The views expressed in this blog do not represent the views of Akamai.

RWD Ratio in Top 100,000 websites – refined

A few weeks ago I posted the results of a research testing the top 10,000 websites for responsive indicators. The test showed roughly 12% of these sites were responsive, a ratio that was fairly consistent across the top 100, 1,000 and 10,000 sites.

Following twitter feedback, I reran the test on the top 100,000 (!!!) websites as well, and dug deeper into the websites flagged as responsive – this post shares the results.
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Mobile

Roughly 1 in 8 websites is Responsive

I’ve been on a bit of a quest to find out how many responsive websites are out there.  In a recent post, I describe a decent way to track the adoption rate of the “One Web” concept, but that technique doesn’t work well for tracking responsive design.

Now, I think I found the trick for automatically identifying a responsive site.
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Mobile

RWD and “One Web” Adoption Rates

Responsive Web Design has been discussed for about 3 years now, and this year really felt like the tipping point for it. Pretty much any organization I talked to is doing something about it, with progress ranging from a launched site, through a budgeted plan, to at least having some executive support.

And so, I wanted to find out how far we’ve come – how many websites have gone responsive?
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Uncategorized

Top 5 Tips for Making Fast RWD Sites

I was recently asked to provide a list of 5 tips for making Responsive websites fast. I’m usually not a fan of such “top 5” lists, feeling they over-simplify concepts that are quite complex (I definitely spend a good chunk of my time talking about this topic). However, as I wrote the tips it actually felt like 5 was the perfect number for the tips I had in mind, and that they did manage to paint a complete picture.

And so, I figured it’s worthwhile sharing these tips on this blog as well. The tips are roughly in order of priority, based on my assessment of their criticality, except for the last one, which is really a wildcard.
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Uncategorized

Walking on the Edge(s)

In the next 3 weeks, I’ll have the luxury of attending four awesome web conferences, two of which – somewhat unfortunately – are  named Edge… I would highly recommend attending both conferences, but if you can’t make it, the Edge conferences are also streamed online for free!
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Conferences

Responsive Images Meetup – A Subjective Summary

Earlier this week I was at a W3C Responsive Images Community Group (RICG) meetup in Paris. It was a great opportunity to connect with smart folks, some of which I’ve never met before, and I had some great conversations, both as part of the agenda and over drinks.

For those who weren’t able to enjoy the Parisian views, this blog post holds my (not at all official) summary of what took place, plus my opinions of it. Flo also wrote a blog post with his summary, which I highly recommend. I suspect there will be more detailed and accurate reports coming from the W3C RICG.
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Uncategorized

What are Responsive Websites made of?

A few weeks ago I tested (again) nearly 500 responsive websites in different resolutions. My test was focused on size differences between resolutions, but looked at the overall page size as a single unit.

In this blog post, I’d like to dig into the same data, but this time drill down into the specific types of resources on the page – Image, JavaScript, CSS and HTML files. Such a drill down can give us better insight into which optimizations are being applied today, and help guide us regarding where to focus our performance evangelism.
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Mobile

iOS Browsers Speed Bakeoff

Apple has always allowed only one browser rendering-engine on the iOS platform – the one included by default. Both the native browser (Mobile Safari) and the browser embedded into apps (UIWebView) use this engine. In addition, any alternate browser on iOS, most notably Chrome for iOS, must use UIWebView and not their own engines.

However, a browser is not just a rendering engine, and the iOS browsers still differ quite a bit. For example, Mobile Safari benefits from a JavaScript engine that is 3X faster than UIWebView. Chrome for iOS, in turn, uses a custom network layer designed to be as fast as the one used by Chrome for Android.

Still, because Chrome for iOS and Mobile Safari are both closed applications, we had no way of actually measuring their performance. We were limited to measuring using UIWebView within Mobitest, and had to assume the other browsers are faster. Fortunately, technology is always improving…

I’ve been working with Manish Lachwani, the CTO of a new startup called Appurify. He and his team have created a platform for automated testing and measurement of black-box apps, on real mobile devices. More specifically, the platform enables some probing into the internals of select apps, such as Mobile Safari and Chrome for iOS, and even lets one simulate network speeds and cellular conditions. Using this technology, we can finally compare the actual performance of these three browsers.
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Mobile

Introducing LQIP – Low Quality Image Placeholders

For web pages today, images are a real challenge.

On one hand, images account for over 60% of the page weight. This means they play a major role in overall page load time, motivating dev teams to try and make images as small (byte-wise) as possible. On the other hand, new devices boast retina displays and higher resolutions, and designers are eager to leverage these screens and provide beautiful rich graphics. This trend, along with others, led to a 30% growth in the average number of image KB on a page in the last year alone.

This conflict is partly due to what I think of as “Situational Performance”. If you’re on a fiber connection – like most designers – the high quality images won’t slow you down much, and will give you a richer experience. If you’re on a cellular connection, you’ll likely prefer a lower quality image to a painfully slow page.

Fortunately, not all hope is lost.
A few months ago we created a new optimization called Low Quality Image Placeholders, or LQIP (pronounced el-kip) for short. This optimization proved useful in bridging the gap between fast and slow connections, and between designers and IT, so I figured it’s worth sharing.
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FEO

Akamai IO – Going Global

I’m writing this short post to update you on a significant change in Akamai IO’s data source. Since its inception, IO’s data was based on many websites, but most of those sites catered to a US audience. This means that the data set was biased – it included global traffic, but held a disproportionate amount of traffic from the US.

Starting February 16th, we’ve started using a new data stream, based on traffic from most Akamai customers – meaning a much more global distribution, enough to take away the entire bias. The new data set is also bigger, including over a billion requests each day, and uses a newer version of our device characterization engine.
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