posted on March 04, 2008 11:36
A 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)
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.More ...