The average web page is becoming increasingly obese and this leads to a diminished experience for your users. It’s not hard to see why page weight has become such an issue with so many new technologies available and the ability to implement features never before possible in a browser. However, we’re so preoccupied with whether we can implement them we sometimes forget to stop and think if we should.
According to the HTTP Archive, which studies the top 10,000 most-visited sites online, the average web page now weighs in at about 1.4MB as of May 2013. That’s an increase of about 39% from the same time last year as the chart below shows.
That’s a significant increase and at this rate, it’s really not that hard to envision the average weight of a page surpassing 2MB by 2015. So why does it seem page weight isn’t as much of a concern as the web’s early days? I believe the below quote by Tammy Everts, Web Performance and UX Geek, hits the nail on head:
“There’s a head-in-the-sand tendency to assume that just because our devices, browsers, and networks are more powerful than ever, end-user performance must also be getting better”
This is a pretty dangerous assumption to make when you consider that, according to surveys done by Gomez and Akamai.com, 47% of users expect 2 second or less page load time. Not only that, they will abandon a site if it’s not loaded within 3 seconds regardless of brand loyalty. These are pretty damning statistics that should really make you want to take stock on how your site is performing.
The solution for the issue of poor performance doesn’t necessarily lie solely in the hands of a developer or even in technology itself - though both of those are obviously important pieces to the puzzle. Ultimately, it’s critical to come to the realization that performance is a feature of your site... one that should take precedence over other features such as that hero banner you crave.
Performance isn’t just a technical consideration - it plays into every aspect of your site and how people are, or aren’t, using it. In the next couple months, our blog posts will demonstrate the importance of prioritizing performance as a feature and help you feel the need, the need for speed.