Don’t call me DOM

15 December 2004

Pass HTML Validation, Collect 1M$

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I was recently pointed to another example of important bandwidth saving due to using proper XHTML and CSS. Nothing very new, but the figure of 1M$ is pretty interesting.

The standout paper was by Brett Jackson from Fairfax Digital, detailing how they moved to validated XHTML with CSS. They deliver 164,000,000 page impressions per month for the major dailies The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. They do day parting: different kinds of stories are emphasized at different times of day. Later in the day people want gossip, analysis and entertainment but in the morning they want breaking news and weather. He reported they save a million dollars a year on bandwidth costs by moving to validated XHTML with CSS! […]

The move CSS, plus design changes, let them move from 38 second delivery of their front page over modems to about 3 seconds. Faster pages translates into more pages being viewed at the same site.

Interestingly, the bandwidth saving argument is pretty different from the usual benefit from open standards: you don’t gain through interoperability – lower development, deployment and maintenance costs – but through the technical qualities of the given specification, in this case, mainly the separation of content from presentation.

Picture of Dominique Hazael-MassieuxDominique Hazaël-Massieux ( is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Staff; his interests cover a number of Web technologies, as well as the usage of open source software in a distributed work environment.