Checking the Speed of Your Site using FrontPage 2000
by David Berry
Sept 5th, 1999
Have you ever gone to a site that takes forever to download
because the amount or size of the graphics, the amount of text, the use of Java Applets
and so forth? When you visit a site like this, how often do you click the Stop
button and move on before viewing the whole site? Well, if you're like me it's a
We live in a fast-paced world and when people want information
they want it quickly. With so MANY sites to choose from on the Internet these days - Speed
Counts! After you've spent all that time creating your site, wouldn't it be nice if
people actually looked at it? If you've developed a site that takes forever to load
chances are they won't stay very long and they won't come back.
In designing our sites we often forget three important points.
Not everyone has the same speed modem we do, or the latest
fastest modem (Yes, there are still some 28.8 users out there);
Not everyone, depending on line noise etc, can always connect
at a high speed;
And finally, the average person is paying an hourly rate for
connecting to the Internet. Yes, we don't all have "unlimited" access
Although point 3 isn't as bad as it once was, now that many ISPs
offer unlimited access, time is still money! From experience I can tell you that
slow sites are less likely to attract visitors or promote their return.
There are a number of things you can do to improve the speed of
your site but the question then becomes, how do you check it? Buy different speed
modems? No. If you're using FrontPage 2000 the task becomes easier.
How to Estimate your site's Download time
Previous FrontPage 97 and 98 users will recall that in the bottom
right corner of the FrontPage Editor you could see the number of seconds it would take a
28.8 modem to download your site. To design sites for higher speeds you had to do
some guess work. FrontPage 2000 has added a new feature to help you do this.
When you open a page in the FrontPage Editor, the status bar still displays the estimated time it will take for that
page to download at a connection speed of 28.8 kbps by default. If you're designing
a site for users with higher speed connections (ex: an Intranet that's on a T1 line),
you'll want to be able to design your pages for different speeds. To do this:
Switch to the Page view, by either selecting
the Page icon in the Views bar or using the View/Page menu;
Click on the 0 Seconds over 28.8 (Estimated
Time to Download) box in the status bar;
A pop-up menu will appear. Choose from the
listing of other connection speeds, such as 14.4, 28.8, 56.6, ISDN, T1, and T3.
Fig 1. Checking the page download time
Now when you're designing you page you'll know how fast it will
load at that speed. When you're finished, you can choose other speeds to see the
Finding your "Slow" Pages
Now that you've seen how to change the estimated download time of
the current page, you can also use another FrontPage 2000 feature to check all of your
"slow" pages at once.
Select the View, Reports, Slow Pages;
This displays the Slow Pages Report.
This report shows you all of your files (pages) that take longer
than 30 seconds to download at a connection speed of 28.8. You can also re-define what you
think is a slow page is by choosing Tools, Options. When
the Options dialog box appears, choose the Reports View tab. Here, you
can change the choices for "Slow Pages" take at least _ seconds to
download and Assume Connection Speed of to whatever values that
you want a slow page to be defined as in the Slow Pages Report.
Fig 2. Reporting slow pages
About the Author
David Berry is a Microsoft MVP for FrontPage. He runs a FrontPage support site at http://www.net-sites.com/sitebuilder