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Yottaa Expert Eval – Web Performance Review

Each Friday Yottaa CTO Bob Buffone digs into the data and evaluates the web performance of a new website.  Recommend a site for next week?s Expert Eval in the comments below or @Yottaa on Twitter! #ExpertEval]

This week I am looking at, a website built on the Drupal platform.  Overall the site is well-optimized, but, as with all websites, there are certain areas with potential for improvement.

JavaScript Optimization

The complexity report for reveals that the website loads 58 assets.  This would seem to be a good (low) number for website performance. Digging in a little deeper, though, I found that out of the 58 assets, 24 are JavaScript assets.

Complexity Overview

That’s a lot of script resources to be loaded for this type of website. Looking at the source of the website in the image below, you can see that all of the JavaScript files are placed into the HTML one after the other. This amounts to a big lost opportunity for optimization.  At least 17 of these files could be combined into just one JavaScript file!  That would require one trip from the browser to the server and back, not 17.

The HTML source of

Image Optimization

Another area for optimization lies in the images of the website. The complexity report shows that the image file loads 1.2MB of image content. That’s a lot.  So I investigated the images themselves.  The waterfall chart on Yottaa’s Page Load page for shows that several of the images are rather large: two are over 200KB in size, three are over 100KB, and five are over 50 KB. There are a couple of issues with these larger images.

One issue is that the largest image, weighing in at 215KB, is not correctly sized. The image being downloaded is larger than is required for the webpage’s appearance, and thus more bytes are being downloaded than are needed.  Below is the image displayed at its normal size, next to the image as it appears on the site.

Image size problem

Another issue I found pertains to an image that is a sprite containing all of the site’s social media icons.  Sprites are usually a good way to combine images for optimization purposes, but in this case, it’s problematic.  That’s because only 5 social media images are displayed on the site, but there are 116 social media websites that have icons embedded in this image.  Why load all those icons if nobody is seeing them?

Ohio Higher Ed SM Icons

Web Performance – Always Room for Improvement

As I’ve hopefully made clear, even a site that looks great and loads less than 60 assets has room for improvement.  Speed is a very important aspect of any website, and it deserves frequent, if not constant, attention.

If you have any questions about website optimization and improving the speed of your website, add a comment to this blog or Tweet us @yottaa.
Recommend a site for next week in the comments or on Twitter. #ExpertEval
Bob (Buffone)

Don’t let slow site performance cost you conversions.Let's Talk