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?

20 thoughts on “Apple’s Bloated Website

  1. Apple’s site is a disaster, even on my 2Gbps connection. Scrolling on some pages stutters like driving a Ferrari over cobblestones in a Belgian city. The Apple Music page is particularly bad.

    I suppose you’ve seen this Tidbits page: http://tidbits.com/article/15928 ? Using font-size: 1px on the root element… That something users have been screaming against web developers for over 10 years.

    The forum pages aren’t great either.

  2. Apple’s site is a disaster, even on my 2Gbps connection. Scrolling on some pages stutters like driving a Ferrari over cobblestones in a Belgian city. The Apple Music page is particularly bad.

    I suppose you’ve seen this Tidbits page: http://tidbits.com/article/15928 ? Using font-size: 1px on the root element… That something users have been screaming against web developers for over 10 years.

    The forum pages aren’t great either.

  3. I see this all the time on news, sports, local TV and radio station websites and seriously doubt that many publishers *ever* test site loads using conventional equipment. Seems my iPad is always displaying “A problem occurred so the page is reloading”.

  4. I see this all the time on news, sports, local TV and radio station websites and seriously doubt that many publishers *ever* test site loads using conventional equipment. Seems my iPad is always displaying “A problem occurred so the page is reloading”.

  5. Actually most of the blame for the poor service in rural areas lies with the terribly poor way that the then Conservative government privatised British Telecommunications in 1984. They effectively simply turned a state owned monopoly into a privately owned monopoly by giving BT ownership of the infrastructure as well as the service provision. I don’t think this was allowed in many other privatisations, e.g. the railway companies do not own the railroad tracks. It was a fatal flaw, which has lead to the obvious (from a purely business point of view) pouring of money by BT into the densely populated most profitable areas to improve their coverage.

    • It’s actually that they didn’t require BT to do what was necessary to provide good service. The same thing happened in France when the telephone system was de-nationalized. Yet when I lived in France, in an area much more remote than my current home in the UK, I had much faster broadband, starting in 2001. It’s all about the way the infrastructure is organized. In France, the backbone follows train tracks, and, while it’s a much larger country than the UK, there are enough train lines to bring service to much of the country.

  6. Actually most of the blame for the poor service in rural areas lies with the terribly poor way that the then Conservative government privatised British Telecommunications in 1984. They effectively simply turned a state owned monopoly into a privately owned monopoly by giving BT ownership of the infrastructure as well as the service provision. I don’t think this was allowed in many other privatisations, e.g. the railway companies do not own the railroad tracks. It was a fatal flaw, which has lead to the obvious (from a purely business point of view) pouring of money by BT into the densely populated most profitable areas to improve their coverage.

    • It’s actually that they didn’t require BT to do what was necessary to provide good service. The same thing happened in France when the telephone system was de-nationalized. Yet when I lived in France, in an area much more remote than my current home in the UK, I had much faster broadband, starting in 2001. It’s all about the way the infrastructure is organized. In France, the backbone follows train tracks, and, while it’s a much larger country than the UK, there are enough train lines to bring service to much of the country.

  7. Interesting to hear the other side. I am annoyed by being forced to click through multiples pages to read one story while thinking, “This is the web! You can put it all on one ‘page’!”

  8. Interesting to hear the other side. I am annoyed by being forced to click through multiples pages to read one story while thinking, “This is the web! You can put it all on one ‘page’!”

  9. The Huffington Post should be outright OUTLAWED. If you leave it’s front page open it will end your browser. It’s OBSCENE.

    By the by — OS X is bloatware in and of itself. This is coming from a lifelong Mac User since 1986 who had to introduce a PC into my life for a specific software.

    Windows 10 eats OS X for breakfast in one area — MEMORY MANAGEMENT. Where 8GBs of RAM is necessary on a Mac and sometimes not quite enough, 8GBs on a PC is virtually overkill. I rarely see %50 or more of RAM in use on my Asus… whereas OS X reliably uses %50 just for starters. No contest.

    To prove to you I’m not a troll — Windows 10 is basically inferior in every other way. I can’t find someone who can explain to me if I need a recovery drive, a backup, both, and a reliable/EASY way to do whatever is actually needed. OS X? Two words: time machine.

