The third element of COFFEE Development is Fast. You may assume that I am referring to the speed of development, but as we build our sites, the primary focus is on the speed of the pages. We want sites that are as lean as possible and we go to great lengths to strip every last ounce of fat.
Why? It's all about the user experience. We all know what a pleasure it is to use a fast, responsive site. In this age of ever-increasing bandwidth, obsessing over 20-30K can seem like overkill, but I regularly experience painful site delays even behind our multi-T1 connection. We want our sites to be usable over dial-up. If that makes them absolutely scream on a modern broadband connection, all the better.
On our two new sites, we have reduced many pages by 50% or more, by optimizing and/or limiting graphics, writing clean code, and using various compression techniques.
It is rare in web design that the goal is to visually amaze the user. The goal above all else is for the site to serve the user, by helping them get what they want as quickly and easily as possible. They will remember that experience long after the browser art and splash pages have disappeared.
Brad has provided some great background and detail on how we build fast sites, sure to satisfy your inner geek. Visit FellowshipConnection.com for a good example of our new approach. Visit FellowshipChurch.com to see why we can't wait to get started on our next project!