Performancing Metrics

Is Your Blog Dial-Up Friendly?

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While most people nowadays have broadband connections from home or office (or even mobile phones), there are still some who are connected via dial-up services. Performancing’s Jeff Chandler recently posted an analysis of a Pingdom.com report on the Technorati top 100. And in gist, the average size of the front pages of these blogs is about 1 megabyte.

Sure, with broadband, that would only take seconds to load. But with dial-up connections, one megabyte would take about five minutes to open. And not only that, even fast broadband connections will not assure you of quick page loading. Some images, scripts and other media would actually be caught in processing bottlenecks on your computer or browser.

According to the analysis, the total average size of the front page was 934 KB. Out of the top 100 blogs, at least one of them reaches a front page load size close to 6 MB! However, 93% of the blogs were below 2 MB in size. Not surprisingly, images were the main culprit for the large load sizes. Scripts along with HTML code came in at a distant second and third place respectively.

Average number of images per blog came out to be 63. In the report, there is one blog which has 201-225 images on their front page while a different blog has 251-275 images per page. I’m pretty interested in figuring out which blog on the Technorati 100 has over 200 images on their front page. That is a nightmare even for those who have broadband connections. (What do you say we try and figure out which blogs these are? If you find the culprits, post them in the comments!)

It does pay to have a fast loading page. Not only do your readers get to view your site more quickly, but you save up on bandwidth, too. Some tips:

  • If you’re using WordPress, use the MORE tag or use an excerpt to cut the text from the front page. That way, the entirety of the post (including images and other media) is not published on front page, but can instead be accessed thru the single post page.
  • Use image thumbnails instead of the full size one (and simply link to the bigger size). This way, people who may not necessarily want to view the whole thing could just pick which images they want to see in full.
  • Take out unnecessary sidebar items and scripts. Most of these add clutter, anyway.
  • If you’re running important Javascript (like metrics or ad scripts) make sure these are at the bottom of the page instead of the top. Some service providers would tell you that it’s best to put their scripts at the top, but this can be problematic if their server is slow. You would end up having a slow loading page.

Any other tips worth considering?

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Categories: General

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