Andy King's Article: Average Web Page Size Quintuples Since 2003
“Unless the first impression is favorable, visitors will be out of your site before they even know that you might be offering more than your competitors,” suggests Dr Lindgaard.
Prior one forms his opinion about the web page, the very least this page has to load into the browser in a blink of a time. Researchers found that the brain influences the user’s initial decision about the page in just a 20th of a second of viewing a web page while shaping up that very first impression (that as we know has a lasting impact). A typical user gets frustrated by the first page he encountered as the one that slows him down, and would not likely continue browsing the remaining pages within a site.
Round-trip time (RTT) is the back-and-forth time required for data transfer. The larger the number of round trips that need to be made is, the longer it’s going to take for a page to load. Also, heavier objects require to split in a larger number of packets for data transfer. 1 packet is almost always 1,500 bytes. It’s practically unrealistic to expect every object be <= 1.500 bytes, but it certainly helps if the object is optimized for speed and loads in parallel with other objects, as much as possible. Because the latency can be higher at the beginning of a new browser session, it’s important to maintain the load time of the first view (first impression!).
Conclusion - first impression matters. Reduce the weight of the page and the number of requests through objects optimization and parallel downloads.
In the table below, I used 2 characteristics to judge the load quality of the first view among ten homepages of major news sites: # of requests and page size. Google’s Page Speed is the grade.