Wired! Philippines



Surf the Web Faster

By smbea (mabelle@msc.net.ph)

Ever experienced surfing the Web and getting on to sites that took ages to load on your browser? Sometimes it's not always caused by your connection speed but by too many graphics and unnecessary contents. Here are ten tips to help you surf the Web faster and make the most out of your surf time.

  • Tip #1. Usually when you open your browser, the first page that appears is your default page. Sometimes it can be the web page of your ISP or some other Web site you've configured as your start or default page. If your default page has got too many graphics, you may want to skip loading this page altogether. You can remedy this by starting with a blank page when you open your favorite browser. If you’re using Netscape, go to the General Preferences in the Options menu and click on the Appearance tab and click the Start With Blank Page button. If you're using Internet Explorer, go to the page you want to be as your start page (you may choose a page with very little graphics and loads very fast). From the View menu, choose Options and click the Navigation tab. Choose Start Page and Use Current.
  • Tip #2.Another thing you can do to avoid waiting long for a page to load is by turning off everything you don't need in your browser. In Netscape, you can start by turning off graphics. To do this, go to your Options menu and uncheck the Auto Load Images. In Explorer, you can do this by unchecking the boxes beside the graphics, sound, and animation options on the View/Options menu's Appearance tab.

    You can also speed up Netscape by choosing Substitute Colors instead of Automatic by going to the Options menu and then clicking the Images tab under the General Preferences. For even more speed, you can click the Colors tab and then checking Always Use My Colors, Overriding Document so that Netscape won't try to download complex colored Web pages.

    Another killer in download time are those annoying blinking and flashing ads. Turn them off by turning off your browser's ActiveX and Java. In Explorer, choose Options from the Views menu, click the Security tab and uncheck Run ActiveX scripts. In Netscape, choose Options/Network Preferences, click the Languages tab, and uncheck Enable Java. In Explorer, choose View/Options/Security and uncheck Enable Java programs.
  • Tip #3. If you've become quite impatient from waiting for a very big page to load, there's always the Stop button on your browser. After hitting this, you'll see the part of the page that has been loaded and from there, you can decide whether or not the page is worth it to load. If it is, just hit the Refresh button.
  • Tip #4. You can always start on another page if it's taking quite a long time for the first page to load. You can always open up a new browser window and continue surfing while you wait for the other page to download. In Netscape, choose New Web Browser from the File menu. Or you can press Ctrl-N (Command+N if you're on the Mac). In Explorer, choose New Window from the File menu. You can also right-click on a shortcut or link and choose Open In New Window. A word of caution here though. Don't get carried away by opening up a lot of browser windows or you will slow your computer down.

  • Tip #5. Did you know that shortcut pop-up menus are hidden everywhere in your browser? The menu you get depends on where you click. In Netscape, you can go forward and back by right-clicking on a page. In Explorer, you can select all the text on the page by doing the same thing. Experiment and right-click on your browser and see more options you can do.
  • Tip #6. Both Netscape and Explorer have a cache that contains the sites you have visited. This lets you quickly return to the sites you have already visited. However, your cache can fill up without your knowing it. If you're a heavy surfer and you visit a lot of the same sites everyday, you might want to consider increasing your cache's size to, say, 10 MB. To do this, choose Network Preferences from your Netscape's Option menu and change the cache size. In Explorer, choose Options from the Views menu, click on the Advanced tab, click Settings, and drag the slider to the right. If you have been online for a long time already, you can speed up your browser by purging your cache. To do this in Explorer, click on View/Options/Advanced and click on the Empty button. In Netscape, go to Options/Network Preferences/Cache and click Clear Memory Cache Now.
  • Tip #7. Typing long URLs could sometimes be really hard. You might commit a typo and this will get you nowhere. If you have to type a URL and it begins with "www" and ends with ".com," just type the part in the middle, such as "altavista." Both Netscape and Explorer will figure out where you want to go. Another means of avoiding typing long URLs is by bookmarking any site you think you would like to go back to in the future. You can also use your browser's Go menu or History feature to return quickly to a site you've already visited. If you've gone to the site recently, you can use your browser's Back and Forward icons.
  • Tip #8. Lost URLs can really slow you down. However, there is a way to search lost URLs. Enter any of the site's keywords that you can remember in any of the search engines on the Web (Lycos, Yahoo!, Altavista, Infoseek, etc). If you want to search multiple search engines at the same time, you can try SavvySearch.
  • Tip #9. If you mainly use the Internet for searching the Web, you can speed up your searches by being as specific as you can. Most Internet search engines have a specialized language. AltaVista lets you search for titles of Web pages if you precede what you are searching for with the word TITLE. Infoseek uses plus and minus symbols to indicate AND and OR. OpenText lets you search for phrases. You can read the instructions for the search engine you are using to find out about its language.
  • Tip #10. Once you have located a page that contains what you need, don't waste time scrolling through it. In Netscape, press Ctrl + F, enter the words you are searching for, and press Enter. You'll go straight there.


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