Our Websites Are Getting Too Fat

Published on July 13, 2016

A lot of us these are trying to stay healthy and watch our weight through dieting and exercise. But how many of us are watching the “weight” of our websites?

It may be more important than you think. In fact, the internet may be in the midst of a major obesity epidemic of its own. 

What do we mean? We’ll let Wired magazine put it in perspective:

“Today the average webpage is about the same size, data-wise, as the classic computer game Doom, according to software engineer Ronan Cremin.

A compressed copy of the installer for the shareware version of Doom takes up about 2.39MB of space. Today’s average webpage, meanwhile, requires users to download about 2.3MB worth of data, according to HTTP Archive, a site that tracks website performance and the technologies they use.”

That’s huge, in more ways than one. The average website takes up just as much space as “a multi-level first person shooter that ships with an advanced 3D rendering engine and multiple levels, each comprised of maps, sprites, and sound effects,” as Cremin puts it.

As internet connections have grown faster over the years, many web developers have grown complacent about taking advantage of that speed. These days, so many of us are so eager to stuff our sites with every bell or whistle we can get our hands on – from analytics scripts to super-high resolution photos to auto-playing GIFs, videos, or animated ads – that we’re forgetting about our users and their experience.

In other words, web developers have grown so enamored with function that many have forgotten about efficiency. Large, bloated sites may be extremely slow to load. They may be laggy or unresponsive on mobile devices, or next-to-impossible to access for the 2.3 million (2.3 million!) net users who still rely on dial-up providers such as AOL.

And from a content marketing perspective, all of this really matters. It’s important to remember that, for your users and your brand, absolutely every second and every megabyte counts. Consider, for instance, that:

  • - 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or fewer, and a full 40% will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
  • - Users are not much more lenient on mobile: Most users surveyed by Kissmetrics would wait just six to ten seconds for a mobile page to load.
  • - Page load time is also directly tied to user loyalty: 52% of online shoppers say that quick loading is “important” to their site loyalty, and 79% of shoppers who are “dissatisfied” with website performance are unlikely to buy from the same site again.
  • “Code bloat” negatively impacts your SEO. The longer and clunkier your code, the harder it is for “web crawlers” to scan, decreasing your visibility. And if users avoid your site due to longer load times, search engines will notice and follow suit, hurting your rankings even further.
  • - The web’s top 10 sites (per Alexa rankings) are “significantly lighter than the rest,” according to MobiForge. Even more interesting? While the web as a whole is getting heavier, these top sites have “turned the corner,” and are in fact getting lighter every month.

The bottom line? Now more than ever, if you want your site to continue drawing in traffic and converting leads, it’s important to take a look at it with fresh, critical eyes. It could make all the difference: A one-second improvement in page response can mean a 7% increase in conversions.

Ready to jump-start your landing page? That’s where we come in. Our experienced development team knows all of the ins and outs of designing for the modern web. From SEO to visual content to loading time, Geek has you covered. Why not drop us a line today to get the conversation started?

Stay up today on the latest Tech and Digital Marketing Trends with our newsletter.