How Javascript can hinder rather than help

Have you ever waited ages for a website to load? If so, you may have been a victim of Javascript-induced lag (JIL). Ok, I just made that up, but you would probably have been a victim of it at one time or another. There’s an interesting discussion on Read/Write Web (echoed by BlueBlog), that talks about the harm that Javascript can cause to bloggers, readers and Netizens in general.

The answer, as always, is moderation and a touch of common sense. If you blog has tens of different widgets on it, that load before the main content loads, then you are exposing yourself to JIL. A couple of external scripts won’t hurt you much, just make sure that they are loaded after your main content. And keep an eye on what your viewers see too. If you notice that a particular script is consistently slow, move on; you’re bound to find someone else offering the same service. If a service is overloaded, this can negatively affect what your viewers see, and reflect badly on your own website.

The interesting thing I learnt from the post (I always find thing I didn’t know interesting), is that browsers tend to execute Javascript in a sequential fashion. They don’t run different scripts on different threads. This means that any JIL tends to be cumulative. If you’re looking to optimise the load time on a page, Javascript injection is the first place to look. If you can’t do without it, at least make sure you understand the impact it will have on your site.


  1. Ah yes, both Blogcatalog & MBL have done this to me many times….

    I look forward to my new theme being ready, which will load content before sidebars…..

  2. Owen, I have noticed that the bumpzee script is the slowest thing to load in my sidebars. But I hate to take it out because it does bring me traffic. Is there a way to speed up the loading time?

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