Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2017/ Your Slow Website is Unusable

Your Slow Website is Unusable

There is some new trend of Javascript-heavy, Google-font-downloading, video-autoplay websites, and I hate it. autoplays a video on its front page. Wordpress has some idiotic redesign that is so slow as to be unusable (fortunately I found the /wp-admin pages, which are still okay, but which are losing functionality as it is migrated to the unusable version). I wanted to download a set of podcasts from the WNYC page, and it was an ordeal. The desktop Twitter site is a sluggish mess of landmine secret links -- clicking anywhere will do some unexpected thing like close the tweet you are reading and take you to the main page. There is some social exploitation site called Simbi that I am considering, but it is another sluggish mess.

Is it just me? I don't think it ought to be just me. The kinds of information these websites are showing me are not that different from the kinds of information shown on webpages ten years ago. It is just that they are laden with extra downloads (Google fonts), gigantic Javascript frameworks, surveillance mechanisms, and who knows what else. Meanwhile, I click an innocent-looking link and my computer grinds to a halt with its CPU maxed out. What gives?

You can argue that my computer is too slow, or something. Maybe you are right, but I was able to render websites with this computer in 2016. Also my computer has a reasonable processor and 2GiB of RAM, which seems as if it should be good enough for your needs. I can play video on this thing; why can't I use your webpage?

Sometimes the main versions of sites are terrible, but mobile sites are not ( is a good example of this). Often viewing the site in a text-mode browser like w3m or simple browser like surf makes things much faster. I wish I could force websites to use these simpler modes by default.

This is not okay. I do not have the budget to get the kind of computer your sluggish website wants, and even if I did have the budget it is difficult to find computers that are in the form factors I want, because Android tablets (and to a lesser extent Chromebooks) have eaten up the market. But really the problem is simpler: I want certain information from your website. I know full well that it is possible for you to provide that information quickly while maintaining principles of good design (because the slimmed-down sites work fine). You just don't want to, because you are prioritizing other things such as surveillance. This is not okay. You are making the Internet unusable for me.

I wish I could avoid using these molasses sites. But apparently I will never get a job without Linkedin, and I cannot be exploited effectively by Silicon Valley without Simbi, so I guess I am stuck.

See also (instead?): The Website Obesity Crisis:

See also: