Web page file size has increased by 25% in one year

A 25% growth in one year is pretty frightening especially when we consider the growth of mobile.

A graph showing the growth in web page sizes based on type of download

What is interesting about the report from Pingdom is that Javascript (44% growth) is the main culprit. However, increases in CSS (25%) and imagery (22%) is pretty disturbing too.

I would like to wag my finger in disgust, but to be honest I am pretty sure the new boagworld site probably reflects this change.

Not only is this bad for mobile users, it could start to affect our search engine rankings.

  • http://blog.cwenterprises.co.uk Clive Walkden

    I was looking at this report from Pingdom last week. I know that personally my use of jQuery has increased loads in the past 12 months.

  • http://8gramgorilla.com/ Gordon McLachlan

    I think an increase in web page size is inevitable, especially as people expect more interactive content, all quite contrary to Google’s position on page load time. Of course, I guess it just means that mechanics like CDNs are going to become more and more important.

  • http://twitter.com/smith_mj Michael Smith

    Looking at the numbers the main culprit is image size. Probably due to higher resolution images?

  • Mike Hopley

    “I would like to wag my finger in disgust, but to be honest I am pretty
    sure the new boagworld site probably reflects this change.”

    You’re right. ;) This page weighs 861 kB and makes 97 HTTP requests (the average is 87).

    The biggest part of that is javascript: this page loads 26 javascript files, totalling 321 kB (more than double the average). The bulk of this javascript comes from third-party services such as Facebook Connect and Disqus.

    Third-party javascript is difficult to improve, because it’s not under your control: you can’t rewrite Facebook Connect’s JS to make it smaller! You could potentially lazy-load it so that the initial page load is faster, but that can get complicated.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I know, I know. Its on my list of things to do.

      • Mike Hopley

        If / when you do that, I’d be interested in the write-up. I never quite wrapped my head around lazy-loading / conditional loading. In particular, what happens if people click on something before the required javascript has been loaded? How do you design an interface that “makes sense” with lazy-loaded scripts?

        • Anonymous

          I haven’t got as far as lazy loading. I have just done some basic minifying, sprites etc. The one thing I have done which is a little more unusual is use a service called Cloudflare. You should check it out. It provides some CDN services that have really helped.

        • http://boagworld.com/ Paul Boag

          I haven’t got as far as lazy loading. I have just done some basic minifying, sprites etc. The one thing I have done which is a little more unusual is use a service called Cloudflare. You should check it out. It provides some CDN services that have really helped.

  • http://wolfiezero.com Neil Sweeney

    I’m not surprised at the increase with CSS as more people use CSS3, we do need to include those annoying prefixes that add the majority of bulk I think. Though JS isn’t too surprising with more web apps appear as apposed to web sites, but the increase in image file sizes is odd, though this could be the increase request in higher quality images.

    The real surprise me; why has Flash gone up?

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