It's all about the connections, dharling...

I'm not on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. An attempt at small talk from client service usually goes like this:

Account manager / project manager:

How are you?

Me:

I am currently functioning with approximately 80% efficiency. And yourself? Are you working within your normal, operating parameters?

I'm a web developer.

So, what is it with web developers and connections? Every time your web browser opens a page, it needs to make multiple connections. These connections are over HTTP, so we sometimes call them HTTP connections. Every JavaScript file, every CSS file and perhaps most importantly every image requires another connection to be set up by the browser. With 4G and broadband, it's got to the point where the sizes of the individual images aren't such a bit deal - it's the expense of setting up each and every HTTP connection itself which is the costly bit.

So when a web developer sees an image in a design for a page they need to build, one of the first things they think is does this have to be an image?.

There's a few different thing developers do to avoid multiple HTTP connections - one of which is CSS shapes. I've put together a set of icons based on CSS shapes. Because they live in the CSS stylesheet, there's no need for any new files to be downloaded by the website user.

(Just an aside - you see that image at the top of this post? I've optimised the ever-living heck out of it. And it's still larger that the CSS icon stylesheet.)