Web pages are now 2MB on average, and it’s largely because of images

The steady climb in average website sizes isn’t stopping. And according to Tammy Everts, more than 60% of page weight today is due to images.

As internet users, we crave images — the bigger, the better. Site owners play to this craving, knowing that serving bigger, better images has a direct impact on conversion rate (the percentage of site visitors who convert to active customers) and other business metrics. For example, Dell ran an A/B test in which they super-sized the hero image on a landing page. The huge image experienced a 27% lower bounce rate and a 36% increase in lead generation.

But as developers, content creators, and site owners, images cause us no end of performance-related angst. The vast majority of images on the web are unoptimized — uncompressed, unconsolidated, incorrectly formatted, and wrongly sized. Here’s an image optimization checklist I created a few months back to get you started with introducing the importance of image optimization to everyone in your organization (particularly non-developers). For a deeper dive, I highly recommend that you sign up for Guy Podjarny’s upcoming O’Reilly webinar, High Performance Images. (Guy also has a book coming out, which will tackle this topic in even greater depth.)

She estimates we’ll hit 3MB pages in late 2017, and says our web speeds really aren’t keeping up with the increase in size of our websites. This is kind of a depressing post.

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