Apple’s Bloated Website

Ah, the web. If you’re not part of the small percentage of people with really fast connections, it can be really slow. It’s not uncommon to go to a news website and find that you need to download 10 MB of content – mostly graphics and ads – to read a simple story. Or to go to a brand website, and be inundated by Flash animations, graphics, and more, making it painful to view.

I have a poky 4 Mb connection, which is better than a lot of people in the country I live in, but which is pretty common for many internet users. I went to Apple’s website today to view the page about OS X El Capitan. It took a long time to load. I was curious, so I emptied my browser cache, and opened Safari’s Web Inspector. Here’s what I saw:

Apple bloated website

This web page was over 32 MB, and took 1.5 minutes to load. When most web professionals say that your web pages should generally load in less than 10 seconds, this Apple page is an aberration. Naturally, the time it takes to load is because of graphics, not text. So the top graphic loads first, progressively, then more graphics load. As I scroll down the page, I see blocks of text with no graphics around them, and then each graphic loads slowly. Scrolling on this page is painful. This is no way to present a product.

The iPad page is 13.7 MB, and takes 36.75 seconds to load. The iPhone page is 8.17 MB, and takes 22.4 seconds to load. The Apple Watch page is 10.6 MB, and takes 30.4 seconds to load. And the Music page is 8.09 MB, and takes 27.32 seconds to load.

Perhaps apple should get rid of these long-scrolling pages, and split them into smaller pages. People at One Infinite Loop certainly see them load fast, since they have fiber internet access, but what about the rest of us?