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Why Average Web Page Size Increases and How to Reduce It
Growth of average web page size
Web page size is important! It’s not about the design or subject matter of the website, but much simpler – it all depends on the size of the monitor screen of website visitors. If the website is not optimized for each monitor size, it creates an automatic annoyance for the user and thus, it is very important to make your website convenient to view from any device, from a huge monitor to the screen of a small mobile phone.
The first web page appeared in 1990. Adding all sorts of fonts, images, videos and CSS / JS files to the websites and with years of tech development, the sizes of pages have significantly increased. In 2010, the average web page size was 702kb and in 2017 it was 3422kb, according to information provided by httparchive.org.
Why website page size matters
If you ask yourself about the proper dimension of your website, you are on the right way. In reality, the width of the page is a key factor in website design. If you decided to choose the width that is larger than the user’s screen resolution, soon you will notice that the website doesn’t fully fit in the browser, and a horizontal scroll bar will appear. As a result, the user might not see some of the necessary information or will be uncomfortable working with your project. The result will be one – reduction of behavioral factors.
In another hand, if you set a too small width, especially if the content part of your website is quite thin, then, again, your website will have a look of uncomfortable one too.
Let’s find out a little bit more about website dimensions from official statistics. Due to the latest data collected in 2019, the most usable webpage dimensions are:
1. Desktop Screen Resolution Stats Worldwide
|Width x Height||1366×768||1920×1080||360×640||1440×900||1536×864||1600×900|
2. Mobile Screen Resolution Stats Worldwide
|Width x Height||360×640||375×667||414×736||720×1280||360×720||320×568|
You may ask what is your screen resolution. It is easy to check with specialized tools. In browsers like Chrome, there are functions that allow receiving technical information about the client’s computer. It is a requirement for website creation due to individual characteristics of various devices.
One of these functions is the ability to find out the pixel resolution of the screen. The screen resolution is the size of the image that you see on your monitor, counted in points (pixels). Simply put, the resolution is the density of these points on your screen at a given time. This density is measured by the width and height of the screen.
Why page size increases and how to reduce it
This can be explained by a number of factors that all make a significant contribution to the increase in page size. Below you can find the key ones.
- Adding or removing tags;
- Changing page styles;
- Web-based games;
- Information about user’s activity on the page;
- Making changes to the code;
- Animation of a web page.
Scripts may slow down page loading and effect on page size. To solve this problem webmasters use website cache option. It helps to reduce the time between users query and server response.
Images are the primary reason for the increase in page size these past 7 years. Over the years, imagery has become more frequent and it is one of the main things used to attract user’s attention. People rarely find an article interesting to read without images and nobody is going to buy an item without seeing an example of how it looks.
There are a lot of tools for the compression of the image size but it keeps the same high quality which makes an influence on website dimension:
In addition, WebP and FLIF formats aim to reduce the image size further and thus help decrease web page sizes.
How can a font affect the speed of a web page? Just like images, the quality of fonts has been improving all this time, and there are now millions of varieties available to create your own style. About 57% of sites are using custom fonts now. In 2017 an average site’s fonts took up about 113kb of space, when in 2010, this number was only 2kb. The font is very important for personal branding. Since it has an impact on the page size you need to choose a font that will not only fit the style of your site and brand, but also load quickly. Fortunately, there is a solution if you are sure that custom fonts are important for the design of your website: creating a WOFF2 file.
How many fonts is too many fonts? The rule of thumb is that three’s a crowd and it’s best to stick with two.
The use of videos on web sites have also increasingly grown over the years. Videos are often used to attract the audience’s attention, for product presentation, and as an effective SEO tool. However, high-quality video really affects the site’s size. Over the past six years, the size of an average video has grown to 174kb and although it still only takes up roughly 7.7% of the total website size, it will soon become a bigger issue unless video compression gets better. Simply embed the iframe code from YouTube, Vimeo, and Amazon CloudFront, if you want your site to load quickly. Use the power of these internet video powerhouses. It’s their job and they do it well.
In the modern world, ads have become more complex. They are no longer made from only plain text. In order to get the most attention, social media managers usually add photos, animations or even videos to their advertising and naturally, this increases the size and loading time of a web site. To solve this problem the user can use an Ad Blocker that can help reduce the visibility of the ads (your browser will not load them) and therefore, the loading speed should increase by several times.
This is especially effective on mobile devices or tablets. You need to monitor the ads on the site to see how they affect the speed. Regulate and change ads on your web resource, so that they occupy as few bytes as possible and don’t greatly expand the page size. Or you can even completely remove the ad if you see that it slows down the site too much.
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Web page size on mobile devices
According to statistics, people use mobile devices more often. Only in the last two years, the number of mobile device users have increased by hundreds of millions due to the reason that it is so much faster and more convenient to use phones and tablets instead of a PC or laptop.
It means that page speed will suffer if it is not optimized for mobile devices. This is vital for every site!
Mobile design challenges
- Screen shape. The screen of smartphones is taller than it is wide, the opposite of a desktop computer or laptop.
- Screen size. Different models of smartphones have different screen sizes, but usually, the aim is 340px as a maximum width for mobile design.
- User interactions. Cell-phones don’t have a mouse. So such effects as ‘on blur’ or ‘on hower’ don’t work.
- Navigation. Most website owners want to show a full-width top navigation bar. However, it doesn’t work in portrait mode.
- Lower bandwidth. Many customers use “data” in towns or in nature, so they can have slower internet speeds. Sometimes it’s better to replace the full-screen background video on the mobile version of your site.
It can require sacrificing some aspects like removing an animation or an inserted video, but the page size will decrease significantly, and mobile device users will be happy with the quick loading speed and great user experience. So always test website speed!
Your site should work as quickly as possible. For this, you need to do everything possible to reduce load time for all devices: pay the most attention to images, as those tend to occupy the largest part (about 44%) of the total size. However, to match average web page sizes, all aspects (from the fonts to the ads) should be optimized, as mentioned above – this is very important not only to attract new visitors but also to keep the attention of your loyal clients and users for many years.