Using Firefox Web Development Tools to Speed Up

network menu under Tools, Web DeveloperOn last week’s show, Bart mentioned one of the tools he’d shown us in Taming the Terminal Part 34 of n, the way you can use Firefox’s developer tools to time how long different things take to load on your website. I had forgotten about that and thought it would be fun to take a look at and see if I could figure out why it’s so slow to load. No one else complains but it drives me bananas. I assumed it was because the hosting plan I was on was slow but I’ve signed up for a more fancy pants plan recently so it didn’t make sense that it was so slow.

I launched Firefox and went to the Web Developer menu and chose the Network option as Bart had suggested. As he explained, you get an ordered list of what loads, along with the domain under which it’s loading, the type (html vs. css vs. javascript for example), the size, and then this cool timeline showing you how long the element took to load. Understandably the first thing that loads is root, shown as a \ (backslash). On, the root page took 5300 msec to load, otherwise known as 5.3 seconds! I thought it was bad but I didn’t realize it was that bad.
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