The web has grown bigger. Both in expansiveness and weight. Nick Heer’s “The Bullshit Web”:
The average internet connection in the United States is about six times as fast as it was just ten years ago, but instead of making it faster to browse the same types of websites, we’re simply occupying that extra bandwidth with more stuff.
Nick clearly explains what he means by bullshit, and one can see a connection to Brad Frost’s similarly framed argument. Nick talks about how each incremental interaction is a choice and connects the cruft of the web to the rise and adoption of frameworks like AMP.
Ethan Marcotte paints things in a different light by looking at business incentive:
…ultimately, the web’s performance problem is a problem of profitability. If we’re going to talk about bloated pages, we should do so in context: in the context of a web where digital advertising revenue is cratering for publishers, but is positively flourishing for Facebook and Google. We should look at the underlying structural issues that incentivize a company to include heavy advertising scripts and pesky overlays, or examine the market challenges that force a publisher to adopt something like AMP.
In other words, the way we talk about slow websites needs to be much, much broader. If we can do that, then we’ll have a sharper understanding of where—and how—the web can be faster.
It’s a systemic state of the industry problem that breeds slow websites. The cultural fight to fix it is perhaps just as important as the technical fights. Not that there isn’t a lot to learn and deal with on a technical level.
- Embrace performance budgets and learn to live within them.
- Every interaction is the start of a new ‘Time-to-Interactive’; consider optimizations in this context.
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