Web Request Size Keeps Growing and Growing – Are You Prepared?

A fact of modern enterprise is that you will need the web. Consumer-facing portals, e-commerce, internal enterprise applications – they are all necessary in order to be competitive. Since dealing with the web is a necessity, you will also have to deal with its most common and crucial payload – the web page. The key trend to watch with web pages is average request size. The bottom line is that it has rapidly gotten much bigger and this growth shows no sign of slowing down.

A Look at the Data

One of the best ways to monitor this topic is through the HTTP Archive. This source gathers information from the Alexa Top 1,000,000 sites in order to build a picture of how web traffic is evolving. The total transfer size and total requests over the past 3 years are striking. There has been a gradual increase in the total number of requests, but the rate of growth of total transfer size is an order of magnitude greater. As of 10/2014 average request sizes are at 1899 kB. It appears that we will be topping 2MB by 2015.

Transfer and Request Size

An Explanation

This may fly in the face of expectations. It is true that image content and video delivered through the average session have gotten richer. Javascript and CSS have also gotten much more involved and become greater fixtures as web pages have become more graphical and dynamic.

However, mobile has replaced the PC as the primary means of access, and mobile sessions are optimized for less bandwidth. With the average user accessing from a mobile device, we could expect some leveling off.

Perhaps the rise of super-fast, multicore smartphones with large displays has tipped the balance in favor of richer websites. Battles such as the one between the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6 are heating up and bringing user expectations for the mobile experience closer to those of the PC.

What Can You Do?

In any case, we are approaching 2MB needed for the average web transfer. The most reliable studies show that a web page needs to load within 2 seconds – or less – before engagement goes down to zero. When it is crucial to deliver a MB or more per second or risk losing customers, you will need any advantage at your disposal. Contact Medianova to learn how our content delivery networks (CDN) and other suite of solutions can help accelerate your online presence and help you keep pace with the rapid change of web technology.

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