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Note to Devs: Ads

posted by (Senior Intern) 6 years ago

Just wanted to drop a line for the devs. The ads make the site load quite slow. When the ads are loading, the site is virtually unusable. It bogs down my browser to the point I can only sit and wait for the site to finish loading.

In Firefox, it can take up to 3 minutes for the site ads to load. In Chrome, it can take half that. Both browsers lag out at the same time as well.

  • Admire_4277
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  • Blizzardwon
    I've also noticed slowdowns using this website and I've just landed here. I'd like to add my two-cents on the commercials I've seen on display. Commercials normally don't bother me on sites unless they unmute themselves after a short cycle and replay the same voice overs, over and over again, while I'm trying to listen to music, or watch a video. I mean really, how many times do I need to hear the same ad repeat itself. It's almost like this site has spam, which if that's the case then that might explain the slowdowns. It isn't so bad that it would crash my browser, but I can hear background commercials that I've tried to block out, mute over and over again, replaying on the site, to me that smells of spam.

    This page doesn't suffer from that problem, but some of the more popular articles do.
  • Stephen F. Johnston
    Featured Contributor
    Mary, thanks for the feedback. I understand your frustration, but I can assure you that if you are seeing load times like that then something is wrong on your end. We have various monitoring utilities on the site, and of course use the site ourselves. No one here would stand for 3 minute load times.

    When I read your feedback, I focus on the "unusable for X minutes" feedback. The site is specifically designed to be interactable while ads are loading, if they are delayed, and this works wonderfully in all of our testing. If that isn't happening for you then something is causing the site to behave in a way that we don't see in any monitoring and that we've worked to specifically design around.

    We use an industry standard ad server (one of the most widely used) with industry standard ad tags. I'm not ruling out that something here is interacting with something on your end poorly, but what I can assure you is that your experience with the site is completely atypical.

    I would try disabling all of your plugins in your browser and try another computer. There are plugins out there which cause major issues and are often the culprit with issues like these.

    -Stephen
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    I will try running a bare-bones chrome set up specifically for GS. But it has happened on both my machine and my husbands, as well as when I run on my mobile tablet.
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    it's likely your ISP throttling your connection if this is happening on all your computers, if it's still happening I'd suggest running speed tests
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    Its definitely not my isp. I run speed tests every week to ensure my speed remains constant and to catch internet problems when they arise. In fact, we got another speed increase back in August and I've probably got one of the fastest connections speeds on this site.
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    I'm supposed to get 100Mbps buut pretty inconsistent
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    No offense at all, but it sounds like you're using a seriously outdated computer. Mine's not exactly new and it runs GS just fine in Chrome.

    The ads are no different than what you'll find at most sites these days, too, so you should be experiencing the same problem elsewhere.
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    No offense taken, but I assure you it is not my machine. I spent a pretty penny on this new rig just this past February.

    And as far as other sites, having gotten trojans from ads in the past, I use an ad-blocker. When I visit GS with my ad-blocker on, the site runs extremely well. So I am pretty sure the ads themselves are the cause.

    Ads are not known to always use well-optimized coding and they are resource intensive.

    I'm a web developer myself, having designed a few custom CMS programs for clients, so I am fairly versed in what pitfalls a site can falter under.

    I can also rule out my internet provider as I consistently download at approximately 88mb/s.
  • Amanda Wallace
    Former Staff Editor
    They load slow on both of my machines as well.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    I run ad blocker all the time so maybe that's why I never noticed. I never turn it off...why would you turn yours off? :)
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    At the request of the people trying to pay their writers. No payment on ads, no money for the site.
  • Amanda Wallace
    Former Staff Editor
    It's against your own interest to run ad blocker.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Uh...I run a site and have run sites in the past. A handful of writers with ad blocker disabled hardly results in a windfall of revenue. For most sites, we're not even talking a matter of dollars; we're talking a matter of cents.

    I guess it might make more of a difference here, with so many writers, but still...
  • Amanda Wallace
    Former Staff Editor
    I'm aware of your credentials. One person turning on ad block does nothing in the grand scheme of things, but everyone doing that would damage the system. It's kind of like littering. Or theft. Sure, the store probably wouldn't miss that ball, but that doesn't mean you can take it. (ignoring the criminal implications of that, of course)
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    I understand the concept but your analogy is inaccurate. It's my personal computer and if I want to protect it and my personal information, I will do so. This isn't a company computer and I'm not an employee.

    I'm certainly not about to lessen my security for what amounts to a few cents.
  • Amanda Wallace
    Former Staff Editor
    you don't see the hypocrisy in that?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    No, I don't. And comparing it to theft is just beyond absurd.
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    How is it not theft, if you don't mind me asking?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Theft is stealing something that doesn't belong to you. You're not stealing anyone's money if you disable ads; at the absolute worst, they're not making any extra money because of you. Even a real employee single-handedly destroying the income stream of his company isn't theft. How is it theft if he gets nothing out of it?

    At best, it's a moral issue. It certainly isn't a legal or business issue, and definitely not one of any real significance. Never in my life have I heard of websites demanding that their writers - who are paid to generate traffic with their content, not their visits - disable ad blockers, especially on their own personal computers. I'd almost understand it if they were actual employees but even that doesn't happen.

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