One of sins committed by many inexperienced webmasters is creation of very long pages. I've seen this most often on sites created at universities, although it can happen anywhere.
It's very annoying to run into these amateur sites (although sometimes they look very professional). On one occasion I found a site with a 15 megabyte page! No graphics at all either - just one long, long, long page. I remember surfing to site (it was a list of jokes) and I just waited and waited. I could see from my internet throughput meter that massive amounts of data was being received so I waited ... but it was ridiculous! I'm very glad that I have a 1.7mb connection - otherwise I would hit top button long before this page was done loading.
Another place that I've seen this is when someone simply posts some large text files to internet. They don't even bother to convert file to HTML - just link to text file directly. While this is a fast way to get something onto web, it is a sign of a true internet amateur.
Okay, here's problems with this practice.
- The majority of people on internet use normal 28.8 or slower modem connections. If you have a page which requires over a minute to download on this kind of connection you've almost guaranteed that your visitors will go somewhere else.
- Search engine spiders do not like long documents. Many of them will stop after 100kb or so - it's anyone's guess if spider actually looks at a page that is a megabyte in length.
- Many usability studies have proven over and over that it is very uncommon for visitors to scroll down screen much (and often not at all). They will scroll if they read something of interest, but they will not scroll very far. Most people tend to prefer clicking on links to scrolling down page.