Why does yola want our pages to load slower than they have to?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 9 years ago
  • Answered
Yola adds A LOT of unnecessary codes and the less a browser has to read, the faster it'll display the page. Take this excerpt code for example...

<!--

<p align="justify"><font color="#bbff33" size="3">Linguistics is narrowly defined as the scientific approach to the study of <a href="language.php">language</a>, but language can, of course, be approached from a variety of directions, and a number of other intellectual disciplines are relevant to it and influence its study. </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">Semiotics</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, for example, is a related field concerned with the general study of signs and symbols both in language and outside of it. </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">Literary theorists</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3"> study the use of language in artistic </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">literature</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">. Linguistics additionally draws on work from such diverse fields as </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">psychology</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">speech-language pathology</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">informatics</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">computer science</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3"><a href="philosophy.php">philosophy</a></font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">biology</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><a href="human-anatomy.php"><font size="3">human anatomy</font></a><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">neuroscience</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">sociology</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3"><a href="anthropology.php">anthropology</a></font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">, and </font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">acoustics</font><font color="#bbff33" size="3">.</font></p>

-->

Now... note the...

<!-- <font color="#bbff33" size="3"> -->

it's in there 28... that's right TWENTY-EIGHT times!

It only needs to be there ONCE, at the beginning, with an ending tag at the end.

And I'm surprised Yola's engineers haven't done away with the font tag seeing how it's deprecated and in future release of browsers may be unsupported, therefore messing up anyone's site with these tags that have newer (in the future) browsers.
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
  • disappointed at codes

Posted 9 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Boomer

Boomer, Champion

  • 2055 Posts
  • 84 Reply Likes
Good point Donald. I remember once asking why Yola still uses the <br> instead of <br /> tag and nobody ever answered the post. Since doing my own coding (and I know you have too), I've realised a lot of the stuff I do is also not W3C compliant.
The fact of the matter is... Yola works, and it must be so hard for the engineers to develop code that works in so many browsers, for so many sites and for so many users.

Imagine trying to create inline CSS styles for each block of code each user creates and that does not interfere with the main CSS style sheet. It seems easier to use font and font color tags although it adds to the overhead.

One thing Yola does do (as far as I can tell), is table less layouts, which is the correct way and speeds up page loads. I still think that even though the font tag is depreciate it will still be around for a long time because a lot of sites will break once it officially becomes not supported. Yola, I'm sure are aware of this.

There are many other factors which affect slow page loads and the one that stands out the most for me is bad image optimisation. Having a hex font color like #bbff33 appear a few times on a page is only going to add minimal bytes to the code, but having an unoptimised image can add kilobytes to a page.
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
that's kind of funny, I swear, I almost mentioned that point about the br tag.

All tags are suppose to be closed... whereas with the
it closes itself, a similar but not preferred alternative is
However, they would also have to change their doctype, as I'm not looking at it at the moment, I believe the doctype used is html 4.0, however, in order for a tag to self close itself and be proper, it would have to be xhtml. Therefore, if changing doctype is more difficult, the alternative
would be the most proper method.

As for the font tags, I'm estimating things will be different in 2020 (the approximate release of html 5.0)
Photo of Callum

Callum

  • 357 Posts
  • 32 Reply Likes
I agree, there is too much unnecessary code on Yola sites, but I remember an employee (can't quite remember which one) said that Yola has made for ease-of-use and smooth workflow, not for full W3C compliance and bad workflow. Or words to that effect.
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
yea, but how can highlighting text, changing the color, and adding 28 of the same code throughout have anything to do with what's easier for us? It should be just as easy for us even if yola only added one of the same code, but you would think it's easier for yola to only have one code inserted rather than 28.

And it's not just for W3C validation either... the larger the code, the slower it'll load.

A general rule, for every character in html, the page adds a byte to it's total size.
38
In my example above, to include the code and ending tag, each code is 38 bytes (plus text in between, etc.)

If there is 28 codes and only 1 needs to exist.

1,064 bytes for all 28 codes
only 38 bytes needed

1,026 bytes for that one little paragraph is unnecessary

Now, that's a small portion of my one page, you're looking at probably well over 100,000 or even 1 million unnecessary bytes.

