You may have recently read Website Obesity by Maciej Cegłowski, as featured on Hacker News. There’s a lot of great stuff in that article. The most obivous and striking thing is that there is a lot of bloat on the web. Examples include a tweet (140 characters) that is served as a 900kB website. How to optimize a website and remove bloat is a topic in and of itself. I can highly recommend the article mentioned above.
Taking a look at ariejan.net
The article by Maciej triggered me to take another look at ariejan.net and see if I can make it any better (bloat-wise). But first, let’s take a measurement of the current situation. I’m using Yslow as a Chrome plugin for this.
A change of scenery
The first thing I did was delete everything in my CSS file and remove all unneeded content from the frontpage, including tons of specific dates, word counts and reading times. In general I simplified the HTML quite a bit, removing unneeded elements. Feel free to take a look, you know you want to.
I was also using Google Fonts to make things look pretty. Well, guess what, I don’t care that much about pretty. Out with the webfonts. Instead, I opted to for the ‘retro look’ with a nice web-safe monospaced font.
Because of this change in style, I also set up a new favicon, which turns to be 25% of its original size as well.
From 256.8kB down to 78.8kB. If you have any kind of decent connection, you probably won’t experience a big difference. Still, the bloat on ariejan.net’s frontpage has been reduced by more than 69%.
The document (HTML) size has been greatly reduced, simply by omitting data I don’t need and removing unneeded (and over 300 times repeated) markup.
Nothing much. I might look in to replacing Google Analytics. Maybe I’ll restore comments if I get complaints about that. Other than that, I’m quite happy again with the new “design” and most importantly, my site’s weight.