All About Placeholder.com & The History Of The Site

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Placeholder.com started life in 2010 as Placehold.it and was built by Seattle-based UX designer Brent Spore. It looked a little like this back then:-

London-based Quality Nonsense Ltd acquired the site in March 2017, and rebranded it to Placeholder.com a few weeks later.

How Many People Use Placeholder.com?

As of 2019, We estimate the service delivers approximately 9 billion placeholder images per year.

(Why an estimate? The log file generated to measure accurately grows by 7.3GB per 24 hours, so we sample a shorter period & extrapolate .)

We serve a mean of just over one million images per hour, peaking at around 1.42 million images per hour at 9am Eastern time when the US arrives at the office.

The volume of images served each month was so vast by 2017, that the image CDN sponsoring us complained about the load on their service!

(Apparently, Placeholder.com was the 10th biggest site using their CDN network, a few places behind one of the world’s biggest social networks.)

We took a tough decision: to roll our own image CDN and caching setup, which is what we use today to deliver lightening fast placeholder images.

Lucky for us, our team are experts in web hosting – be sure to check out our sister sites WhoIsHostingThis & Digital.com to learn more.

What Are The Most Popular Image Sizes & Formats?

In terms of formats:-

  • 99% of users choose PNG images
  • 1% of users choose JPG or JPEG images
  • Almost nobody uses GIF
  • We’ve only just launched WEBP, so have no stats yet

The majority of requests are for image 0-4 pixels high/wide. Why zero? Malformed requests with bad URLs.

25% of users specify their own text, and 75% leave the default text.

Other Quality Nonsense Sites

Contact Us

Comments or questions? You can contact the team behind Placeholder.com here.

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