Trying to Decide on Infinite Scroll
@absurdoldbird, I know. :) It’s not apples to apples in the sense that how code for a similar feature is run an implemented on another site might be totally different compared to the site you are looking at. Same feature; still not apples to apples, technically speaking. I was just trying to point out that not all sites should be compared apples to apples for speed as they are totally separate coding and server environments.
@teamoyeniyi, I will defer to this comment which mentions some of the benefits and also notes that we are continuing to work to make the feature better: https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/to-infinity/page/5?replies=137#post-815129
Here’s what I found about the speed question:
The developer who worked on Infinite Scroll works from Uruguay, usually behind a proxy to the US, from a not really good connection. Performance has been one the main concerns in Infinite Scroll, with many small optimizations all around. Overall it is quite speedy, and it’s much faster than doing a new page load using the older previous/next links, which is another one of the benefits.
We also have another developer on the theme team who lives in Hanoi, Vietnam, and he mentioned that even on spotty connections there, of which there are many, he hasn’t noticed infinite scroll negatively impacting browsing experience.
Unfortunately, bandwidth is not the only factor which affects speed. People who for whatever reason are stuck on older computers are going to experience slower performance regardless of their connection. I am going to guess that your developers, being developers, are using fairly recent, high-spec hardware as well as the most recent version of Firefox / Chrome / Safari. Power users who do this stuff for a living may not always be a representative sample of the average wordpress.com blogger, and it does seem to be hard for them to grasp that stuff they think is shiny and cool may simply be an annoyance to someone who is less tech-minded. That may not be just because they’re change-averse, or negative, or stupid, or whatever. Every crappy thing that has ever existed on the internet, from blink tags to Flash intros to popups, looked cool and shiny to some geek, somewhere, once.
This is very true. The amount of information your computer can hold in RAM is a factor in how infinite scroll works for you. If you have an old computer, then you’re going to run into problems, real problems, sooner rather than later.
With my slow wireless service, on this site, http://traceycaponephotography.com/ , all of the images seldom completely load even though FF shows that the load is complete. This is a medium heavy image site and with each load of another 7 I end up with more half-loaded images. The images are done as progressive and on many of them the bottom half of the image never completely loads and stays pixelated.
This is a wonderful site with some great photos, but for me it loads like a pig and it’s all because of the infinite scrolling.
You also need to remember that broadband subscriptions in the US (broadband defined as 256kbps or faster) is only 26.3% for 2010. That means that 73.7% are on connections slower than 256kbps.
We are the 73.7%’ers and we are the “edge cases.”
Sorry, I just found some more recent data on broadband subscriptions in the US. As of 2011, it is reported by websiteoptimization.com to be 54%, but I have to wonder how many of those are like me and are lucky to see averages of 150kbps the majority of the time? In my estimation, what I’m paying for, although advertised as “broadband” seldom if ever rises to that level.
It’s important for WordPress to seriously consider that the whole world doesn’t have money to always buy recent computer with great RAM memory and also have high speed internet band width.
Canada is blessed with a decent telecommunications network. But not every country is like ours. (I was shocked how scratchy some of the phone service is, in some rural U.S. areas when my partner was taking a cycling trip across North America and we stayed in touch every evening…just a few years ago.)
It’s not right to take a laid back attitude and expect the customers /clients/bloggers/readers to AFFORD a new fast computer every few years. It’s not realistic and…awfully arrogant attitude to take. (when there are home mortgages to pay off, children’s education, etc.)
There wordpress.com features should be slick and fast performing without requiring gobs of loading time when bandwidth is insufficient on the Internet.
@simplydesign – I had read THAT post some time ago – it doesn’t answer any of my points. :) But that is OK.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like WP or I wouldn’t still be here. People who speak out care, otherwise we wouldn’t bother.
I’ll be watching developments in the coming months, not just on WP but generally, to see how this “better than sliced bread” thing actually plays out over time.
I couldn’t turn infinite scrolling off on iPad so I just changed themes from Twenty Ten to Chunk. Nice theme and it’s about the seventh time I’ve changed in five months. :)
I do not have anything to add, really except to say I am one of those with a slow connection and do not like visiting sites with infinite scroll. We are rural, thus limited in our choices for internet.
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