View Full Version : Whats the max homepage size (kb) you reccomend?

05-10-2003, 01:16 AM
Hi all,

I've read (in a book written three years ago) that most users still use 56k (me included). Most people dont want to wait a minute for the home page to load. This has become a dilemma for me designing my first commercial site. I myself only ave 3.2kb per second, but I wouldn't mind waiting a minute for the images to load if their was text for me to read.
I have my home page and I wish it could be 90kb. That goes against many people's lines of thought that the less kb the better. I have Jpegs for detailed product images, and I dont want to go less than 150x200 or so for thumbnails.
What do you suggest the sizeto be? I wish to have well over 100kbs of images, nice big product images on my index. I know thats too long for many to wait.
By the way, is there anyway to make certain pictures pop up first? (like logo)

05-11-2003, 08:20 PM
Well my opinion is you'll be ok. More and more people are using broadband/dsl at work and home. Everyone else is used to their own speed. I would say as long as your load time isn't substantially more than the average site, you wont turn anyone away. Just look around a bit at the sites you go to. Here are a few I just picked out. I just viewed the source and saved the html code to a text file:

Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com): 35kb / 90kb with images
Google (http://www.google.com): 5kb / 18kb with images (impressive)
Amazon (http://www.amazon.com): 75kb / (?) with images
ESPN (http://www.espn.com): 75kb / (?) with images
CNN (http://www.cnn.com): 52kb / (?) with images
My Web Site (http://www.bernalwebservices.com): 9kb / 140kb with images

Generally the faster the better, but if your page is only 90kb with images, I'd say you're doing pretty well.

09-02-2003, 03:20 AM
I believe the figures for broadband are still in the "20% of total viewers" range. All the figures I can find and the stats I see on the logs of my client's sites still indicate that approximately 80% of the viewers are still on 56K or less.

This is due to slow growth in 3 areas.

1.) Cable only expands when there is sufficeint audience to warrant the cash expenditure (got to keep the shareholders happy!). Usually, this means the audience must return 100% of the expenditure plus adequte profit for the shareholders in the (very short) growth period alloted. Since the cable products comprise only two main areas, TV and broadband internet access, and since broadband access requires totally different equipment (at a high cost to return ratio) even though the delivery method is substantially the same, the growth period alloted is very short so the viewer demand must be high. Because of the expense, this doesn't happen much in most predominantly blue collar areas. Unfortunatly, most areas, like my area, are blue collar.

2.) DSL (usually ADSL) requires "quiet" lines showing resistances indicating no farther than within 1750 ft. of the CO. The majority of blue collar areas (which again are also the majority of the service areas) are older areas where lines have been in existance for two decades or more. Lines this old aren't usually "quiet" enough to deal with DSL and newer lines in newer areas farther into the suburbs are over 1750 ft. from the CO, even though they may be quiet.

3.) Satelite, an expensive alternative to the two above. Not for the majority of viewers. (who again, are blue collar)

Considering the 80% of the viewers are still on dialup, and considering that the majority are in blue collar neighborhoods with older telephone lines, and considering that 56K modems "shut down" when "noise" is noted on the line and don't start again until a clean spot comes along, thereby effectively dropping your 56K to more like 20K if you're lucky and even less than that if you're not, I'd say a home page of 30K is a good target to shoot for. Many "how-to" web design books and sites like that number for a home page, too.

As a viewer, I want two things. 1.)I want to know (quickly) if I have arrived where I want to be and 2.) If I have, I want to know (quickly) if you have the information or content I seek. I want you to respect my time. Give me a well designed, fast loading, informative home page and I will be more tolerant of slower loading linked pages (as long as I don't have time between page requests to have dinner and watch a movie).

Then again, I could be wrong, have been before, will be again, might be this time.... but I don't think so. :wink:

Best regards and above all "Have Fun".

09-08-2003, 01:10 AM
Personaly I shoot for as small as possible, but then I'm incessant about efficiency. Whatever you do reduce the image sizes. The average resolution of a monitor is only 75dpi. You don't need one higher than that - it just increases the file size and hurray if most of your visitors are on high speed lines, but for those who aren't you're gonna need some pretty interesting pictures to keep them from bailing. Six months ago my modem speed was 26.4 tops! Sites that have a lot of images can be painful. Maybe you could organize it better. Save the surfer the grief of waiting for things to download that are of no interest and do yourself a favor by not needlessly expending bandwidth. I suppose if you had enough visitors all the data you pumped out for each one could add up. TRANSLATION: higher hosting $$$


09-08-2003, 07:29 AM
One thing that you might consider is having a alternate of your site that is text only. I have one site that is an informational site for puppeteers. I have it set up so those who wish can view it with no images at all only the information they are interested. Yes the main site that most see has images although I have even redueced that... The biggest part of images on the site are of puppets which many folks are looking for. If you do have a page with lots of images make sure to warn your viewer.

09-09-2003, 05:48 PM
I agree with SJP. I use few images, and I reuse them on other pages. Many of my pages only have two images.
Instead of images I use tables and table cells with different background colors. This does give a blocky look to the page, but I dont mind.
Having a text only alternative is also a good idea.

10-19-2003, 01:06 AM
I think all the ideas here are good ones. All of us has different experiences, design styles and skills, also I think that every case is unique, so you should take what is best for you, and try to find what works better with you and the next time you design something try to think before (and while) designing, lot of times I've done something that I love but is extremely hard to optimize.

Is 90kb ok? may be, and may be not. Altrough 90kb is not a big thing even trough a 56k there are things you must think before. Who is your target audience? Homes? Offices? Rich people? Yes, most of the internet users has a slow connection to internet but that doesn't mean that the most of your visitors do. Also what you offer is very important because some audiences may wait longer than others, usually if there are many sites like yours (offering the same thing, product or service) the visitor is more likely to go somewhere else, but if you offer a very specialized, unique or attractive thing your visitors probably will wait some more time. A good example of this are if you are one of the bunch (google) or if your visitors are going to visit you no matter what because they want to, they have to or they must to (Yahoo). (Ps:ok, google is one of the top ones but is far under yahoo).

The pics (usually) are what more space takes, so you shold take care of having good ones, I'll wait much more time for a pic of liz hurley than for a pic of the new kind of fabrics used in the inside of the rear bags of my jeans. Ok ok, jk, but you got the idea, right? You must put pictures of what you offer but as attractive as possible, play with the optimization and formats but please don't place things just to fill the spaces (waste of kb's).

Another tip is about how you design. If your entire site is inside one table is very possible that it doesn't show up until it is entirely loaded (unless you are using opera) so you'll have your visitor waiting in front of a blank page. Sometimes you may wait longer if while you wait you're looking something, at least something that helps to understand what is the site about (usually the header fo the site). Sometimes you want (or must) use a centain specific heavy pic, in that case or either you have no choice or you may use 2 pics, a low res and a hi res, obviously your visitor will see the low res while the big one loads, the low res is not precisely pretty but gives a better idea of the content and you're most likely to grab the attention of the visitor.

There is much more to say about this topic, but I think the only thing we all may agree is in the uniqueness of every site. I you still think thay I said too much and I didn't answered your question here you have a more concrete one: several studies says that the time almost every surfer may confortabily wait for a site to load is 13 seconds. You do the math, but remember: your modem is 56kilobits not kilobytes and also I bet that the actual speed of your connection is not the maximum your modem supports.

Hope it all helps :)