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Faster Page Display
With Background Graphics

By Brett McCarron, webmaster

We've all been to web sites that feature white or other light colored text against a dark background image. The problem is performance. You can't see the text until the background graphic has loaded.

Later versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape load the background image last. This was done so that the viewer could start viewing the text on the page while the graphics were loading. When background images are used against a white background, you've defeated the rationale for loading backgrounds last.

The secret to a more readable page is simple: use a background color that is similar to the overall hue of the background graphic. Since the background color is loaded first, the light colored text will be visible against the dark background color. When the background tiled image is finally loaded, it replaces the bacground color. You've just enabled the reader to start viewing your page several seconds faster.

Note: Remember to check your graphics against the background color you are using. This is only important if your background image is a transparent gif (GIF 89a standard).


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