Webpages getting bigger and bigger in girth by the day

Published: Dec 23, 2011, 11:30 IST | ANI |

It is not just humans that are steadily growing in girth, even webpages are following the same trend, a new study has found.

It is not just humans that are steadily growing in girth, even webpages are following the same trend, a new study has found.
According to a study of top sites by HTTP Archive, slowly but surely, webpages are getting bigger and bigger, the BBC reported. The figure is 33 percent up on the same period in 2010 when the webpage was a svelte 726 kilobytes, while the average page is now about 965 kilobytes in size.
Keeping webpages small is likely to become more important as increasing numbers of people browse the web on the move. Analysis suggests that the bloat is down to user demands for more interactivity, as well as the tools used to watch what happens when people visit a site.
To gather its figures, the HTTP Archive ran a series of tests every month on the web's top 1,000 sites. These showed that average webpage sizes were trending steadily upward throughout 2011 and jumped sharply in October. Big pages generally take longer to load, which can mean visitors quit if a page takes too long to appear.
The metrics gathered suggests some causes for the growth. Images are a big proportion of the average webpage, and the higher resolutions people expect have led these to grow. However, the statistics reveal that the category showing the biggest growth is that for Javascript. This scripting language is widely used to make webpages more interactive and responsive.
Ryan Kim at news site Gigaom speculated that the growth in the amount of Javascript on webpage was down to the growing use of HTML5. This is the latest version of the formatting language that defines how webpages should be written. The growth may also be attributed to the use of web analytic scripts that tick away unseen when someone visits a page and which log what they click on. According to freelance web developer Anna Debenham, the large pages could take too long to load, leaving people frustrated and likely to go elsewhere. 

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