The Digg front page (28KB) requires 2 (3?) CSS files and 17 Javascript files to be downloaded before it can be displayed. This shouldn’t be a problem as the files should be cached on the first visit. But I wouldn’t’ be here writing this if that was the case. It appears that max-age is set to 60 minutes on almost everything, even the images.

I used the Live HTTP Headers extension for Firefox to examine all the HTTP responses sent when doing a full refresh, to see just how much data was being transferred.

File sizes are the actual number of bytes sent by the server (minus HTTP protocol overhead). Most files have been compressed using gzip.

Front page: 6,928 bytes in 1 file

CSS: 9,550 bytes in 3 files

Javascript: 238,830 bytes in 17 files

Images: 32,030 bytes in 25 files

  • Not interesting

Time Comparison

  • Minimum data to download (HTML + CSS + JS): 255,308 bytes
  • Everything (HTML + CSS + JS + Images): 287,338 bytes
  • Speed in bytes = (speed in bits / 8) * 0.85 (overhead)
  • This doesn’t take in consideration latency or HTTP overhead

Minimum (no images)

  • 56k: 46.2 seconds
  • 256: 9.4 seconds
  • 512: 4.7 seconds
  • 1500: 1.6 seconds


  • 56k: 52.0 seconds
  • 256: 10.6 seconds
  • 512: 5.3 seconds
  • 1500: 1.8 seconds

Is this really acceptable for a website? Or more importantly, a simple front page?

Just how many features are being used on the front page?

Why should (almost) everything expire in 60 minutes?