A really interesting post was placed on the Royal Pingdom blog that compared average load time and up time of operating system websites. The author took measurements from October 17th through November 17th. He used 16 Linux distributions, Apple.com and Microsoft.com. While his results were interesting, I felt a correlation between page size and load time should be included. I asked the author about this and he responded, “from a user perspective it doesn’t really matter what size the web page is. All that matters is how they experience the load time.”
I created the chart below based off his data and a current size snapshot of the same web pages. I used a Firefox add-on called lori or Line-of-request info to measure the complete size of the page including images and anything stored in cache.
The following two charts show the actual size of each page including scripts, images and html and their speed to load in KBps based on the data from Pingdom.
OS Vendor Website Speed (KBps)
OS Vendor Page Sizes (KB)
- Most popular, well funded operating systems have main pages which, regardless of size, have ample bandwidth
- If all linux sites are combined, the average speed is 130.35KBps. The median speed is 70.84KBps.
- I’m not sure if the Suse Enterprise site load time was measured correctly. It measures in at a whopping 388KB! However, its load time averaged 591ms giving it amazing results. I am wondering if the flash heavy website wasn’t being measured correctly in Pingdom’s tests.
- There seems to be a direct correlation between the funding, bandwidth and bloat of the website. I guess if you have all the bandwidth you could ever want, file size doesn’t matter. Unless you want to be nice to those of us with SLOW INTERNET!
- It is interesting to point out that even those with the slowest transfer speeds will still usually beat out the loading of the bloated pages from a users perspective. This is ultimately what really matters as pointed out by Pingdom.
- PC Linux OS could really do themselves a favor and get rid of some bloat!
- Apple and Ubuntu seem to be the most balanced between size, bandwidth and load times.