2021 ‘Web Almanac’ Research Finds Lots of CSS, JavaScript, jQuery – and Not Much WebAssembly

“HTTP Archive is a community-run project that has been tracking how the web is built since 2010,” explains its web site. “Using WebPageTest and Lighthouse under the hood, metadata about nearly 8.2 million websites are tested monthly and included in a public BigQuery database for analysis.”

And now 113 people “have volunteered countless hours in the planning, research, writing and production phases of the 2021 Web Almanac,” processing 39.5 terabytes of data from 8.2 million web sites (using July’s data set).

Berlin-based web developer Stefan Judis calls it “a comprehensive report on the state of the web, backed by real data and trusted web experts…comprised of 24 chapters spanning aspects of page content, user experience, publishing, and distribution.” But he’s also tweeting out what he sees as some of its most interesting statistics.

— The median webpage loads 70kb CSS…and the “top scoring site loaded over 60mb of CSS…

– There’s also a new high score for the number of loaded external stylesheets: 2368…!

– We all ship a lot of JavaScript. It’s 420kb+ per page at the 50th percentile. This is transferred bytes, so the amount of JavaScript is way higher after decompressing…

– [From a graph of JavaScript library/framework adoption]: 84% use jQuery and 8% are built with React…

– There’s almost no adoption of WebAssembly. [“We got 3854 confirmed WebAssembly requests on desktop and 3173 on mobile. Those Wasm modules are used across 2724 domains on desktop and 2300 domains on mobile, which represents 0.06% and 0.04% of all domains on desktop and mobile correspondingly.”]

16% of sites don’t ship a robots.txt

– In 2021 641 million emails, 428 million passwords and 149 million phone numbers were involved in data breaches.
And apparently while just 7% of the top 1,000 sites use a content-management system, 42% of all sampled sites are using one. (And 33.6% of those appear to be using WordPress.)

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