Aspire Media

a web development and technology blog

What Not to Do In Web Development – Load Optimization Debacle


Load Time

It’s an understatement to say that I get surprised by really bad web development practices I come across when surfing the web, but now and then I see something that is so horrifying, so utterly bewildering, that it must be pointed out. I recently came across what appeared to be a microsite of some product or event by Oakley, and it made me almost fall from my chair. To date it is the second worst example of failing to optimize a website that I’ve ever come across (#1 was actually twice as bad as this one).

Located at the page fails to load completely, and at least for me, stays in a ‘loading’ stage, but that’s beside the point. Two of the biggest issues are the following:

  • 288 requests – ouch! Typically, if a web page is making more than 50 requests (even this is too much by today’s standards), it’s time to find ways in which to optimize.
  • 12.6MB of loaded assets – This is heart-attack material. Typically requiring a web page to download over 1MB is cause for concern. Ideally, this number should be below 200KB if at all possible, however given today’s requirements for a rich user experience, the requirements for sharp high resolution images, and various JS libraries and tools needed for ideal user interactivity, the amount of content downloaded can get up there.  Still, 12.6 MB is off the charts.

Besides these there were numerous issues with duplicate requests for the same assets, an instance used in the HTML and one called by some script, which for some reason did not allow the cached version to be used. Of the more interesting assets being downloaded was a full mp4 file totaling 3.5MB – a 6 second video.

The good news is that the microsite appears to no longer be in use. Oakley’s home page is better coming in at 100 requests (still too high) and 1MB.