### Is there a 'Moore's Law' for web pages?

I came across an article I wrote in 1999 for The Guardian entitled Cut you modem's flying time which mentions that at the time the HTML of The Guardian's home page was 18kB. Today the home page is more like 250kB.

I was curious about the growth pattern so using the Internet Archive I downloaded the home page of The Guardian for every year available from 1996 to 2011 (plus the current page) and compared the sizes of the HTML of the front page. Here's the raw data:

This excludes anything other than the raw HTML of / on The Guardian. Clearly, it's grown a lot, but curious about the pattern I decided to see what curve would fit by using Wolfram Alpha. Linear, quadratic and cubic fits were all about an R^2 of 0.90. But an exponential fitted with R^2 of 0.97.

I was curious about the growth pattern so using the Internet Archive I downloaded the home page of The Guardian for every year available from 1996 to 2011 (plus the current page) and compared the sizes of the HTML of the front page. Here's the raw data:

Year Bytes ---- ----- 1996 5381 1997 11140 1998 10435 1999 39013 2000 97746 2001 70933 2002 92995 2003 81833 2004 92637 2005 92078 2006 108445 2007 118300 2008 186670 2009 184271 2010 181221 2011 192592 2012 253748

This excludes anything other than the raw HTML of / on The Guardian. Clearly, it's grown a lot, but curious about the pattern I decided to see what curve would fit by using Wolfram Alpha. Linear, quadratic and cubic fits were all about an R^2 of 0.90. But an exponential fitted with R^2 of 0.97.

The exponential that generates that curve is

`28985.6 * (1.134292^x)`(`x`being the year counting 1996 as 0). For comparison, Moore's Law is`n * 1.414213^x`(doubling every two years; I don't have an estimate for`n`).
For that exponential doubling takes a bit more than 5 years.

I wonder if there's a 'Moore's Law' for web sites. Are we seeing exponential growth in the HTML used? And what happens if we take into account the other assets? And what's the relationship between this and bandwidth consumed on the Internet?

Discuss.

*If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.*

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