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Personal Speed Limit Infinity

Published on May 10th, 2011 | by Matthew Ogborne


Facebook Like Button = 84Kb or 1.340 Seconds?

First off, I’ll openly admit I’m pretty anally-retentive when it comes to page load times and tweaking WordPress to get the most out of it. So the following, who just want a ‘button’, have your button. For me, 84Kb is crazy.

I’ve since delved into the this topic of the social buttons and you’ll find the deeper analysis of The True Cost of Adding Social Buttons insightful, as a very common one is over 120kb! You can read the full article here.


Yes, thats right, to include the Facebook like button on the right of the site, its downloading 83.4Kb of data just to show this single button. To me that’s just crazy-ness!

Facebook Download Data

From the sheet above you’ll see the breakdown of assets that are being pulled from facebook domains. The first object is the FB icon and can be ignored and is not included in the sums.

The red sum of 1340, is in milliseconds, or in English, 1.34 seconds. So already you must be think, holy mother of god, an extra 1.34 seconds to load this little button? But then we realise why, by summing the actual weight of these objects, we take a whopping 83.4 KB (kilobytes or one thousands of a megabyte) hit and this explains why it takes so long.

I’ll save the full explanation of why I’m doing in this spreadsheet and how I get the data for a later article, for now I have more pressing articles & videos that need to be churned.

Good Bye Button!

Yep, after that, the button is off, I’ll swap it with a png or gif image that links directly to the facebook page (which is here by the way).

Or Maybe…

I’m just feeling guilty for including 32Kb for the JQuery file to make the scrolling banner on the homepage and are looking for stuff to trim to warrant its inclusion, lol!

My Goal

Currently this site runs on about 75 item requests for the homepage, my target for the next few days is to get this to 50. This should take a cool 50 extra requests off the site (as one request to the server and one to send it back again) and I have the mental goal of getting in under the 4second mark consistently.

Why Am I So Crazy for Shaving KB and Milliseconds?

The facts speak for themselves, here is a quote from (full article here)

According to the findings of the surveys conducted by Lightner, Bose and Salvendy (1996) and the GVU (Graphic, Visualization and Usability) Centre at Georgia Institute of Technology (GVU, 1998), long download times have always been a major problem experienced by Web users. The survey by Pitkow and Kehoe (1996) also indicates that the most widely cited problem with using the world wide web was that it took too long to download web pages (i.e. 69% of respondents cited this problem).
For e-commerce sites, web loading times are even more crucial than other sites. It has been found that a delay of microseconds can potentially cause a significant loss of revenue. Tests at Amazon revealed similar results: every 100 ms increase in load time of decreased sales by 1% (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007). Google discovered that a change in a 10-result page loading in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20% (Linden 2006).

Then take a watch of this interview “Why CIOs need to care about web speed” which I tweeted this morning.

Final Thoughts

Speed Limit InfinityHow can I even dare suggest to a client that they need to clear and optimise their website up if mine is not up to scratch?

Dropping 84Kb and a whopping 1.34 seconds to page load time is a massive score in any ones book. Yes, as with everything its a fine balance between functionality, usability, novelty and speed, but sometimes, I drawing the line is needed and I’m drawing it here!

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23 Responses to Facebook Like Button = 84Kb or 1.340 Seconds?

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  10. Facebook Like button = 84kb ~ 10 http requests (or 1.340 seconds (via Wi-Fi?)) #ux

  11. #Facebook #Like Button = 84Kb or 1.340 Seconds? –

  12. Facebook Like Button = 84Kb or 1.340 Seconds? –

  13. Facebook Like Button = 84Kb or 1.340 Seconds?

  14. Pingback: IT Operations News Roundup – May 7th to 13th | Web Performance Monitoring and Optimization

  15. @brad_frost @tkadlec @souders Good one to start with (about the FB “Like” button): Might be a bit dated, though.

  16. Hi. Nice, interesting post, and a little out of the box. I learned something new today!

  17. Pingback: The True Cost of Adding Social Buttons

  18. Pingback: Conversion Killers: How to Plug Website Holes That Leak Money | Kaiserthesage

  19. Facebook like button, 84kb, 10 HTTP requests… brutal…

  20. Facebook "Like" button – 84kb over 10 requests

  21. Facebook Like Button = 84Kb or 1.340 Seconds? – The Last Drop of Ink via @lastdropofink

  22. Pingback: Third-party tools promise cool new functionality, but are they secret conversion-killers? [Infographic] | Unbounce

  23. Pingback: Do you really need that widget? — Web Performance Today

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