The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Fat Irish Technology bloggerYesterday I posted a blog entry ranking Irish music web sites, from the skinniest, to the most bloated. For those of you who missed it (or don't have the time to check it out) I basically started off riffing about how, despite the growth in broadband penetration in Ireland, website owners and bloggers should remain acutely sensitive to the size of their blogs as: a) there is still about 7% out there who are on a dialup modem and b) broadband users are an impatient bunch you don't want to annoy with bloated pages that test the outer limits of their download capabilities. I then ranked the top 30 or so Irish music sites and blogs in terms of their page size.

Today I'm turning my (weight-obsessed) attention to Irish technology blogs, namely the the 21 blogs longlisted for the category of "Best Technology Blog" in this year's "Irish Blog Awards" (this blog is also one of the longlisted technology blogs).

The table below ranks all these blogs in terms of their total size of their main page. As I did for the music sites, I have also in the table broken out the "payloads" for each different 'component category' that typically makes up a web page (i.e. the HTML part, images, Javascript files, Flash files and CSS files). The results are then clustered into 4 colour-coded categories, based on overall page size:

  • 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")

Topping the list is here is Bill de hÓra super slim blog, barely detectable on the scales with its impressive 39 KB. And hats off to to James Corbett whose blog is the only other one to come in under 100 KB. At the other end of the spectrum are Ina O’Murchu and Matt Vinyl's blogs, both of which strain the scales with their 1 flabby megabyte of content (a payload that would require a poor dialup user to hang in there for about 4 minutes to complete the download).

All in all, these technology blogs are a slimmer bunch than the music blogs: over 3/4s of them coming in under 500 KB, a feat only 3/5s of the music sites were able to do. The average weight of the technology blogs is 390 KB, compared to a 630 KB average for the music blogs.

The 5 tech blogs falling into the orange and red categories below would do well to reduce their payload by pursuing tactics I yesterday recommend to the music bloggers i.e., reduce the size of images (or in the case of Tom Raftery and Ken McGuire remove the Multimedia flash content that massively bulks out their blogs) and then reduce the number of blog entries on their blog home page. All of them (except Ken McGuire's blog) have 'server side' compression already activated, the other piece of advice I offered yesterday.

Ireland's Top Technology Blogs
(ranked in terms of page size)



Components of webpage (in KB) Total page size
HTML Images Javascript CSS Flash
1 Bill de hÓra 18 15 0 5 0 39 KB
2 James Corbett 11 27 45 4 0 87 KB
3 Dave Northey 14 20 63 14 0 112 KB
4 Karlin Lillington (*) 30 85 0 7 0 123 KB
5 Chris Horn 34 2 89 4 0 129 KB
6 John Collins 14 65 71 11 0 161 KB
7 Haydn Shaughnessy (*) 49 117 3 6 0 175 KB
8 Michelle Gallen 68 114 26 2 5 215 KB
9 Niall Larkin (*) 67 173 0 7 5 252 KB
10 Michele Neylon (*) 57 165 17 15 0 255 KB
11 Inside View 13 236 26 11 0 286 KB
12 Donncha O’Caoimh 17 309 26 18 0 371 KB
13 Promenade 25 257 85 13 1 381 KB
14 Robin Blandford (*) 77 307 37 16 0 438 KB
15 What I think (*) 94 287 62 9 0 451 KB
16 Pat Phelan 15 343 58 18 39 473 KB
17 Ken McGuire (*) 66 95 51 8 447 667 KB
18 Tom Raftery 18 274 38 20 358 707 KB
19 Alexia Golez 127 579 6 10 62 785 KB
20 Ina O’Murchu 15 960 41 2 17 1.03 MB
21 Matt Vinyl 26 746 71 4 195 1.04 MB

(*) These sites/blogs do not have compression activated on their web server, for more detail on server-side compression see note 2 below.

Notes on the above:

  1. Figures above are the sizes of each site's main page on the morning of 7 February 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 blogs' main page.
  2. Of the 21 sites in the above list, 15 are configured so that text files (such as HTML) are compressed by the webserver before being sent to the requesting visitor (whose browser then automatically decompresses them when the file is received). The advantage of this being that the amount of text data to be downloaded is reduced (the reduction in size of a HTML file that can be expected with such compression is usually in the order of 70-80%). In such cases it is the size of the HTML file after it has been compressed that is cited in the table above. The 10 sites who do not have this function activated (indicated above with an asterisk) are strongly advised to do so.
  3. The above list does not include the 'Digital Sole' blog (one of the 26 blogs longlisted for the Best Music Blog at the Irish Blog Awards 2007) as it was inaccessible at the time I was checking the sizes of the blogs / websites.

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Nuggets from our archive

2005Michael Jackson: demon or demonised? Or both?, written by Aidan Curran. Four years on this is still a great read, especially in the light of his recent death. Indeed the day after Michael Jackson died the CLUAS website saw an immediate surge of traffic as thousands visited to read this very article.