Terrence Dorsey

Terrence Dorsey is a writer, editor, and content strategist specializing in technology and software development. He is currently a Senior Technical Writer at ESPN, working with the Data & Platforms Architecture team on next-generation sports data APIs. He also writes a monthly column for Visual Studio Magazine. Previously, Terrence was the Director of Content Development at The Code Project (codeproject.com) and a Senior Editor and columnist for MSDN Magazine and TechNet Magazine. Read his blog at terrencedorsey.com or follow him on Twitter @tpdorsey.

It’s time for a web page diet

Site speed is essential to business success, yet many pages are getting bigger and slower.

Illustration of scaleEarlier this year, I was researching online consumer preferences for a client and discovered, somewhat unsurprisingly, that people expect web sites to be fast and responsive, particularly when they’re shopping. What did surprised me, however, were findings in Radware’s “State of the Union Report Spring 2014” (registration required) that showed web sites, on average, were becoming bigger in bytes and slower in response time every year. In fact, the average Alexa 1000 web page has grown from around 780KB and 86 resources in 2011 to more than 1.4MB and 99 resources by the time of the early “2014 State of the Union Winter Report.”

As an experiment, I measured the resources loaded for Amazon.com on my own computer: 2.6MB loaded with 252 requests!

This seemed so odd. Faster is more profitable, yet companies were actually building fatter and slower web sites. What was behind all these bytes? Had web development become so sophisticated that all the technology would bust the seams of the browser window? Read more…