Inclusive Design Tip : Network cost

A network tip

Why do it

The less data your site loads, the more accessible it is for people with data constraints. People with lower incomes buy data in smaller amounts, which is more expensive per MB. 70% of South Africans are living on less than R6,000 / month.

What to do

  • Chrome: open Developer Tools (inspect any element) > Network tab, then refresh your site and see how many MB it loads. View the Chrome docs about the Network tab.
  • Note that the average data cost across networks is about R0.35/MB .
  • Use your browser’s “private” or “incognito” mode to avoid cached images and content.

Things to check

  • How much does it cost to load one page of your site? (MB x price)
  • What do users do on your site? How many pages do they visit for that? What’s the total cost?
  • How much would it cost a user per month, to browse your site every day? (cost of one page x 30 days)

Things you could change

  • Optimise your images and implement lazy loading of images.
  • Minify and concatenate CSS and JavaScript files
  • Don’t load unnecessary fonts - use fewer fonts or use the System Fonts Stack.
  • Conditional loading: only send people’s devices the code that they’ll run. Use JavaScript to do feature tests.