Generally speaking, the one sector of the online world where websites attract far more attention & traffic than money is the blogosphere. Whereas other websites stand to benefit quite a bit from the meager investments they put into their site in the first place, bloggers must work long and hard for their 15 minutes of fame. And let’s face it: it doesn’t usually pay off (money wise).
That’s not to say that all bloggers are necessarily poor and hungry (ok, well maybe that’s exaggerating it a bit, but you get the point), but if you were to do a survey, you can bet the sites that pay more to stay up than they get via AdSense or YPN are blogs and the bloggers that own them. Another fact of life is that, for most people, seeing a website 5 minutes out-of-date isn’t that big of a probelm – especially when you keep in mind that around 90% of the internet is static, more or less.
So it’s always nice to see a browser that caches content by default, something that only Opera does by default (out of all the big browsers). Unless explicitly told not to cache (via cache-control headers), Opera won’t bother to query the web-browser for an updated page within 5 minutes of the last processed request. For most people, 5 minutes is plenty. As for the bloggers/webmasters, it really can add up.
While better alternatives do exist, few websites are going at lengths to implement such new standards, and many or even most aren’t supported by mainstream browsers. The most prominent of such techniques is 304 Headers, used in tandem with Conditional Get requests, to query a webserver and find out whether or not the page has changed.
But for most webmasters, setting up conditional gets is a pain, and even worse is the limited support from the end users, so thank god for blogger-friendly browsers like Opera.