ExtremeTech published an article, The web in 2011: HTML5 dominates Flash, trouble for data capped mobile surfers.
From the article:
According to new research from HTTP Archive, which regularly scans the internet’s most popular destinations, the average size of a single web page is now 965 kilobytes (KB), up more than 30% from last year’s average of 702KB.
Wow. That is huge growth. I still complain to web designers who want to include a 650KB photo.
We are now expected to have fancy buttons (which are image driven), fancy fonts (which have external files) and include all sorts of plugins and frameworks. It’s no wonder page file sizes have crept up. Have you seen how many CSS files plugins can add to a WordPress installation? I once, ran into the browser limit for number of CSS links in Internet Explorer. Every plugin piles more assets on the download.
The article covers the average JS transfer Size too, which is 172KB up from 113KB last year.
As a web developer, almost every project requires at least 1 framework, and at least some heavy imagery. I’m a fan of the “less is more” sites myself.
What can we learn? Fortunately the number of requests are staying around the same (up only marginally for single web pages).
Will the trend continue? I don’t imagine it can. Only in the past year or so have I felt, as a developer, the lifting of page weight restrictions. Only 2 years ago I would have screamed if I was shown a site with 1MB worth of assets.
We better hope that as the average experience on the web gets “heavier” that our mobile providers can keep up with the data. That 250MB limit is scary, if we’re only allowed to download 250 web pages.
It seems bandwidth is less of a restriction on page weight, and CPU power (or the way CPU power is used in a browser) is becoming more of a restriction. I’ve spent more time optimizing page load behavior, by tailoring how things load in the browser, as opposed to stripping out external assets.
Is 1MB too much? I think so. I’d be happy with a web page if it stays below 300KB, but sometimes that just isn’t an option.
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