The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

04

Weight LossA month ago I surveyed over 30 leading Irish music blogs and websites in terms of how heavy they were when it came to the number of kilobytes visitors would have to download once they hit the site's home page. As you do, like.

The results showed a huge diversity across the sites: the slimmest (that'll be CLUAS) stepped in at a super-svelte 97 KB, while the heaviest (egocentric) was over 20 times heavier with its scale-busting 2.1 MB of data that each visitor had to download just to access its home page.

Alas, the truth is there are far more people out there using dialup to access the internet then we'd ever imagine (Mulley only yesterday wrote about there still being 200,000 dialup users in Ireland alone) and for such users your site will take an eternity to load if it is weighed down with 100s of kilobytes of data. It might not be terribly sexy but, until broadband is ubiquitous, keeping an eye on the 'payload' of your site or blog is really the smart thing to do.

So how are Ireland's leading music sites doing sites doing one month on after my original, er, exposé? Did any of them implement the recommendations I provided and trim themselves down? The answer, in short, is a definite 'yes' for a large number of them.

The table below provides an update of the sites' weights. Of the 32 sites originally surveyed, 21 have reduced their 'weight' in the intervening month (several by massive amounts). A month ago only 8 of 32 sites made into the 'green zone' (i.e. weighing in at 250 KB or less). Today 11 of the sites now merit for a privileged spot in the said zone.

At the other end of the scale, the number of sites in the 'red zone' of the table below (i.e. sites for which visitors would have to download a whopping 1 MB or more of data to access their homepage) has dropped to 4, compared to 7 a month ago (although Indie Hour - which appears to have eaten a few proverbial pies in the last few weeks - was just 1 single kilobyte away from a spot in the red zone).

Overall, the average weight of the 32 sites is today 20% lighter than it was 4 weeks ago (the average weight of a site was 631 KB at the beginning of February, today it is 515 KB). Some sites have made amazing progress in the last month and merit a special mention:

  • www.Donal.ie has lost a mind-boggling 1374 KB in the last month, allowing it to slim down from a hyper obese 1.9 MB to a cuddly 526 KB. Amazing work. No, really.
  • Egocentric has lost a similarly impressive 1255 KB in the last month, slimming down from a modem-melting 2.1 MB to a mere pudgy 845 KB. Keep drinking that virtual slimfast though as 845 KB is no walk in the park for those 200,000 Irish dialup users.
  • Cheebah has gone from 1.2MB to 278 KB, a huge drop of almost 1 full megabyte which has taken it out of the red zone and parachuted itself right to the edge of the hallowed 'green zone'.
  • Matt Vinyl and Asleep on the Compost Heap each having shaved off about 400 KB from their payloads.

Check out the full table below and see how your favourite music sites are doing (and I for one am pretty pleased to see that CLUAS.com's 3 entries are all in the top 5). The 4 colour coded categories correspond as follows:

  • Less than 250 KB: ("Optimal balance of content and page size")
  • 251 KB to 500 KB: ("Total nightmare for dialup users")
  • 501 KB to 999 KB: ("High risk of testing the patience of broadband users")
  • Greater than 1 MB: ("Clinical cases of inexcusable hyper cyber-obesity")

Ireland's Top Music Site's & Blogs
(ranked in terms of page size - updated 4 March 2008)

Current ranking Previous ranking

Site / Blog

Components of webpage (in KB) Total page size Weight loss / gain?
HTML Images CSS Flash

1

(1) CLUAS (*) 16 39 12 3 0 71 KB -26 KB

Up 2

(4) Thrill Pier 22 1.5 74 4 1 102 KB -75 KB
Down 3 (2) Test Industries 18 80 1 17 0 117 KB no change
Up 4 (7) Key Notes 21 90 59 13 0 182 KB -52 KB 
Up 5 (6) French Letter 19 107 56 13 0 198 KB -27 KB 
Down 6 (3) Music Road 16 160 16 2 8 204 KB +43 KB
Up 7 (13) House is a Feeling (*) 66 118 24 2 0 211 KB  -135 KB
8 (8) Hot Press (*) 62 144 6 7 0 219 KB -29 KB
Up 9 (10) Thumped 7 130 51 32 0 220 KB -50 KB 
Up 10 (18) The Red scrapbook 20 146 75 4 0 245 KB -194 KB 
Up 11 (12) Phantom FM (*) 50 144 34 13 9 250 KB -53 KB 
Down 12 (5) On the Record 19 175 38 26 0 259 KB  +70 KB
Up 13 (28) Cheebah 19 232 12 16 0 278 KB -922 KB
Up 14 (19) Muse (*) 41 166 94 19 1 321 KB -153 KB 
Down 15 (14) Kilkenny Music (*) 46 178 24 26 52 328 KB  -26 KB
16 (16) State 7 264 86 31 0 389 KB  -33 KB
17 (17) Nialler9 17 280 96 22 6 420 KB -6 KB
Down 18 (9) Sinead Gleeson 16 411 0 7 2 437 KB +184 KB
Up 19 (23) I Prefer the Obscure Mix 18 583 33 2 6 444 KB -194 KB 
20 (20) Indie Limerick 17 314 81 4 28 445 KB  -87 KB
Up 21 (25) Asleep on the Compost Heap 16 394 69 4 0 484 KB -416 KB
Down 22 (15) MP3 Hugger 132 183 151 4 40 510 KB +118 KB
Up 23 (26) Matt Vinyl 18 340 70 4 82 515 KB -485 KB
Up 24 (31) Donal O’Caoimh (*) 32 405 81 8 0 526 KB
 
-1374 KB
Down 25 (11) Una Rocks 33 400 75 4 15 527 KB +234 KB
Down 26 (21) The Torture Garden 17 551 13 4 3 588 KB  +4 KB
Up 27 (32) Egoeccentric 28 530 198 4 84 845 KB -1255 KB
Down 28 (24) The Indie Hour 15 946 35 5 2 999 KB +162 KB 
Down 29 (27) Magoo (*) 43 1010 16 11 2 1.08 MB +80 KB
Down 30 (29) Off the Rocker (*) 54 1387 65 11 2 1.5 MB -100 KB
Down 31 (22) Cubik Music 30 702 16 12 832 1.6 MB +400 KB 
Down 32 (30) Stuart Bailie (*) 220 1756 1 0 0 1.98 MB +180 KB

Note on the above:

Figures above are the sizes of each site's main page as surveyed between 29 February 2008 and 1 March 2008 (according to the Web Page Analyser service). It just represents a snapshot in time. The sizes above are dynamic and will fluctuate whenever new content is added to, or older content removed from, these sites' home page.


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Nuggets from our archive

2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.