More of an opinion / discussion piece.
When passing a lot of data, either via ajax, or simply refreshing the
page and getting a lot of data back, is it better from a “amount of
placed on the server” perspective to do a full page refresh or to do
ajax refresh of parts of the page, data intensive or no? Thoughts?
Depends on how much data you are changing overall. If you’ve got a
pretty bare bones page with a lot of content (by which I mean actual
content, not side bars and stuff) and you’re replacing the entire
thing it doesn’t matter which way you go.
Now, if your page has a really complicated sidebar that once loaded
never changes, but takes a lot of time/resources to load the first
time, and your content isn’t that much, then maybe ajax is a better
way to go.
Don’t forget to consider web spiders though and the ability to
bookmark that page, and folks for which ajax won’t work, etc…
My personal take on it is… if by using ajax the user experience is
much much better I’ll use it. Otherwise it’s not worth it.