evilDoug has written to say that he often encounters long delays as my FTB pages load. He says:

I don’t have this problem with any of the other FTBs. I’m sorry I can’t provide any clues as to exactly what is happening. Part of the page will load, then it just stops for some time, showing “DONE” in the info line (I’m using Internet Explorer), then eventually begins again. Most strange. I have some small suspicion that it may have something to do with one of your share links, but that is a very small suspicion.

Anyone else having this problem?


  1. I notice a lag , only on this blog, and i look in on several, daily. but i find the content always worth the wait. My paranoid side puts it down to MI5/6. or some other Bastards

  2. Hi, I experience long delays. It’s more a problem at work, but that’s only because we still have ancient Internet Explorer 6, so that’s not your problem.

    There is much less delay on other systems, but there still seems to be a problem.

  3. Forgot to mention that I’m using Firefox. I have Ghostery activated and it cuts out the trackers: Google Adsense and Quigo Adsonar. I guess that’s why I don’t see any Zedo ads. I have Adblocker Plus turned off on this site, don’t wish to crimp site revenue too much, so I do see ads right of the text.

    Many browsers have some sort of ad blocking, and/or tracker blocking adons and which ones a person has, and how they are set up to run, can make a big difference in how things load. On my very slow connection I try to block as much superfluous content as possible. Self-loading scripts and videos can bring things to a standstill.

  4. I have the same problem as Isamenia. My pop-up blocker stops the Zedo ad but freezes my access to the blogs. After about 1minute I can access the blog but then the ad appears and spreads tracking cookies all over. If when notified of the block I exit the page and re-enter the ad doesn’t pop-up. It is very annoying.

    Ismenia, what country are you in? I’m in the UK.

  5. I constantly have this blog open in a Firefox tab, and see no problem apart from when my modem has a problem, I think because my frig switches on or off, but that is the same everywhere.

    I’ve just allowed FTB in adblock+, and had an annoying pop-up telling me I’ve won an iphone if I hit a link, which I didn’t.

    I suppose I’ll have to live with stuff like that, though.

    David B

  6. Some blogs do seem to load much more smoothly than others. PZs efforts seem to load first and most efficiently. I haven’t noticed your blog loading particularly fast or slow.

    I suspect that some of this has to do with the way the servers are set up. Very popular blogs might be kept ready for immediate upload while less popular ones might require summoning up from the depths of the server farm. The frequency and type of links used, graphics and pictures, and any trackers or monitoring implemented, might also slow things down and introduce potential interruptions.

    I’m out in the wilds of rural Florida and my connection is by dial-up over poor quality copper lines where 28.8kbps is about the top end so if there is any way for a page to load slowly I get to experience it. You page loads pretty well. OTOH, FtB does load a bit more slowly than Scienceblogs. I suspect that their deeper pockets allow for more overhead in server capacity. But the difference isn’t huge.

  7. I have problems when ads from zedo.com pop-up. Closing the window ASAP speeds it up. I also find that switching from one FTB page to another can be slow, less so (at least in my perception) if I use my favourites list rather rather than the links on the right hand side of the screen. I think that I have more of a problem with yours than other FTB writers.

  8. Honestly, I find my computer often freezes totally on this blog. I’ve had to shut down and reboot on a couple of occasioins. In fact, this particular post is the only one I’ve ever been able to open without a long delay (my irony meter is now on overtime). I don’t usually have this problem with other FTB blogs.

    1. I am seeing the same thing – this page loads very quickly when I come here from the FTB main page, but Maryam’s home page has delays.
      One thing I note is the difference in tabs at the top of the page – this one has fewer than the main page.

  9. So I’m not the only one! Yep, long delays every time I come here. I get a slight delay with Ophelia Benson’s or PZ Myers’ pages, but nothing like yours. It teaches me patience though…

    I’m using an older, office-mandated version of Internet Explorer.

  10. I also use Internet Explorer.

    I have no problems with the page loading slowly, but I have had many problems with the number of white boxes that pop up when reading this site.

    I have had to restart my PC many times after ten, twenty or more these pop-ups have appeared.

    I think the problem is on my end though having no pop-up blocker.

  11. What the other Anon said. Happens all over FTB occasionally, the page will appear to load alright (at least the important stuff), but the browser appears to be loading the page indefinitely. I assumed it was an ad that was failing to load. I use Firefox, no ad-blockers.
    Also, the bearded dude who wants to sell me T-shirts is scary, can you make him go away?

  12. On my connection – after clearing my cache – this page loads in about 7.5 seconds.

    The Rock Beyond Belief took the longest to load for me. 1.21 second latency and a 1.9 second download time.

    The last item to load was a 1 pixel by 1 pixel image from tt.spworkz.com that didn’t connect and download until about 7 seconds after the initial download of the page.

    My tools say that loading this specific page sent 162 http requests and a total of 892KB was transferred at a time of 7.55 seconds.

  13. I would hate to resort to using an ad blocker since ad revenue is very important to FTB. Prior to FTB, I simply “tuned out” ads – it was pretty much as if they didn’t exist (and most web sites I use don’t have ads). Now I pay a little attention to them, and even click on some, with the specific intent of enhancing FTB income. Of course I pick the ones from woo or religious advertisers. I don’t bother to look at the pages – just leave them open for a little while in ignored tabs. One notable exception is the one from a polling company asking if I think the Prime Minister of Canada is doing a good job. I vote NO every time it comes up.

  14. The most likely explanation is a rogue flash advert, which hogs lots of CPU time, or downloads lots of data. As the adverts shown vary, the problem will only occur some of the time.

    1. I have, from time to time, suspected the adverts. After my remark at 1, I am now back to seeing 100% CPU utilization for FORTY seconds on first entering Maryam’s home page, after which it drops back to a few percent. And it is unique to Maryam’s blog. Other FTBs (and I read all of them except for recipe man) will run utilization up to 100% on this particular computer (similar on another machine) for a few seconds, and though scrolling may be a bit jerky, it never completely stops for several seconds. I am in Canada, and lots of the ads are directed at Canadians (lots that people in the US remark on, I never see at all). I’m a little suspicious that it may be two or more ads fighting it out for dominance, in some fashion, and there is something unique about Maryam’s home page and my location that triggers the specific targeting. It is all rather strange but weird.

      I suppose I should note that I am notorious for breaking software. Such is the price of evil.

  15. I notice it every now and then on a number of FTBs… I think it has to do with some of the advertising. There is a particularly flash-heavy one of dog (maybe some sort of beagle?) with exagerated puppy-dog eyes that nearly always slows down the page (I’m using Safari, btw).

  16. I don’t have any issues with your blog, Maryam, but I have found I have issues with other blogs on FTB. Other FTB blogs end up loading all sorts of crazy ways and sometimes I can’t even read them. I do just fine with yours.

  17. No long delays on my system. There may be a clue to the problem in this statement:

    “(I’m using Internet Explorer)”.

    Alternatively there are scripts looping or running long. Try using an add-on that prevents unauthorized scripts from running with a black or white list.

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