A – Z of Digital Publishing: B

B is for Broadband
Broadband in England sucks. Its just not upto speed (pun intended). Online magazines such as iGizmo, iMotor and Monkey need a decent broadband connection to make them an enjoyable read and I think that most people in the country don’t have that yet.

Getting any sort of official statistics on actual broadband speeds seems to be almost impossible since advertised rates are never the case when you’re actually at home ready to read the new issue of iG.
Since digizines are so fundamentally different from a website the file sizes of each individual page are way larger than that of a website, text isn’t rendered using HTML, its all image based. Pictures can be upto A3 size and at 150 dpi making for very large files, even without flash integration.

On iGizmo we try and keep each page under 1MB in size, and this is four times of what is actually recommend by Ceros. Anything over 1MB will slow down you browser massively and may even cause it to crash. The larger the file, obviously the longer it takes to load the longer it takes to load the more chance that people will bugger off rather than continue.

Broadband needs to improve, and quickly if digizines are going to be around for the future, the low bandwidth is one of the most limiting things in terms of design, with increased speeds we can drastically start doing more impressive and innovative things with the platform.

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