Sounds a bit like voodoo, but the logic is sound. Cheap and plentiful broadband and iron have made website optimization a thing of the past. If you did site development in the days of dial up, you’ll remember all the tips and tricks to making your site load faster. Remember the eight second rule?
Jason cites research stating that the average web page has increased in size 22 times, with the number of objects per page growing by 21.7 times since 1995. Since 2003 alone, web page size has tripled and the number of objects per page has doubled.
This comes as no surprise as broadband becomes the standard for Interwebs access.
According to the Pew Internet Project, 77% of US home internet users have a broadband connection, and broadband is now present in the majority (55%) of American households.
As the pipe grows, additional content like videos and images are added without fear of slowing down page load times.
So what does all this have to do with the environment? Obviously, consuming less energy translates into using less natural resources, which ideally lessens the impact we have on the overall environment.
The unexpected side effect here is at the data center. Jason observes:
. . . businesses are now being told that they cannot bring any more power into their data centers. The power company is simply refusing to provide them with more capacity.
In many cases, the cost of powering and cooling a data center exceed the costs of the hardware within two years.
Essentially, constraints on power drawn by data centers are now forcing businesses to be greener. But wait, there’s more.
Steve Souders recently conducted a thought experiment on how much CO2 would be saved by optimizing the Wikipedia home page. He used the CO2stats.com estimate that three minutes on a Web site generates three grams of CO2 – roughly equal to the amount one person generates by breathing for 4.5 minutes.”
So optimizing browser caching lessens the load on the iron that serves your blog/web pages, which in turn lessens the CO2 output and energy used to keep the iron cool. Not bad for a pretty trivial investment of effort.
Jason offers some tips to make your blog or website less heavy. These tips come directly from Yahoo and are the result of Yahoo’s ongoing research into how to make their pages serve as fast as possible.
One problem was way too many HTTP requests. Since we switch hosts about a month ago, our CMS hasn’t worked. The CMS stored all the images displayed in posts. Rich does the heavy lifting for this blog, and he’s neck-deep in other stuff. So, rather than bug him to fix it, I’ve been using Skitch to serve the images.
I plan to wade through the fixes required to raise our overall score. One immediate thing is that I won’t be using images unless it’s super important until we get the CMS fixed.
Let’s be honest though. You don’t come here for the pictures. I hope.
Anyway, I wanted to share Jason’s insights and comments. I found them thought-provoking and interesting. I’m not out to chance anyone’s mind, just share interesting stuff.
You may or may not agree. Sound off in comments.