Web Performance Awards – February 2016

How did Awwwards winning websites deal with performance optimization in February 2016?

We have tested 29 winners of the Awwwards Site of the Day. (Check the end of the article for How we test.)

Top 10

1. Exoskills – 83/100

  • PageSpeed Insights Mobile: 78
  • PageSpeed Insights Desktop: 89
  • WebPagetest: 83

2. Codeology – 79/100

  • PageSpeed Insights Mobile: 89
  • PageSpeed Insights Desktop: 95
  • WebPagetest: 67

3. 2016 Make Me Pulse – 75/100

2016 Make Me Pulse
  • PageSpeed Insights Mobile: 83
  • PageSpeed Insights Desktop: 91
  • WebPagetest: 63

4th – 10th place

  1. Quiver73/100
  2. Red Collar73/100
  3. CLEVER°FRANKE72/100
  4. Publicis9069/100
  5. Petra in StreetView68/100
  6. Concrete LCDA65/100
  7. Centurion-Magazine65/100

Last 3

Without calling the names, the lowest 3 results in our test were:

  • 37/100
  • 23/100
  • 19/100

Google PageSpeed Insights

The following table shows how many sites passed Google PageSpeed Insights rules:

PassedConsider FixingShould FixPassedConsider FixingShould Fix
Avoid landing page redirects90%10%0%97%3%0%
Reduce server response time76%24%0%83%17%0%
Leverage browser caching0%45%55%0%62%38%
Enable compression52%14%34%55%10%34%
Minify HTML48%52%0%45%55%0%
Minify CSS79%21%0%79%21%0%
Minify JavaScript38%48%14%38%52%10%
Optimize images17%59%24%17%62%21%
Prioritize visible content38%59%3%48%52%0%
Eliminate render-blocking JS and CSS in above-the-fold content3%14%83%3%38%59%


  • Passed – No significant issues found. Good job!
  • Consider Fixing – Consider fixing this if it is not a lot of work
  • Should Fx – Fixing this would have a measurable impact on page performance


What optimization grades did websites get from WebPagetest?

First Byte Time86%4%10%
Keep-alive Enabled100%0%0%
Compress Transfer58%21%21%
Compress Images38%24%38%
Cache static content7%10%83%
Effective use of CDN28%72%


  • Surprisingly, a large number of websites don’t have gzip compression enabled. This is just a matter of simple server configuration and definitely shouldn’t be omitted.
  • Many sites don’t set caching properly. Again, this is a configuration thing, and even though it’s a bit more complicated, it’s worth having a look at.
  • Most of the sites could have also done a better job at image optimization. Often they could save hundreds of kB or sometimes even a few MB if they properly resize and optimize their images better.
  • Usage of CDN is one of the most recommended performance optimization techniques, however only a small portion of websites use it effectively.
  • None of the websites defer JavaScript execution or inline critical CSS. Presumably, the complexity of this technique scares off most websites creators.

Fail of the month

A photo saved as PNG with size ~ 4MB. If it was properly resized and compressed, it could save 3.5MB (94% reduction). There were a few similar sized images making the site home page over 16MB.

Next month

Some websites did a good job on performance optimization but none of them really shined – we are waiting for a score of over 90, and also for a little bit more color in the first 3 places ????

How we test

Google PageSpeed Insights

We test each website home page with Google PageSpeed Insights and count the average score from the Mobile and Desktop results.


We test each website home page with WebPagetest and calculate the score from the result grades as follows:

  • A – 100
  • B – 80
  • C – 60
  • D – 40
  • F – 0

Effective use of CDN criteria is either Yes (100) or X (No – 0).

Total Score

The total score is calculated as an average from the Google PageSpeed Insights score and the WebPagetest score. The maximum score any site can get is 100.

Related posts

We're hiring 👋