Slow loading

This is not a complaint but feedback. I absolutely loved the change last year that gave us those beautiful large previews. However, living in a rural area with slow internet speeds I’ve found that it’s often times unusable, giving me “loading previews” for long waits. When in Colorado for the summer, I never visited because it just loaded too slowly. In Texas and when traveling in my camper, I tether from the phone. Even in the same spot, that is highly variable.

I realize that features are optimized for the majority of members that don’t have this issue. If there is a setting or alternate view that gives the list with small previews that we used to have, please let me know. If not, maybe there are enough of us to consider creating an alternate view. I absolutely love this forum but I can’t pay for a membership that I can’t realistically use.

Hi Terri, I can fully appreciate this feedback as I travel full-time in an RV so I am almost always on cell data which can be quite slow in certain areas.

I am talking with the developers now to see if we can have a low-data option that would reduce the size of the thumbnails when needed. Hopefully this can be developed quickly, but I have no solid dates just yet. I will update you when I know more.

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That’s great news, David. I personally don’t have too much trouble with the slow loading issue, but sometimes our internet is slower than other times, and when that happens, if I click on Categories rather than Latest, the Categories page comes right up. I am not sure how well that will work with really slow internet, but it might help some. The Latest page just has a lot more to load than Categories does, but I am now able to view the same things, just in a different view. Maybe this will help Terri and others that are dealing with slow internet until the developers can set up some kind of low-data option.

For those of you with slow connections, could you tell me what screen you are viewing NPN on? Meaning what monitor you are using and if it is a high resolution display (if you know) or if you’re on pc/mac, or what phone model you have. This will be helpful information to come up with a solution. Thanks!

And good tip Shirley, the categories page does load quickly since there are no thumbnails visible. You can quickly access the category you are interested in (which will load the thumbnails, but only for that category) and you can see the latest posts without thumbnails as well.

@David_Kingham; I appreciate Terri for brining this up.

Using, I get 2.2 MBytes/second on a DSL connection.

Windows 10 PC
NEC 27" monitor 2560x1440
DSL Connection through landline phone.

A lower resolution thumbnail that is more forgiving on slower connections would be a boon, in my opinion.

I ran NPS URL through my goto web tester to get a quick idea of what is causing the slow loading. Anyone can run the GTMetrix test from their Browser. ( I always run and retest 2x) to get the best results.

NPN has a lot of image content, and most of it is not optimized and is not correctly scaled, which is causing some of the load time issues. There seem to be other issues that may not be addressed by developers. Image optimization and scaling can be a difficult metric to fix. These types of scores are not unusual for sites like this.

The most crucial metric is Fully loaded Time, and for me, 3.5 sec is acceptable.

On my Word Press site, My scores are A and load 1.2sec, but I’m not in the same league with content that NPN provides., However, it took me many months to address all the issues that are tested. Maybe Dave and the team can benchmark competitive sites and see how we compare.

The other test is from Google; they look at different parameters than GTmetrix. A google score of 85 is very respectable.

The page loading time is also around 3.6 sec.

The granddaddy and most trusted WEB page test combines Gtmatrix and google and identifies the issue with NPS Performance.

This test also shows page render time at 3.6 sec

I’m just putting this info out there because it is publicly available and might help understand where the ‘back-office’ loading pinch points are.

Years ago, when I worked with developers, I used these three web performance site metrics for goals. Some of this stuff is costly.

The ‘front-office’ of NPS provides a 3.5 sec render which is very good given all the image content

The “back-office” has room to improve, but it is a balancing act between cost/performance.

Hope that helps

In Colorado, I’m on DSL w/supposedly 20mbs but rarely hits that. With this I’d be using my laptop. On the road or in Texas it’s tethering to Verizon unlimited data (before they throttle down) on either an iPhone 7 or a Verizon mifi device. In Texas, I could be on the same laptop or iMac desktop. When the connection is slow, I’ve not really noticed a difference between computers but then again I haven’t really tested it to compare.

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Hi Terri, I just wanted to let you know that I am working with the developers to come up with a low-data mode option that will load lower resolution thumbnails and should cut your load time in half. Hopefully they will have this done in the next couple weeks and I will let you know when it’s ready to test out. I also found another tweak that will cut the load times down as well, this is already implemented and speeds should be about 1.5x faster than they were (at least for new photos that have been posted since I made the change).

The change I already made will help everyone as it cuts down the size of the thumbnails globally, the new low-data mode that is coming will only help those with high resolution screens as we’re just using the lower res thumbnail on high res screens. This will help Terri, but not Preston since he is on a standard resolution display, but that means he is already loading the lower res thumbnails. This was the easiest way to implement a solution in the short term, maybe in the future we can have even more options to load even lower resolution thumbnails.

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Great news! thank you!

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Hey Terri, this feature is now functional! Read more about it here and let me know if it helps!