If I was smart, I’d hold this article until April 9, the anniversary of the date in which Lee’s Army was ‘bagged’ by elements of Grant’s army at Appomattox. But things on the web change, hopefully one of them being the web site for Liberty Baptist Church of Appomattox Virginia (LBC).
A quick visit to our good friends at the WebPageAnalyzer indicate that the home page of LBC takes a whopping 40.22 seconds to download via a 56kb modem … about fourteen and a half seconds for those of us on a DSL line. Much of this due to the inclusion of two HUGE images, which once again, are ‘look’ smaller on the web page, but are unfortunately NOT physically reduced by reducing the height and width arguments of the HTML <IMG> tag.
If what I just said seems like greek, then please read my articles “Father Flanders’ Sermon for Sunday, July 13, 2003” and Optimal Image Sizes, both of which which explain why you need to know how to physically reduce the size of the image using a graphic editor. Employing such techniques would greatly reduce the bandwidth one is required to surrender for pages such as the bio of the senior pastor … which includes a 1meg image that could easily be reduced to 20k.
I realize part of the problem with LBC’s site is the use of FrontPage. Now as we all know, FrontPage doesn’t kill church web sites … bad templates do. So if there is a shortage of geek talent in the congregation, then I would suggest the church investing $25 to $35 in a reasonable FrontPage Template into which they can plug-n-play their compelling content. This in combination with a FREE image reducing tool such as IrfanView would go a long way into giving an online seeker a great impression of what I suspect is a great church.
Some other nickle-n-dime issues (that add up) I’d fix if I had 10 minutes would be to employ a bit of mod_rewrite wizardry so that all the pages appear to come from the easy-to-remember http://LibertyBC.com/ instead of the cumbersome http://home.nesbeonline.com/~libertybaptistchurch/.
Also on my quick fix list, the <TITLE> tags … however to fix this means getting rid of the totally unnecessary use of frames by this site. First, it means no unique title tags on each page to tell a search engine what you’ve got. Second, since the frames are only delivering a single page each, why not just toss this dated technology altogether?
What about you? See anything you could fix in a few minutes? If so, leave a comment.