Optimizing This Site
Here’s the great talk on the website obesity crisis by Maciej Ceglowski (and here’s the text version of the talk):
After this talk, I’ve decided to take a look at this site. I want to check for problems outlined by Maciej.
Currently, for a simple blog post, it takes about 80 requests and 1.4 MB of data. Even for a post with a single sentence! While this amount of traffic is not a problem for most internet connections, this still may be a problem for slower mobile networks. That is the kind of problems Maciej is talking about.
In my case, most of a page load is taken by the Disqus comments widget— about 70 requests and 1.3 MB of data. While the Disqus comments are great, they are not always needed.
If a user leaves without reading the whole post, there’s no need to load comments. If a user has scrolled the whole post to the bottom, we can load comments. This will optimize the load time and the amount of traffic taken per page.
I can optimize these as well, while they do not influence the size of a page that much.
Optimizing Disqus widget loading
To optimize the load of comments, I’m going to apply a lazy loading technique. Thus the comments will be loaded only if a user scrolled down to the comments section.
I’m using the Chrome developer tools to check the network traffic. After the optimization it takes 10 requests and 100 KB for a post. When I scroll down to the comments section, Disqus widget gets loaded. Nice.
At this stage I’m pretty satisfied with the result. I’ve decided to add some optimizations while I’m on the topic.
These optimizations include:
- switched on the CSS compression in _config.yml with
sass: style: compressed;
- moved normalize.css from CDN to the unified CSS file;
- optimized the logo image;
- minified scripts from js/main.js and inlined them in the page layout.
These optimizations saved 2 more requests and 30 KB of traffic.
Ok. Good enough. I’ll stop at that.
Whether you implement simple sites or complex applications, it’s always a good thing to think about your users. Anything that makes their experience better should be appreciated.