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What is a Bloated Site

At work, I have been asked to help look into why a web based tool has been having performance issues. I am on the team as an outside person without any direct involvement with the project so far. The suspicion is that it is a server configuration issue however those that are directly involved have been working on it for a while and haven't managed to resolve it yet. So a group of us have been asked to systematically have a complete review of the setup and determine where the problem (or problems) occur and what to do about them.

One of the first questions that came to mind was 'how bloated is the site?'. Sure, you can always beef up a system to handle a these sorts of things but if the network is already struggling, a bloated site with an excessive number of requests is not going to help.

So what does a bloated site look like?

This was a much more difficult question to answer than I had initially thought. There are many articles online complaining about bloated websites (many of which are pretty bloated themselves). But trying to pin down a definition of what is suitable and what is excessive was not obvious mostly because standards keep slipping.

It was interesting to see one bloat score define it as:

TotalPageSize / PageImageSize

The size of the page divided by the size of a PNG rendering of the page.

A score grater than 1 suggests that it would be more efficient to send an image of the website rather than the text that it uses to render! I was surprised that my own website had scores grater than 1, and after a bit of digging I found that it is because the main images used were not being optimised property.

Hopefully I have fixed it now though I am sure there are further improvements to be made.

Of course this still doesn't answer whether the web app is excessively bloated.

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