What's that? Every webpage takes up a certain amount of "space"... cyberspace... on its host server. When a visitor arrives at a URL, the page stored must be copied from the host server to the visitor's computer (downloaded). The speed of downloading depends upon the speed of the visitor's connection to the Internet. Not everyone has a cable modem or an ISDN connection. 14.4K modems are still in use. Even with a 56K modem, distance from the ISP via phone line, or modem quality, can slow data transfer speed considerably.
What does it mean to a webpage author or designer? It means that pages should be designed to load in an acceptable period of time through a slow connection, and nearly instantly on faster connections.
30 seconds is the maximum. 10 seconds or less is the goal. In terms of page budget, it means that your webpages should contain no more than will download to your visitor's computer within the time limit you set.
GRAPHICS VS. TEXT
Graphics (pictures and images) use up more "space" than text. Each image displayed should be essential to the presentation of content. If large graphics are necessary, they should be optimized so that the format is compressed to the lowest acceptable quality/filespace ratio. Check out our tips for Graphics Optimizing, and our Resource List for image optimizers.