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Rick Viscomi for HTTP Archive

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The Web Almanac 2019 is live!

I finally get to share with everyone what I've been working on for so long! It's called the Web Almanac and it's a free, open source, community-made "state of the web" report.

What's the Web Almanac?

Here is an excerpt of the foreword I wrote:

The open web is an amazingly complex, evolving network of technologies. Entire industries and careers are built on the web and depend on its vibrant ecosystem to succeed. As critical as the web is, understanding how it's doing has been surprisingly elusive. Since 2010, the mission of the HTTP Archive project has been to track how the web is built, and it's been doing an amazing job of it. However, there has been one gap that has been especially challenging to close: bringing meaning to the data that the HTTP Archive project has been collecting and enabling the community to easily understand how the web is performing. That's where the Web Almanac comes in.

The mission of the Web Almanac is to take the treasure trove of insights that would otherwise be accessible only to intrepid data miners, and package it up in a way that's easy to understand. This is made possible with the help of industry experts who can make sense of the data and tell us what it means. Each of the 20 chapters in the Web Almanac focuses on a specific aspect of the web, and each one has been authored and peer reviewed by experts in their field. The strength of the Web Almanac flows directly from the expertise of the people who write it.

Many of the findings in the Web Almanac are worthy of celebration, but it's also an important reminder of the work still required to deliver high-quality user experiences. The data-driven analyses in each chapter are a form of accountability we all share for developing a better web. It's not about shaming those that are getting it wrong, but about shining a guiding light on the path of best practices so there is a clear, right way to do things. With the continued help of the web community, we hope to make this an annual tradition, so each year we can track our progress and make course corrections as needed.

There is so much to learn in this report, so start exploring and share your takeaways with the community so we can collectively advance our understanding of the state of the web.

What's inside

There are 20 chapters organized into four main parts exploring different aspects of the web.

Part I. Page Content

Chapter 1. JavaScript
Chapter 2. CSS
Chapter 3. Markup
Chapter 4. Media
Chapter 5. Third Parties
Chapter 6. Fonts

Part II. User Experience

Chapter 7. Performance
Chapter 8. Security
Chapter 9. Accessibility
Chapter 10. SEO
Chapter 11. PWA
Chapter 12. Mobile Web

Part III. Content Publishing

Chapter 13. Ecommerce
Chapter 14. CMS

Part IV. Content Distribution

Chapter 15. Compression
Chapter 16. Caching
Chapter 17. CDN
Chapter 18. Page Weight
Chapter 19. Resource Hints
Chapter 20. HTTP/2

Who made it

The Web Almanac is a community effort. 85 people have contributed to the project to write, peer review, edit, and translate content, analyze and visualize the data, and build and design the website. This was an enormous effort that couldn't be done without everyone's help. You can check out each and every one of them on the Contributors page to see where they helped.

I assumed the role of ring leader to help guide everyone to today's launch :) (And I must say I think it went really well, considering the number of people to herd!)

How was it made

The Methodology page goes into all the detail of how the process worked and where the results come from. There are so many amazing pieces of technology that went into this report, spanning data from over 5 million websites and consuming terabytes of queryable storage.

What's next

I don't want us to stop here. The web is constantly changing with new technologies and evolving adoption. I would love to see this renewed each year with fresh perspectives from different members of the community offering their take on the state of the web.

If you're interested in joining us, please fill out this form and subscribe to our GitHub repository.

In order to make the web a better place, we need to observe, quantify, and analyze it over time to make sure we're heading in the right direction. Join us for next year's Web Almanac 2020 edition!

Top comments (4)

ahmadawais profile image
Ahmad Awais ⚡️

Woohoo! 🥳🥳🥳

Super excited about the launch. I'm glad I was able to contribute in more ways than one. Awesome job everyone.

snj profile image
Nic • Edited

Awesome project!
BTW, what tools used for those fancy images in it?

rick_viscomi profile image
Rick Viscomi • Edited

Thanks for the kind words!

We commissioned a designer to create custom illustrations for each chapter. If you're referring to the data visualizations, we used Google Sheets.

max_tulian profile image
Max (he/his) • Edited

That's awesome!!

Thanks for share. I don't have so much available but I will have this in mind for the future :)

Regards :)