Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/average-page-weight-increases-15-2014/
The HTTP Archive Report collates information from almost half a million of the web’s most popular websites. The latest figures indicate that average page weight has increased by 15% in one year to reach 1,953Kb — a little under 2Mb — and comprises 95 individual HTTP requests. While this is smaller than the 32% increase in 2013, it remains cause for concern.
The report analyzes publicly-accessible content and shopping web sites rather than complex web applications and provides a breakdown of the technologies used:
These are average figures; a large proportion of pages will have greater file sizes.
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Seems obvious to me. The increase in image weight isn’t so much retina as it is the fact that we’re increasingly building more single-page layouts utilizing ever larger background and parallax images.
Further, the CSS size increase is (or should be) fairly obvious as well: we’re building responsive layouts that contain more media queries and device specific breakpoints and layouts. Web sites now need the CSS to look good on the desktop, on tablets, and on mobile phones.
I’d also think it’s because more and more people are using frameworks - all that added code. That was my original thought when this was posted. Media queries are probably mixed in there also.
I blame framework bloat and overuse of scaffolding as well.
I cringe whenever I look at the CSS source of something cool, only to see something as simple as a box with a title drowning in 300 lines of CSS, with the same color and other attributes overridden 3, 4, 5 times.
The typical workflow now is start with a framework, then another theme/style, then a master file, then an override file, etc etc. Don’t touch the master, just customize in an override.
I almost wish we could go back to the old days where we, shock, just style the site directly as it’s supposed to be, and not have to constantly override CSS that isn’t used in the first place.
I believe a rise in simple, minimal CSS frameworks will come back, with technologies like SASS and SCSS allowing us to style sites and generate single-level CSS that doesn’t not require overrides and bloat.
Either that or we’ll see a resurgence of designers wanting to build all custom CSS again, and a slew of tools to allow quick style development.
That’s all a bit depressing. I think the point about the laziness and dependency on ready-made, bloated solutions is absolutely spot on. At least now we all know what our resolutions should be for 2015!
Could full-stack development be part of the problem, with all those dependencies being added in?
project schedule and budget do not allow me to optimize the website for fast laoding ,if i spend a month optimizeing one single project than i should complete in the street because i wont be able to pay my rent with what clients offer this days.
Really? So you spend more time adding more code to meet schedules and budget? Fast loading pages use less code!
It’s also self-defeating. If your system is slow, people won’t use it. Your client’s business is affected and they won’t be able to hire you for future projects. There are times you need to be pragmatic, but no developer need purposely create a badly-performing system. At the very least, you can highlight the issues to your clients - it may lead to additional work.
Minifying images will to lead to a far smaller payload than any amount of JS and CSS mangling.
But this isn’t really about the mostly insignificant extra work. It’s about changing attitudes…
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