This Is Locomotion - Design, Code, and News

Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

Using google.load() to optimize web page load times

Monday, January 4th, 2010

One of the problems in developing large feature-rich AJAX web applications is that page load times can really suffer once you start using the larger JavaScript libraries such as JQuery, MooTools, Prototype, or SWFObject. Most of these libraries are larger than 50Kb in size and once you start combining libraries you can easily add 100Kb+ to your page loads.

At Simple Station we are adding the finishing touches to optimizing our first big open source application and we have been looking for every possible way to optimize the JavaScript we use. Today I came across google.load(), which promises to significantly decrease JavaScript load times.

The benefits of using Google to provide these libraries instead of your own server include:

  • Google’s huge CDN (content delivery network) can deliver the file much faster than your own server(s). Since Google has large data centers all over the world, these files will be served from data centers geographically closer to your users. This helps to reduce network latency and works to increase reliability, scalability, and website speed.
  • The more sites that include Google’s google.load() API the greater the chance that a user has already has the file cached, thus enabling your site to load faster as the script will not need to be downloaded.
  • You save bandwidth as you no longer have to serve the file(s).
  • The versioning system that Google has created makes it easy to include specific versions of these libraries.

All you need to utilize Google’s google.load() technology is this JavaScript snippet:

<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>
google.load('mootools', '1.2.1');
google.load('jquery', '1.3.1');
google.load('jqueryui', '1.5.3');
google.load('prototype', '');
google.load('scriptaculous', '1.8.2');
google.load('dojo', '1.2.3');
google.load('swfobject', '2.1');
google.load('yui', '2.6.0');

View the complete list of ajax libraries hosted by Google.

How important is a good name?

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Dawn Foster from Web Worker Daily gives a comprehensive look at the importance of a good name in establishing your online brand and identity. A while back I wrote an article on choosing a good business name based on my experience in founding Sentient Development, which I renamed a mere 1 year later to Simple Station. I wish I had found a similar article to the one on Web Worker Daily before we chose our original name as it would have saved a whole lot of time and money involved in changing our brand.

Here are a few things from the Web Worker Daily article you might want to think about the next time you need to pick a name.

  • Is the domain name available? Is it available as a .com domain?
  • Is it unique and memorable?
  • Does it fit well with your business and the image you want to project?
  • Will the name grow with you or limit you later?
  • Will it be confused with other names?
  • Are there any obvious jokes about crickets or anything else that might get annoying?
  • Can people spell the name?
  • Is it short enough not to be annoying when typing it on an iPhone or other mobile device?