This week's Learned Something comes from Darren Lee. He's pretty baller. His official title: Director of Hooks (see what we mean ?)
In response to our exciting plans at DoSomething.org to tailor the content on our site to young people and their interests, the issue of site performance was raised. Nothing is free, especially in the world of web content delivery.
If the page takes too long to load users will simply leave out of frustration – 7 seconds is the limit, but 5 sec is the more like it. The more specialized the web page content the greater the demands to meet the request.
Here's what we learned:
- All of the cool features on our site need to be balanced with consideration for what it will take to deliver the goods. No matter how sexy the content, waiting has its limits and comes at very high costs.
- Every time a new campaign, cause or petition is organized, related content is added to the site. Content like infographics, mailing/phone list sign ups, slide shows, etc. all need to be balanced with the weight they add to the site.
- It's the uploader’s responsibility to question if the benefits of the new content outweigh the costs to site performance.
There's a pile of fantastic content on the web site. A limit has been reached where now anything new must not push the site beyond that limit. The good news: thanks to our learnings we were able to cut a second off the time it takes to load a page. (Woot, woot!)
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