Fixing bloated web pages

Nick Heer has a comprehensive post on how web pages have become so slow despite huge improvements in our internet speeds. He covers JavaScript tracking, Google’s AMP, and a CNN web page that takes 30 seconds to load:

The vast majority of these resources are not directly related to the information on the page, and I’m including advertising. Many of the scripts that were loaded are purely for surveillance purposes: self-hosted analytics, of which there are several examples; various third-party analytics firms like Salesforce, Chartbeat, and Optimizely; and social network sharing widgets. They churn through CPU cycles and cause my six-year-old computer to cry out in pain and fury. I’m not asking much of it; I have opened a text-based document on the web.

As a contrast, consider my blog post from yesterday. All requests for the page (1 for HTML, 3 for CSS files, and an image) total only 34 K. The page loads completely in 1/3 of a second.

This is how most web pages should be. Lightweight, fast. It’s how all sites are designed. If you’ve let your blog become too bloated with JavaScript includes or images, it’s worth some time to trim out extra resources that don’t really matter.

Manton Reece @manton