Remember the old joke that WWW really stands for “World Wide Wait”? Even as more and more people upgrade to speedy DSL and cable modems, file size is a web designer’s constant foe. What takes only a moment to load from your computer’s hard drive could take minutes to travel across the Internet. The more information you put into a web page, the more time it takes to load.
You can judge how big your page is, and therefore how long it’ll take to load, by looking at the bottom of the document window, in the status bar, and reading the download stats. You’ll see something like this: 9k/2 sec. This term indicates the file size of the page (9k in this instance) and how long it’ll take a visitor to download the page (2 seconds) using a 56 Kbps modem.
Because many people now have cable modems or DSL, to get a more realistic view of a visitor’s download time you might want to change this 56 Kbps default setting. To do so, choose Edit→Preferences (Dreamweaver→Preferences), click the Status Bar category, and then, from the Connection Speed menu at the bottom of the window, choose a higher setting—a setting of 128 Kbps is a faster, but still conservative setting. You can also manually type in a connection speed (256 Kbps, for instance) to get a setting that Dreamweaver’s menu doesn’t list. Be conservative in which value you pick: the download time Dreamweaver displays is the ideal time for that speed and won’t account for all real-world variables, like high volumes of Internet ...