    Windows 10 is good enough for a secondary computer, however. You know a surf email iTunes machine? Works absolutely fine. I’m rocking a good 15.6 matte screen at 1080p, a fifth gen i7, 256 SSD — for $799. That would be about $1600 in Apple’s bloatprices.

    Apple has to get it’s act together. I’d never switch — but I simply won’t shell out $1999 for a bloathardware Probook. It’s utter nonsense now.

    • Memory Management better win Windows?! I start 15 Applications in MacOS X on a MacBook Air witch 4GB RAM within 15 seconds, all work great. MacOS X takes as much physical RAM as it gets, if there’s little, it uses the hard drive or SSD very intelligently for its virtual memory management. The CPU Load is 5%. Look at activity monitor for more infos.

    • I believe memory management has gotten much more sophisticated, starting in Mavericks. The goal is to not have any unused memory. Unused memory is wasted.

  10. The Huffington Post should be outright OUTLAWED. If you leave it’s front page open it will end your browser. It’s OBSCENE.

    By the by — OS X is bloatware in and of itself. This is coming from a lifelong Mac User since 1986 who had to introduce a PC into my life for a specific software.

    Windows 10 eats OS X for breakfast in one area — MEMORY MANAGEMENT. Where 8GBs of RAM is necessary on a Mac and sometimes not quite enough, 8GBs on a PC is virtually overkill. I rarely see %50 or more of RAM in use on my Asus… whereas OS X reliably uses %50 just for starters. No contest.

    To prove to you I’m not a troll — Windows 10 is basically inferior in every other way. I can’t find someone who can explain to me if I need a recovery drive, a backup, both, and a reliable/EASY way to do whatever is actually needed. OS X? Two words: time machine.

    Windows 10 is good enough for a secondary computer, however. You know a surf email iTunes machine? Works absolutely fine. I’m rocking a good 15.6 matte screen at 1080p, a fifth gen i7, 256 SSD — for $799. That would be about $1600 in Apple’s bloatprices.

    Apple has to get it’s act together. I’d never switch — but I simply won’t shell out $1999 for a bloathardware Probook. It’s utter nonsense now.

    • Memory Management better win Windows?! I start 15 Applications in MacOS X on a MacBook Air witch 4GB RAM within 15 seconds, all work great. MacOS X takes as much physical RAM as it gets, if there’s little, it uses the hard drive or SSD very intelligently for its virtual memory management. The CPU Load is 5%. Look at activity monitor for more infos.

    • I believe memory management has gotten much more sophisticated, starting in Mavericks. The goal is to not have any unused memory. Unused memory is wasted.

  11. I have a similarly slow connection (nearly 6 Mb, if I’m lucky / 4.5 Mb during my test.

    After deleting the cache (I hadn’t visited the site before, anyway), loading the linked El Capitan site took about 15 seconds (Win7 / Firefox).

  12. I have a similarly slow connection (nearly 6 Mb, if I’m lucky / 4.5 Mb during my test.

    After deleting the cache (I hadn’t visited the site before, anyway), loading the linked El Capitan site took about 15 seconds (Win7 / Firefox).

  13. The user should NEVER be forced to make changes to get a web site to work properly. Apple would soon learn if everyone followed the “7 Seconds” law. (“You know that web site sucks if it takes more than 7 seconds to load”) But people have become complacent with waiting for web pages as arrogant programmers push the bandwidth. Well, in Firefox, just click the Firefox “reader” button. Voila! FAST web pages without the stalkers, trackers, predators, spammers and bandwidth hogs. Just the content… if there is any. Apple relies too heavily on the images. A large percentage of the population surfs with images OFF. Check Apple’s site with images off.

  14. The user should NEVER be forced to make changes to get a web site to work properly. Apple would soon learn if everyone followed the “7 Seconds” law. (“You know that web site sucks if it takes more than 7 seconds to load”) But people have become complacent with waiting for web pages as arrogant programmers push the bandwidth. Well, in Firefox, just click the Firefox “reader” button. Voila! FAST web pages without the stalkers, trackers, predators, spammers and bandwidth hogs. Just the content… if there is any. Apple relies too heavily on the images. A large percentage of the population surfs with images OFF. Check Apple’s site with images off.

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