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Acceptable total page size - including images, etc

 4:35 pm on Apr 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

What is the acceptable web page sized that would be recommended. This will include images and css file. So when I add all file sizes together what should I shoot for. I am working on a picture galery for my wife and have 6 thumb nails on each page pointing to indivdual larger pictures
Thanks pat



 5:33 pm on Apr 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

For commercial pages intended for all connection speeds, I aim for a total page weight of 40kb and consider 50kb to be red-lining it. (I like the term "page weight" for describing this particular metric -- picked it up from Homesite.)

From what I see on today's web, most pages are a LOT bigger than this. Instead going with that crowd, I feel the lean page gives my clients a very important edge.

That said, there definitely are specific situations where I go fatter than 50kb. In some markets, the product is such that visitors want to see a page with many thumbnails for comparison purposes. Then I assume that the customer is prepared for a longer wait and I might even go as high as 140 kb. But again, the competition is going super-mega-huge in those cases, and we still have an edge.

For your non-commercial (I presume) picture gallery, you can certainly take some liberties from my strict commercial limits. With only 6 thumbnails per page, you can probably be 5 to 7 kb per thumbnail, plus some page decoration, and still come in around 60 or 70 kb total page weight.

That should work out pretty well for most of your wife's visitors, I'd think.


 6:17 pm on Apr 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

One more thought about page weight -- the real concern here is download time, and in particular the time-to-render for usable content. Today's modems on both the server and the client often employ compression. This means that all kilobytes are not equal.

If you download an already compressed file, such as a jpg, gif, zip and so on, the modem compression can't increase the speed too much more. But simple text, such as the HTML itself including page copy, can get quite a boost -- as much as 70% or 80% over an uncompressed download.

So 120 kb of text may come down the pipe lickety-split, but 120kb of highly compressed jpg may be a lot slower.

Then, once a jpg is on the users drive, it still needs to be decompressed by the browser's rendering engine and this adds a bit more time to the final and all important time-to-render.


 2:56 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

The 40KB target is optimum. I'd offer that it also depends upon the audience and their expectations. If the site is a photography site and you're serving up thumbnails - then 40KB may be unrealistic. But in normal scheme of things - the lighter the better.


 3:06 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you have a lot of thumbnail jpegs, it is probably worth reducing the quality. Mine typically come in under 2k.


 3:26 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

So 120 kb of text may come down the pipe lickety-split, but 120kb of highly compressed jpg may be a lot slower.

Interesting; I'd never really considered this. Hurray for the fact my new pet project is almost text only :)

Nice post(s), tedsterrrrrr.

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