April 7, 2024
Worlds fastest website

There is a website online that is called worldsfastest.com. It claims to be the fastest website in the world, but there are a lot of things wrong with it. Let me explain.

Truth be told: it is VERY fast

First of all, I have to admit that it is very fast. The initial page load consists of only one request, which is only 13.4 kilobytes large and has a data-transfer of only 8 kilobytes. This gives it the perfect Google Lighthouse score and a Google Speed Index of only 0.8 seconds on mobile. This is 4 times smaller than my homepage. It is still 3 times bigger than this legendary website, which is very offensive (be warned), yet makes a valid point. However, that one looks very minimal, while worldsfastest.com does not.

They used a smart trick

The people behing worldsfastest.com used a smart trick. See those banana leafs on the left and the right of this website? They only appear once you have interacted with this website (move your mouse over an element, click or scroll). On the worldsfastest.com they used a similar trick.

The only problem: they did not do that with some irrelevant images, but with the actual content. Their page is MUCH shorter when a bot visits the page. Although their result is an almost instant initial page load, it also means that the rest of the page cannot be indexed (as it does not exist, according to bots). This is (obviously) very bad for the Google search results and is therefore an invalid approach in a real situation.

More problems

Sure, worldsfastest.com works on a mobile device and it also works on desktop, but it does not work on all screen sizes. Take a look at this screen size, which is the screen size of about every tablet out there (1140 pixels wide).

Additionally, when the page fully loads (after you scroll), the page becomes 200+ kilobytes, which is pretty bad considering how minimal their graphics are. But even worse… on Firefox the console shows 63 errors.

Finally, because only the top part of their page exists for bots and testing tools, it is also not possible to automatically test it on other glaring mistakes, like a lack of contrast/readability, which is clear. This invalidates their compliancy claims and makes it a liability risk.

False CO2 claims

Worldsfastest.com claims to have removed over 1 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere. What they probably mean is that they have prevented 1 million pounds of CO2 from ENTERING the atmosphere. That is a completely different thing. It is probably also a calculation based on false numbers (as argued before).

A bad example

In the end websites are just computers, running day and night, waiting for your visit, in order to provide you with valuable information. This website (or experiment or whatever you want to call it) is a very bad example on how to build a fast, eco-friendly website. It provides very little value and might as well be taken offline. Then it would no longer be the worlds fastest website, but taking it offline would make it the worlds cleanest…

()  Joost van der Schee

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