This is bad for two reasons... one is, how fast our page loads AND, yes, that's right, it's bad for Yola too...

Yola, I'm sure has to pay for their resources. The bigger Yola gets, the more expenses they have for equipment. Yola has a resource limit (how much resources can be used at the same time).... what happens if this limit is reached? EVERY site on Yola will slack until the resources goes below it's limits.

I'm going to pick an unrealistic number just as an example...

say yola has 1,000,000 bytes of resources (yea, it's not realistic, just an example)

and there are 1,000 sites being visited all at the same time

Each of these sites have 1,500 bytes on the visited pages...

That's 1,500,000 bytes of resources being used at the same time... over the limit... Yola begins to slow down for every site, some people may even get errors such as "host unavailable" "host resource limit reached" "try again later"

So... it is my personal belief, that Yola would SAVE MONEY by decreasing the amount of unnecessary code.

Oh, and speaking of unnecessary code, does Yola know in the html we don't have access to for the two column dividers there is a div ending tag that does not have an opening tag? That means there is one too many ending tags for the div in column dividers. Certain browsers could read this as an infinite loop and not quite sure what to display. Not that I've ever had a problem with it, but it's there!
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
As a test, I took my page...

The old code is published to http://youcanneverbetoosmart.com/aero... at least until I publish the site.

and deleted 504 bytes of unnecessary code added by Yola's systems.

This is a small article and the code wasn't as bad here as most place. Now, let's figure this IS one of my smallest articles... times 172 pages, plus however many pages I have on my subdomain sites. It adds up!

The new code with deleted unnecessary code is at...

http://sitebuilder.yola.com/sites/D7d...
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
that's not even including code we have access to.

COMMON SENSE says we don't need anything that has an attribute and no value

style="margin:0px; padding:0px; color:; font:; background-color:;"

notice the color, font, and background-color - with empty values? what's the sense in that?

Also, what's the purpose of

line-height:normal if normal is default and
width: 100% if 100% is default?
Photo of Callum

Callum

  • 357 Posts
  • 32 Reply Likes
Good point!

Attention Yola! Can we get someone in here to look at this please? I think it'll make for interesting reading!
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
And I'll have to stop using Yola if they going to keep wasting my time. AT LEAST three times a week I can't save my page and lose the work I've done on that page. I would have to estimate 4 hours of my time is wasted every week because of Yola. Just now, edited a page, went to save it, and nothing is clickable, not the save button, publish button, preview button, nothing won't click. Now I have to refresh the page and lose what I did. And not by the refresh button on Yola's toolbar, cause that won't click either!
Photo of John McCarthy

John McCarthy

  • 1292 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
Hey Donald what browser are you using? I'm sure this will help Yola find any problems that you may be experiencing :)
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
FireFox... the browser Yola recommends to use.
Photo of John McCarthy

John McCarthy

  • 1292 Posts
  • 99 Reply Likes
Hmmm, What version of firefox? I often had problem using firefox, switched to safari that had problems then switched to an updated of firefox and it seemed to work fine.
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
whatever the newest one is. I get the notifications of new versions available and I install them. I just did it about a week ago, but I've had these particular problems for a while even when I was using IE8. I figured it was a Yola problem, not browser problem.
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
I never use to care for FireFox because I've noticed some issues I don't specifically care for when editing Yola in FireFox such as shortcuts for Bold, Italic, and Underline work in IE but not FireFox... and the font seems to look different. But since my IE8 isn't running good, I started using FireFox.
Photo of Emmy

Emmy

  • 5892 Posts
  • 299 Reply Likes
Hello all,

This is not my area of expertise... so I have requested that one of our engineers make a comment here with some information on how our code is written.

Emmy
Photo of Margie

Margie

  • 286 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
In the past day or so someone here commented they use no text or image widgets but code all (or most) of their page themselves. I'm sorry I don't remember who it was now.

Do you think we could eliminate a lot of Yola's excess coding if an entire page were coded in an outside editor and then placed into just one html widget? Even if we were to get it down to 3 or 4 widgets per page would help, no?

I'd like to try it.
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
yes, that would help! Maybe Yola should figure out how FTP can work with Yola.
Photo of the_pete

the_pete

  • 65 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Official Response
Hey Donald.

