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HTTP Archive

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Posted on June 10th, 2011 by Victoria Pal in Tech

HTTP ArchiveI stumbled upon last month and I think anyone concerned with the performance of his website should take a look at it. It will give you a good idea of the current status of the web. There are some pretty interesting figures on it. The best way to describe the site is by quoting the title on their homepage “TheHTTP Archive tracks how the Web is built.” As simple as that.

The averages on that site are calculated by using raw data from all the sites listed in Alexa 500, Alexa US 500, Alexa 10,000, Fortune 500, Global 500 and Quantcast10K. To get accurate data each site is loaded 9 times. Then the data is fed and parsed to the database. What you get are some pretty interesting figures. provides intimate data for the most popular websites on the web. Not that the data is not available for anyone with the right toolset. It is just brought up pretty well. I personally enjoy the filmstrip tool, showing you how a site loads and what is visible through the different stages.

I am not too surprised to see that Steve Sounders is the person behind the website. For the few of you who haven’t heard of him, he is the guy who came up with YSlow and, yes, he works at Google.

HTTP archive statusJust to get a taste of the information on the site, take a look at the interesting stats. If you think you are using too much CSS or JS, look again. You might be surprised. The fact 56% of these sites doesn’t have cache control still keeps me awake at night.

There are usually two ways to learn good lesson:

Through your own mistakes
Through other peoples’ mistakes

Needless to say, the latter sounds better. On you can see what some of the top players did right, and where they went wrong. It is a great point of reference for web designers, web developers, system administrators and even business owners.

Browser emulation and a good part of the information there are sourced from . You should definitely go on and check that site too. You can see how your website looks in different browsers and under different circumstances.

Victoria Pal

Doesn't like queuing (particularly at Wimbledon). Likes travelling, tennis and reading. Loves working as a Project Manager at WebSitePulse.

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