What's more important the content on a site or the speed with which that content is delivered?  How long will users wait to read a blog post or a news article?  The team over at Pingdom have recently done a load size analysis of the top 100 Technorati blogs and the findings may surprise you.  Some of the highlights are:

  • 35% of blogs had a front page greater than 1 MB
  • 39% had a front page between 500 KB and 1 MB
  • On average front pages had 63 images & 9 scripts

The authors provided some theoretical limits for estimated download times assuming a perfect scenario where bandwidth is 100% utilized.  In addition to bandwidth not being 100% utilized the page download time is going to vary significantly based on latency.  Let's take a look at the average number of embedded objects 63 images and 9 scripts on a connection with 200 ms of latency.  As has been previously discussed most current browsers by default allow 2 connections per host for content with the exception of scripts, scripts must be downloaded one at a time, so for a user with 200 ms of latency the additional minimum amount of time that must be added to the download time is 8.4 seconds which is broken down below:

1 HTML X 200 ms = 200 ms

9 Scripts X 200 ms = 1800 ms

63 Images / 2 concurrent downloads per host X 200 ms = 6400 ms

The low-end broadband theoretical limit goes from 8.4 seconds doubles to 16.8 seconds when latency is included in the equation.  This makes the case for acceleration solutions and site optimizations that much stronger. 

All this talk about front page load sizes and times got me to thinking what are the statistics for my blogs.

Blog Size Requests (HTML, Images and Scripts) Latency* Download Time*
DevCentral Blog 346032KB 63 150 5.499
Personal Blog 94048KB 23 25 8.079

*Download times and latency captured from London, England.