Don't ask me why but I today clicked a Google ad about IT jobs at Merrill Lynch. Not that I'm interested but I guess I was just curious to find out what this super-rich company has to offer in terms of IT technology. I guess what they need is a team of web developers. Here's why...
First of all, look at this screenshot. Apparently my browser is too crap for their website, but I know they're wrong. Firefox 1.5 is one of the fastest growing and most advanced browsers available. According to Google Analytics, about 30% of visitors of peterbe.com use Firefox. Granted that that site is geek oriented but more than 90% of my visitors are new ones who drop in through random Google searches. Out of curiousity I started the Windows machine we have at work to try the site there and when I reached the site I was horrified to know that there it does work in Firefox. Are Merrill Lynch Linux-haters? If so, let's continue complaining.
If you do a speed report on www.ml.com you find that their biggest document is a 52 kbytes CSS file followed by a 47 kbytes JS file. That's 54% of the total homepage weight. Contrast to peterbe.com which is less than 4% CSS + JS. I did a quick analysis of the JS file at www.ml.com just to find out that 14 kbytes is spent on just browser detection. Clever? With such a huge CSS file, is it really necessary to have 2.3 kbytes worth of inline
A good website has good URLs (not just a good domain name). Look at a random newsitem URL on ml.com: http://www.ml.com/?id=7695_7696_8149_63464_64119_64708&hps=nh Think again!
At least the site's markup has a DOCTYPE but 14 nested
<table> tags on the homepage is just not acceptable in year-numbers starting with a 2. Having 83 HTML validation errors is not OK either.
Come on guys, shape up or start again. This kind of f**ked up web development is not accessable for high profile companies like Merrill Lynch. Embarrasing.