MTN: The death of the internet

At bidorbuy we pay special attention to performance, as a slow website will irritate our users and will in the end result in lost sales. Over the last few months we have pretty much emptied our bag of tricks and tweaked on many different places and the development team did some amazing work in performance tuning.

The Yellow company still amazes me – not just because they decided again to remove my international roaming option, but also looking at their website. Truly shocking how a company of such size can run a site like this.

A special lesson for the MTN-IT division:

  • Your main page loads 530 KB of plain Javascript (thats 12 JS files). Add to this another 172 KB of stylesheets.
  • While the sheer amount of JS and CSS speaks books about bad site-development, at least an easy fix would be to gzip the JS and CSS
  • Most browsers will block rendering due to JavaScript being in the header – so move it to the end of the body
  • Minify and combine those shocking JS and CSS
  • Your ETags are configured wrong and truly do not serve any purpose – in fact if your server environment is clustered, none of those images will ever be cached properly
  • Fix your 404’s/410’s (such as /images/headerBG.gif)
  • Specify image width/height on your images
  • 41 % (or 74KB of your 180KB) of your CSS is not even used on /Pages/MTN.aspx
  • You have two redirect chains, each taking 400ms
  • You could save up to 30% on your images if you had optimized them properly
  • Never include CSS after a JS, as this will block the parallel download of CSS
  • Don’t include the same CSS twice (i.e. # ../HtmlEditorCustomStyles.css and HtmlEditorCustomStyles.css?rev=wLUP2n6…)

The above are the basics in web-performance management, but again it could be worse, as of writing the meerkat-competition is unreachable.

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