Nicolas Bouliane

Halving All About Berlin's load time Posted on

I spend a lot of time making All About Berlin fast. It’s just text on a page; it should be fast. Still, while the pages load instantly, the bits of JavaScript functionality took an extra second to load. It’s hardly noticeable, but hardly justifiable.

When I profiled the page, I found the culprit: the load event took 750 milliseconds to fire. Nothing happened before that event fired. Once load fired, the actual functionality loaded in about 10 milliseconds.

The load event is fired after everything on the page is loaded, including stylesheets and images. Instead, I used the DOMContentLoaded event, which is fired as soon as the DOM is ready. It’s the event jQuery’s $(document).ready() binds to. That shaved about 400 milliseconds off the page load time.

As the MDN page says, it’s a common mistake. People use load whenDOMContentLoaded is more appropriate. On a slow internet connection, this makes a big difference. Images can take a while to load, but they shouldn’t hold the rest of the functionality back.