Internet connections vary around the world. In Africa most international connections are routed through a high latency satellite connection. The minimum page loading time in Gabon for instance about t 3 seconds.
When you design websites for the low-bandwidth environment in Africa, you come across uncommon constraints. As more Africans are able to connect to the web, the inequality in bandwidth reception among users is becoming extremely clear.
A “rule” of low-bandwidth development is that images must load within 10 seconds!
Here are a couple sites we just completed for this market segment.
Here are some basic rules of low-bandwidth development & design.
No page should be larger than 25k
Perhaps the most important item..build your pages to load within 10 seconds over 25 kbps connections, which means 25kB is the maximum page size.
Give users a really simple navigation menu. Simple colors. Simple fluidity. You’ll find that you’re actually reaching into the core of your web design zen when doing so . Don’t use tables for layout and place the main navigation items at the top of each page so they’ll load and display first.
Reduce Images Of Course
Yes, good design is possible without tons of images. Always use the style sheets to build layouts and roll-overs for instance. Also make sure your site is usable if images are turned off in the browser. Condense ( http://www.smushit.com/ysmush.it/ ) all your images for optimum performance.
Make the site Cache-able
Browsers should be able to keep a local copy of the ”cached” website.
You have to avoid PDFs
Or if you must have it optimised by using vector-based graphics.