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In 1995 statistics showed that web page sizes were generally less than 50KB. By 2003 the average sized had increased to around 93.7KB. In 2008 that number had nearly tripled with the average web page being around 310KB. The components of web pages need to be examined to understand the reasons for these increases.
Today, it is not uncommon to have web pages which are 100 to 120KB. Many web pages appear to be faster because of the innovations and upgrades to internet servers.
Why optimize media which is going to be placed on the web? Optimized media reduces the bandwidth needed for users to view these types of files.
Many people have the attitude that with the faster internet servers', bandwidth and optimization do not need to be considered. Some people believe compression and palette reduction not only makes images smaller, but also makes them less attractive. In order to preserve the image integrity, many people consciously decide to not optimize, or they do it simply out of a lack of awareness.
This is the attitude which will keep traffic away from your web site. Web images which are not optimized are heavier, and still a significant player in the viewers browsing experience. When designing for the World Wide Web, the decisive concept to keep in mind is that this is a global medium, where physical location in real-space is, mostly, irrelevant in cyber-space. Your business might be located in the USA, but the viewers on your site are visiting from all over the planet by means of connections which may not implement the current advances in technology.