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Chapter 14. Content > Size Matters

14.1. Size Matters

The network doesn't know or care what type of content you are serving. Bits are bits. Size is all that really matters for network transfer time. The basic performance principle is therefore to send fewer bits and make fewer requests. Try to think of size in terms of download time rather than absolute bits, because how long a human being has to wait is the ultimate measure of success. If most of your users are on 28.8 modems, make a rule that no image can be "larger" than 10 seconds. 10 seconds is about 35K if the 28.8 modem is running perfectly.

Compare Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com/), which has a very light home page, to CNN (http://www.cnn.com/), which tends to bloat. The difference in download time is significant. It's easy to get carried away, so lay down some ground rules and try to get your content developers to care about bandwidth issues.


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