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How not to use HTML

Tuesday 30 March, 2004 (12:00PM GMT)

I love 'How not to do...' things. They amuse me.

Here's an immensely bloated example of how not to use HTML. I'll warn you in advance that it's over half a megabyte in size.

That's right, half a megabyte. For an HTML page.

Go on over to the homepage of law firm Hammonds.

Wait for it to load.

And wait.

Wait for 326KB of the page itself, 197KB for the main image and a bit more for a number of other files.

That's over 550KB. 5267 lines of code (just for the main page itself) that includes some mad JavaScript.

Has it loaded yet? On a 56k modem it should take around one and a half minutes.


Comment 1

That is awful.

On a similar note:

The front image is 700 KB. Also, try looking at the page with images disabled, or in Lynx.

So said Mark Harmstone on Tuesday 30 March, 2004 at 12:53PM GMT.

Comment 2

The image doesn't even load in Firefox. Looks like a blank screen with a menu.

So said cindy on Tuesday 30 March, 2004 at 4:04PM GMT.

Comment 3

We once found a page at work that was over 1.5meg - turned out its because the particular team maintaining that section of the site were using Dreamweaver.

When you removed all the unneccesary font tags, the site was about 30k...

So said Andrew on Tuesday 30 March, 2004 at 5:14PM GMT.

Comment 4

Wow, makes me realize how much I love broadbant (the page loaded in under 2 seconds on my school's T1 or whatever they have here)

So said Andrew on Tuesday 30 March, 2004 at 6:39PM GMT.

Comment 5

Check out

Other than the text used in the title element, there is not a single character of text used. Everything is sliced images.

You would think that a design company would know better ;)

So said cpenning on Wednesday 31 March, 2004 at 9:29PM GMT.

Comment 6

Holy Sh*t!
My drop down menus required no inline event handlers. I wish I hadn't gotten rid of them. I solved the problem wit them. Turns out that Moz, Opera, and Safari ignored everything after -moz-box-sizing: border-box.
Anyway I think if you must use drop down menus, use structured markup and set all event handlers from the JS file. I mean, that page is even worse than making drop down menus work in CSS with some browsers and Javascript with IE.

So said Dante Evans on Sunday 4 April, 2004 at 8:48PM GMT.

Comment 7

Suppose this firm is not interested in clients who can't afford a broadband connection?

So said Tom P on Wednesday 7 April, 2004 at 10:09PM GMT.

Comment 8

Even if they didn't care about modem users the same thing (even though it is crap) could have been achieved at a fraction of the file size. It would save them alot of bandwidth and still be noticably faster even on broadband.

So said Dan W on Thursday 8 April, 2004 at 2:01PM GMT.

Comment 9

Tom P:

Sometimes high-speed connection is not available - especially in outlying areas, where the rich build houses.

It's not like every human on earth has access to broadband at under $100US a month.

So said Neal on Tuesday 13 April, 2004 at 4:18AM GMT.

Comment 10

that page is rubbish

So said Dave on Tuesday 13 April, 2004 at 10:49AM GMT.

Comment 11

The problem here is Active CMS - a content management system. This is a common problem with these big systems that are supposed to make things easy for non geeks to edit web pages. Epicentric has a similar product which is just as bad. This is what happens when HR people make IT decisions.


So said Tom Dell'Aringa on Friday 16 April, 2004 at 2:49PM GMT.

Comment 12

Wow! The endless menus remind me of my employer's corp website at

Menus, menus and lo! more menus. And no, I didn't do that one. Ugh.

So said Minik on Friday 16 April, 2004 at 6:29PM GMT.

Comment 13

Every single CMS system I have seen has sucked with the possible exceptions of EasyCMS and maybe Movable Type.

So said Dante Evans on Saturday 17 April, 2004 at 11:14PM GMT.

Comment 14

haha what are you people running?? i'm on Win2kPro P3 using Firefox on a cable modem and all of these pages loaded almost instantly... i agree large pages are poor coding and design, but in today's world of highspeed, it doesn't matter quite as much as it used-to.

if you want to see something truly horrific, load up any version of AOL 7.0 and up!

So said Corporal Max Sterling on Tuesday 4 May, 2004 at 7:57AM GMT.

Comment 15

Hmm.. this is really nice exmaple of not very friendly endless drop down menus in action. Give your visitor so many choices and he will definitelly be confused and lost. And the size of the page will suffer too. Thanks for good example of 'How not to do...' things ;)

So said Martin Sojka on Friday 11 June, 2004 at 4:07PM GMT.

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