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Make Neatorama Zippy: Use Firefox!

In the Great Upcoming Queue Revolt of 2009, Neatorama reader Shon commented how Neatorama takes a long time to load. This was quite surprising to me, since we spent a lot of time, money, and effort to make Neatorama's front page - long and full of pictures as it is - loads fast. Well, as fast as it could if you're on broadband, that is (sorry, dial-uppers! No amount of optimization will overcome a slow connection).

So, I spent some time last night poking around, and sure enough: Neatorama's front page took its sweet-*ss time of 15 to 20 seconds to load on Internet Explorer 6.0 (the only IE copy I have on my computer). That ain't right - the front page content takes less than 2 to 3 seconds to load on Firefox. I think the difference is how Firefox renders the page as it downloads, versus IE displaying everything only after everything has been downloaded.

A while ago, we've moved calls to slow external ad servers to the end of the Neatorama page. This lets the content be displayed on Firefox browsers even before you see the rest of the page loads. It sure beats staring at a blank page on IE!

So, if you're that 1 in 3 Neatorama readers still using that slow-poke Internet Explorer, it's time to give Firefox a chance! Link


I love that you've given the the Queue revolt a cheeky little name! When I read the title of this article my first reaction was total confusion - I mean, what ELSE would you use as a browser?!? I checked the top of my browser window just to make sure I hadn't inadvertently opened the site in some other browser.

My Opera browser also treats Neatorama really well. Nice and quick.
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Yep, I use XP with FF 3 and the little loader graphic just cranks on and on. Now, I can see the page content just fine, but you have something finishing in the background that seems to take days to download.
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You should really have a look at this article to optimize the images on your page!

http://yuiblog.com/blog/2008/11/14/imageopt-3/

Good luck with speeding up (and minimizing your costs)!
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I agree. I recently had major troubles with my computer..I had to get a new hard drive and I added more memory plus a few more things. I used my boyfriends computer for a few weeks and he had Firefox and I fell in love with it. I got my computer back and installed Firefox and I'll never go back to IE. Firefox is the best!!

Jo
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Using Opera 9.63 on Fedora 10 and Neatorama loads like a champ! IMO, Opera's mouse gestures make browsing in general 10x quicker because you don't have to aim the mouse at the back/forward/home/reload buttons.
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Google Chrome loads up web pages faster than Firefox does. At least on my computer. Plus Chrome has a bunch of great features.
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4 seconds on Chrome.

Unfortunately for me, many sites I need to use regularly for work are in denial about Firefox and Chrome, and only allow IE slugness.
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Firefox is great and it's been my browser of choice for many years now. It's the best browser that I'm aware of, and I've used a lot of them. But I still have some big issues with it: it suffers from terrible memory leak problems and bogs down when too many extensions are running or too many tabs are open. I wish I could get better performance out of it at my high levels of power usage. There are some about:config tweaks you can implement but they only go so far.

One of the biggest problems that kills my Firefox experience isn't Mozilla's fault, but Adobe's -- Flash is embarrassingly sluggish and bloated on the Mac. I'm hoping they get their act together soon, and also looking forward to Chrome for OS X with add-on support and hoping that will bring better performance. It always bugs me how Firefox will grind to a halt when I really get working, on a machine with 4GB of RAM. If there's anything I ought to be able to do quickly and efficiently, it's surf the web.
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i just tried loading the site in firefox, and it only took a few seconds. i tried it in IE, and it took like 20 seconds. i never realized there was such a big difference.
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I have a copy of IE, but to use it I would have to load an obsolete operating system! I use Firefox, but also have Safari, Opera, and Camino ready if needed. So far, I have only had to switch once, to Safari, because some new site wouldn't allow Mac users to enter with anything else. That site is no longer with us.
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YAY! This is yet another reason my mom should use Firefox! Of course, I could just remove IE altogether, save 20 MB or so, and force my her to use Firefox as an Internet browser. But that would mean having to find a Quick Launch icon that I like -- knowing me, that would take a while.

And to Johnny Cat:
There's a brilliant Firefox extension called IE Tab that should help you.
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Hmm- my wife and I usually read the blog on our 42" LCD using my PS3. And the PS3 browser loads it slower than IE does! The other thing that sucks is there is no "open in new window" feature in PS3 brower so everytime I follow a link, I have to wait for the site to reload when coming back. But- it's great reading from your couch!
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I used to browse via IE, but im having problem when browsing pages. Sometimes it takes a minute just to load a page, worse, you get a blank page - even without heavy graphics of flash images. Now im using Chrome and FireFox

Neatorama loads fine on both Chrome and FF.
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Load time in IE7 is just fine. Although I dont mind FF, IE7 is just as good. Most people dont know how to search the internet which is where most IE users start to fade. Learn how to navigate the internet and you wont have any problems. And if you are using IE6 then follow James' rule of thumb.
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I would love to use FF (and i do at home) but most the browsing i do is at work and im stuck with IE here (IE6!) it takes about 30 seconds to load and most flash content is disabled :(

I do pop home and view some stuff that i feel i really have to see.
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I've noticed the difference too, but I mostly use firefox for the added features and security. I even just discovered a new one (to me) yesterday that lets me block photos. Now I don't have to view annoying advertisements (perhaps I shouldn't have said that on a blog that uses advertising to supplement income)
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I use FF, but when I want to forward a Neatorama link to friends, I can't assume they are using or force them to use FF. I've gotten many complaints from those friends that the Neatorama links take so long to load (or don't load fully at all), that I find myself sending them the original link with the copy/pasted Neatorama entry copy. It's a bummer, because I want to give props to Neatorama and get more people to read it!
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I swear to god I laughed so hard when I read my name. I can't believe that over so many years of readin this blog I would have a post with my name on it! I have a registered name but I only used it twice to enter a tokyoflash contest. It's under the e-mail shon_mogharabi@hotmail.com or shon.mogharabi@gmail.com. If you could send me a message with my name and password I'd appreciate it!

I'm also going to put up this post on my blog: mypetchimp.blogspot.com for memories!
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Hi Alex,

I'm glad to see you advocating for Firefox. IE6 is the pits.

You might want to try installing the YSlow plugin for information on what could be slowing your pages down:

http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/

Specifying a height for every img tag may help the page render more quickly. I'm curious if the JavaScript StumbleUpon and BuzzUp buttons could be causing any trouble?

I also kind of wonder if the 1,701 HTML errors (wow) could be slowing your page rendering down as the browser tries to make sense of your markup.
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To be honest I've noticed a notable decrease in load time since switching to Firefox. I find pages load faster on dialup in firefox then they do in dsl using IE.

And I find that VERY impressive. I still use dialup, so that's REALLY something.

Neatorama! <3
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Chrome smokes Firefox on Vista. At least for me. On my OpenBSD workstation at work, Konqueror's the fastest, and Seamonkey comes in a close second (Chrome doesn't run on BSD, yet). Webkit is no joke and I see rendering issues less and less as it gains popularity. I guess we'll see even more progress when the new engines and such come out since Mozilla's claiming their new javascript interpreter is supposed to be the new king of speed.
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This wasn't a fair comparison at all, pitting IE6 against current browsers of today. And you should've specified versions of all the browsers in your graph; as there's great disparity even between each browser's version.
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