On a Saturday night, this tweet came across my feed:
In the recent salvo of cyclones that have sadly besieged the US South East, as well as Texas, the Cable News Network - better known as CNN - went live with a version of their online site specifically built for the most trying these current cataclysms. Lite.cnn.io is just that: a lite version of their news portal which delivers - as Kyle Simpson once said - just the facts man. It's essentially as bare bones as can be: text, a little bit of CSS and JS, and no images.
This is clearly meant to address one main issue: the network. At a time where a network is certainly going to be overwhelmed, between the downed towers and the surplus of traffic from ppl for information immediate info, the idea of having a barebones site is a brilliant decision.
At last check, it had under 10 requests and came in @ 83kb. But was it fast? We know that no matter how little CSS and JS, they are both blocking resources. And, as with anyone with interest in performance, running some audits immediately crossed my mind. Besides, with a name like Lite, you're inviting it. But it was Saturday night, and was 1/2 way in bed. Thankfully, Google's Sam Saccone was up to the task.
As fast as https://t.co/8JSOKxgOAE is... I wondered.. could it be faster?— Sam Saccone (@samccone) September 10, 2017
It turns out yes... it could be significantly faster.
He begins his own salvo of speed assessments in this thread, breaking down bit for bit how the page can be improved under synthetic conditions. Worth the read. But a considerate and very timely gesture on the behalf of CNN. Someone one the webteam is clearly advocated for this. Let's hope the culture of performance will remain.