I’ve noticed that each time I’ve visited IOL recently my browser takes a noticeable performance knock. Trying to browse it by opening lots of tabs, as I do with most sites I visit, is out of the question, and it’s probably the worst-performing site I have visited recently.
I decided to run speed tests of the major South African news sites, and a few well-known international ones, to see how the performance shapes up.
Here are the results. Higher scores are better – I only visited the front pages of each.
|New York Times (USA)||D||68|
|Mail & Guardian||C||73|
It’s no surprise that IOL comes in last, close behind the nearly-as-clunky News24, while at the other end of the scale, the Daily Maverick comes top, closely followed by the Mail & Guardian. The South African news websites are generally slower than the most popular international alternatives, ironic in a country with relatively slow and expensive bandwidth. Although Facebook and Twitter aren’t news sites, I’ve added them as two of the most popular sites for comparison. Twitter is unsurprisingly light, with it’s minimal interface, but Facebook comes out well, probably due to the hefty resources it devotes. It can by no means be called a light site, and the front page is filled with content, but it performs far better that any of the local sites.