one big table, the whole of that table must first be compiled before anything at all is displayed. As such, once your first table is displayed and is occupying your visitors, your subsequent tables can take a little longer to load. While your visitors are waiting, their taking in the content of your first table rather than staring at an empty screen.