Web Performance

What Google Really Thinks About the Performance of South African Websites

In my quest to do my part in making the South African web faster, I decided to analyse some of my favourite South African websites to see if I could improve them in any way. As a big fan of Google, I decided to use their PageSpeed Insights tool to see what Google thought of the performance of these websites. If you are unfamiliar with Google PageSpeed, it’s a web-based service that analyses a web page (from the perspective of a desktop computer and a mobile phone) and gives it a score out of a hundred. The higher the score, the better. A score below 85 would suggest the web page is in need of optimisation. So with that said, here’s my list of South African websites with their respective scores:

WEBSITE DESKTOP MOBILE AVERAGE
Gumtree 87 80 84
Takealot 85 66 76
Orange 76 72 74
TechCentral 79 68 74
Kalahari 69 76 73
MyBroadband 54 74 64
BandwidthBlog 62 62 62
Gadget 64 54 59
News24 35 76 56
IOL 47 35 41

Some interesting stats that came out of this analysis:

  1. 70% of the websites had no caching of all/some of its resources.
  2. 40% of the websites had no compression on all/some of its resources.
  3. 60% of the websites had poorly optimised images.
  4. All the websites had scripts and style sheets that blocked the rendering of the page.

These figures suggest that website performance is not a priority for the owners of these websites. Ironically, the worst performing websites in my list (News24, IOL) are also the websites with the most visitors.

I’ve tried emailing some of these companies to see if they’d be willing for me to work with them to improve their websites, for free, yet I have not received a single response.

If you’d like to help me in my quest to make the South African web faster, please share this post (and my blog) with your colleagues and friends so we can bring about more awareness of the¬†inefficiencies that exist within the South African web.

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