Size Does Matter!



It is my belief my laptop probably was built before WWII and being in service for the past many, many years, at least I bought it used on eBay, I believe around 2005 and have repaired it at least twice since then, including a new, slightly bigger hard drive and a complete reprogramming in XP Pro.

At first it worked great but then, gradually, it started go slower and slower until coming to a virtual crawl. Now, even if I want to check somebody else’s blog, the ventilation fan goes crazy, heat starts coming out from the vents and it all seems to be part of either a computer menopause process or a virtual heart attack and it scares me for my beloved laptop.

It is a Dell Inspiron 5100 with Pentium 4; 2.4 GHz; 1 GB RAM; 80 GB HD and about 30 pounds net weight!

Not being sure if the problem is the laptop or my internet provider, who gives a limit in bandwidth usage, I wanted to know how much bandwidth I was using so, following my son’s finding I downloaded and installed a free bandwidth meter from the net called: ShaPlus Bandwidth Meter 1.3.1 (101 KB)

As you can see in the picture, it takes a little space in the lower, right hand corner, out of the way and it has proven to be very useful to know the “weight” of every page or site I visit. So far I discovered my blog has an average of 0.6 MB to download when opened and most of the blogs I visit range between 0.4 to 2.5 MB, with one or two going up as much as 6.0-8.5 MB (it all depends on how many pictures and moving stuff the page has). Now I’m checking everything I open to know what’s the “weight” (I know, new toy :)

One of the recommendations given when creating a blog or website is that it has to be a fast downloader or people will get bored and move somewhere else; this bandwidth meter helps to see if we are going too far in implementing our cyber space or if we still can do some more without making it too “heavy”, specially for people using 56K connections.

Some may say “who would be using 56k these days?” but I know that’s the main available connection in my country (using a phone line) and for those wanting to reach beyond the bigger countries boundaries that should be a point to consider.

Do you know how “heavy” is your blog to download?

Do you keep in mind a limit in size when implementing your blog?

Is it important for you to be able to reach other countries?

Let me know :)


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11 Responses to Size Does Matter!

  1. Good point. I usually try to consider a world wide audience when composing most of my posts.

    The easiest way to keep size down is to resize the picture that goes along with every post. Often times the picture I grab from Flickr is pretty large as far as KBs go, sometimes around 100k or more. I usually try to resize it or reduce the quality a bit to get the size down around 10 or 20k.

    Another thing I try to do is to note the metric equivalents any time I discuss measurements. It’s easy for me to do the conversions so my readers don’t have to.
    Eric | Eden Journal´s last post ..Being Observant – A Follow-up to the Invisible Gorilla post

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Eric,

    Resizing pictures helps a lot with how fast a page takes to download, but I’ve seen many sites with moving elements to grab people’s attention, especially in ads and I assume those take a lot of KB if not MB

    Doing the conversion also is a great idea and to complement it one should also consider the meaning of different words depending on different countries and that is a tough one! Not only for how something is said in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc, but also what is normal in one place yet of bad taste in another.

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Size Does Matter!

  2. Kelvin Kao says:

    I am not entirely sure how much bandwidth my blog is using. I just know it’s below average, according to my analytics. I just checked my numbers after reading this post for connection speed. It turned out that about 1% of all the visits are using dial-up. I don’t intend to do anything specific about that, but of course, I try to make sure that my website doesn’t take too long to load.
    Kelvin Kao´s last post ..Russian Spy Ring Case Likely a Movie Promotion Stunt

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Kelvin,

    I don’t know if that 1 % of people using dial-up is because:

    -That system is becoming obsolete everywhere in the world
    -Most of the people reading the blog are from developed countries where dial-up is almost gone
    -People from other countries with dial-up are not interested in a blog in English
    -People from those other countries cannot download a blog from someone in a country where heavy loads are used
    -A combination of all of the above

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Size Does Matter!

  3. Tony Single says:

    You make some important points here, Raul. We were still on dial up until 2 months ago, and at 56k (and often far, far less) we always had to be mindful of what was worth being downloaded and what wasn’t!

    With that in mind, I do always try to keep my jpegs as low as possible without losing too much picture quality. That can be the problem when you resize jpegs too much… they get all fuzzy and pixelly. So, it’s a real juggling act.

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Tony,

    Using small size pictures should help a lot with the downloading process and as you mention, the problem is to find the right balance between speed and quality. I use around 250 x 150 for the pictures in the posts and so far no complains :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Size Does Matter!

  4. Hey Raul: I do agree with you that it is important how fast your blog loads. I use to have exceptionally long load times because my home page is filled with photos. I was directed to hostgator and that seemed to really improve things and speed them up. I am by no means a technical person and can’t offer much advice, but I do know that hosting my site there definitely helped things.
    Sibyl-alternaview´s last post ..Guarantee A Better Tomorrow by Focusing on Today

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Sibyl,

    Good point Sibyl, the difference between self hosting or not, I didn’t think of that but you are right, self hosting should also help in faster downloading since there should be more bandwidth available. Thank you for your comment :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Size Does Matter!

  5. Sara says:


    After reading your comments, I am truly embarrassed because I have never checked on this. I do so hope that no one is sitting at their desk with cobwebs growing on them while waiting for my site to load:~)

    I imagine, however, that my site isn’t a small download given that photographs are a major part of my blogging. I try to keep the size of my photos down, but I don’t want them to become, like Tony said, “all fuzzy and pixelly.” I like the term “pixelly.”

    I liked that you brought up the issue of how a site is viewed in other countries. I’m assuming you’re asking us to take into account that people in some countries will not have extremely fast computers. This is an excellent point to raise.
    Sara´s last post ..Story Photo- The Special Guest

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Sara,

    Cobwebs…that’s creepy!

    I just opened the page in your site and the meter shows 0.64 MB download, so it is not a big one.

    I been wondering, how about using small size pictures in the post just to give an idea to the reader with a quick download and then place the same pictures in full size in a tab on top, so the reader knows what’s in there and that it’ll take longer to download if he/she wants to see the pictures in total splendor, but it becomes optional.

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Size Does Matter!

  6. Raul Ojeda says:

    Hi Everyone,

    A quick update.

    So far I’ve discovered that the biggest “loaders” of a blog page are those plugins that say: “follow me on Twitter” and ‘Share this post in Facebook…etc” Basically those “spread the word” plugins that follow you wherever you go in the page and also open on top like a pop-up line.

    At least those blogs I visit and that have those plugins are really slow to download, show several MB in the meter and make my poor laptop sweat!

    This post is 0.11 MB included comments :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Size Does Matter!

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