The code our text widget generates is very far from as elegant as it could be. You're right, and as a web standards convert myself, I pains me to see us generate it.

We use a DOM technology called 'contentEditable' to allow users to edit text widgets inline in their site. We feel that this technology provides a richer, easier to use editing experience. Unfortunately it comes at the cost of code quality. The technology is provided by the browser, and isn't directly under our control.

We stand by this trade-off, and here's why.

Code quality is a problem for 3 main reasons

1) It's hard to maintain
2) It might not be forwards compatibile
3) If it's bloated, it results in increased load times.

I believe 2 of these aren't problems in the context of building sites in Yola, and the third isn't as bad as it seems.

1) Editing the code through a rich text interface resolves this issue.
2) Browsers are supporting backwards compatibility through specific rendering modes that switch on doctype. We also test the output of the text widget cross-browser.
3) Although the bloat is noticeable in Yola, compared to a medium sized image, the actual impact to load time is negligible.

To sum up, I don't think you should be too worried, because the practical impact on your site's performance and rendering is very small. And for this sacrifice, you can edit the text of your site inline, in your site, in the Yola Site Builder.

All this being said, there are avenues that we're exploring to improve the code quality of our text widgets, reduce the size of our published sites, make your websites faster and save us money :)

For example, after you've edited your text widget, we could parse it and try and remove unnecessary code, replace deprecated tags and close make
tags
tags. We could also try and override the default behavior of 'contentEditable' to make them better. There are mountains to climb before we can get these things working in a consistent, bug free manner, but we'll keep trying.

Thanks very much for the feedback.

Cheers
Pete

P.S.

Firefox, Chrome and Safari generate the best code using our Text Widget. Not perfect... but they're getting there.
Photo of Boomer

Boomer, Champion

  • 2055 Posts
  • 84 Reply Likes
Thanks for the explanation Pete,

It all makes perfect sense to me. I have a new (non-Yola ) site I'm developing.
I'm offering my clients the ability to change page background colours, upload images, banners and I even have my own "text widgets". I've gone through half a dozen RTE's and have currently settled on two. I use them in different areas of the site for different reasons. All the RTE's seem to generate the kind of code Donald provided above. I have built my own Mini Yola. Hey... that sounds like a fruit :-)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is... if I look at what Yola does, and for so many users, I'm more and more in awe every day. Keep up the good work guys :-)
Photo of Donald

Donald

  • 2991 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
Here's an idea...

what if yola gave us the OPTION for Sitebuilder or Host....?

If we use sitebuilder, we get all the widgets, text toolbar, etc.
If we use hosting option, all we are provided with is an editor and save page option. We create our own code (without a template and restrictions of widgets) and saving the page would save the code to our website. But these options (sitebuilder or host) would be a per page basis. If we want to go back and forth (sitebuilder - easier to use) for one page and (html editor - more customizable) for another page, then we can do that too.

This would really set yola apart from all the rest.
Photo of c2print

c2print

  • 91 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
and the answer is ...

I would bet Yola has does extensive R&D to ensure Yola is the worlds best Free online website builder (that also includes Free Hosting) Ever hear of the saying ... nothing comes for free. Well whoever still thinks like that has not seen Yola.

The simple answer is ... 99.9% of Yola users are very happy with what they get from Yola and the websites they create are 100% exactly what they need.

I would also bet ... a survey of Yola websites would result in NO issues with loading times for their sites.

remember Yola was created for people that do not want to know how a website is coded ... they just want a cool website they can create themselves.

These people represent the main core of Yola users ... folks that are looking to shorten the code or do really funky custom alterations to how Yola works would be a very small percentage.

bottom line is 99.99% of Yola websites load just fine.

I am sure there are a ton of bare bones companies offering the service you are looking for ... however they will struggle to compete with a RockStar like Yola.

cheers and good luck
Photo of Monique

Monique, VP of Customer Support

  • 6294 Posts
  • 446 Reply Likes
Thanks c2print - you have done a great job of summarizing the type of end user Yola aims to serve. We realize that this means that some people who start out with Yola will one day out grow us when they become too advanced, but we have decided to focus on what we can be really good at - creating an easy to use sitebuilder for people who do not have the skills or inclination to code their sites by hand. Thanks for the compliments about our sitebuilder - we really appreciate it!