With newspaper website design this atrocious, it's hard to respect the newspaper industry. It makes me root for the giant social media silos, which is a revolting thought for many reasons. I don't use social media silos, except for storing photos at Flickr in addition to using a physical backup at home.

The newspaper industry's hostile web designs deserve a standing ovation for making the disgusting silos tolerable.

Journalists contribute to the demise of the open web by their love of Twitter. Media orgs contribute to the demise of the open web by their insane "modern" web designs.

webpagetest.org results for this mercurynews.com article, titled Pete Buttigieg was Facebook’s 287th user.

From: Dulles, VA - Chrome - Cable
May 16, 2019 at 9:04:27 AM EDT
First view fully loaded:

It took over 30 seconds to load a news article over a fast internet connection. 25 years ago, it was faster to read web posts over a slow dial-up modem because those web pages were designed simpler.

777 web requests??? Holy hell.

What's the point of mercurynews.com having a website? With JavaScript disabled, the text content still displayed, but the page was somewhat mangled.

I never read the article. I first accessed the article on my phone over a WiFi connection, but my old iPhone struggled to load the page. I disabled JavaScript, which produced an unusable mobile experience. The only thing left to do was to submit the page to webpagetest.org for curiosity reasons. I was not surprised by the above results.

The media would love for the government to regulate Facebook and maybe the entirety of the Internet. Okay, whatever. Staying with an absurd line of thinking, I believe that humanity, or at least the open web, would be improved if websites like the mercurynews.com were regulated, until they adopted a web design like text.npr.org. If it's about reversing global warming, then text.npr.org is an environmentally-friendly solution.

Every little bit helps, regarding the health of the planet. Bloated websites cause computers to consume more energy than lightweight designed websites. Bloated websites drain batteries faster on mobile devices, and such sites can make desktop/laptop computers work harder than necessary.

We should eco-shame hideous websites like the mercurynews.com. Why not? It's a more sane idea than that newspaper's web design.

Yeah, the previous three paragraphs dripped with sarcasm. I think.

According to those webpagetest.org results, 3.7 MB of the mercurynews.com's article download were for JavaScript. That's about the size of the HTML version of War and Peace.[1]

How can that much JavaScript, along with 777 web requests to display a single article not be a privacy and security concern for unsuspecting readers?

It's hypocritical for media orgs to criticize the shady activities of big tech when media orgs unleash disgusting websites that could be loaded with nefarious ad tracking tech.

May 19, 2019

Today, I read this nearly 800-word NY Post article, hosted at a massively bloated website. This is horrendous. Where are the grandstanding congressional hearings to ask dumb questions? Actually in this case, a good question would by why does this hostile web design exist?

It's a text article, containing fewer than 800 words, yet here are the webpagetest.org results.

From: Dulles, VA - Chrome - Cable
5/19/2019, 4:38:36 PM
First view fully loaded:

3.9 megabytes is atrocious, but I'm distracted by the 935 web requests. ????????

2.5 megabytes of the download were for JavaScript. 153 web requests were for JavaScript.

On May 20, 2019, I heard Tom Walton's segment on our local public radio station discuss newspapers, and he mentioned a one-page paper, called 'Hotsheet' that's printed by a banker in Le Mars, Iowa and distributed by hand to diners and coffee shops in the town.

Here's a Jan 29, 2019 siouxcityjournal.com story about Hotsheet. It's an interesting story, and it was obvious that the siouxcityjournal.com website was massively bloated.

Here are the webpagetest.org results for that text story that contained two photos.

From: Dulles, VA - Chrome - Cable
5/20/2019, 8:34:47 PM
First View Fully Loaded:

Time: 32.802 seconds
Requests: 901
Bytes in: 4,311 KB

That's larger than War and Peace.

901 web requests to display a simple article??? What in the hell is occurring? Are the paper's employees aware of their disgusting website design?

901 web requests. Over 30 seconds needed over a fast internet connection to load completely the web page. And we're supposed to support local media, especially newspapers.

Are subscribers subjected to the same obscene web design? If so, then sorry, I would never subscribe, unless I can read the website in a different manner.

Of the 901 requests, 160 were for JavaScript. 286 requests were for images. Come on. 109 requests were for "other"???

Of the 4.3 megabytes downloaded, 2.6 megabytes were for JavaScript.

Mar 28, 2019 - alistapart.com - Responsible JavaScript: Part I

I have no ill will toward JavaScript. It’s given me a career and—if I’m being honest with myself—a source of enjoyment for over a decade. Like any long-term relationship, I learn more about it the more time I spend with it. It’s a mature, feature-rich language that only gets more capable and elegant with every passing year.

Yet, there are times when I feel like JavaScript and I are at odds. I am critical of JavaScript. Or maybe more accurately, I’m critical of how we’ve developed a tendency to view it as a first resort to building for the web. As I pick apart yet another bundle not unlike a tangled ball of Christmas tree lights, it’s become clear that the web is drunk on JavaScript. We reach for it for almost everything, even when the occasion doesn’t call for it. Sometimes I wonder how vicious the hangover will be.


  1. Below is some additional info about the web version of the book War and Peace. In printed book form, it's over 1000 pages long.

Comment from a May 2017 Hacker News thread:

I can read "War and Peace" as an HTML document on my 7 year old cheapo Android phone. The browser even "streams" the data, displaying each chunk as it loads over a slow connection.

HTML version of WAR AND PEACE By Leo Tolstoy/Tolstoi:

The Kindle version is 5.2 MB.

One web article hosted at the mercurynews.com is larger than the Kindle version of War and Peace when unsuspecting web readers download several megabytes of crapware.

Jun 27, 2019

Jun 27, 2019 Kansas City Star opinion titled Kansas City bus service should be free for everyone. In the future, it could be

webpagetest.org results.

From: Dulles, VA - Chrome - Cable
6/28/2019, 1:15:35 AM
First View Fully Loaded:
Time: 29.571 seconds
Requests: 924
Bytes in: 7,106 KB

924 web requests and 7 megabytes downloaded to read an opinion piece that contained about 530 words. 147 requests were for JavaScript. 3.8 megabytes of the download were for JavaScript. All of that to read a little over 500 words. Text.

How is that not a crime? We need government regulation levied against media websites.

2.4 megabytes of the download were for images. ??? The opinion contained one large, useless stock photo. I'm unsure why other images were needed.

It took nearly 30 seconds to load completely the criminally-designed web page over a fast internet connection. What if the reader had an LTE or a 3G connection?

created May 16, 2019