Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chrome is now so fast that web sites break. Check yours.

Chrome has become my default browser. I still use Firefox when I'm examining the site; those plugins are so handy but the rest of the time I'm on Chrome.

I use Chrome because it's fast and sleek. I'm often on a laptop and sometimes on a 3G mobile connection. Chrome helps then.

In fact, Chrome is so fast that I've noticed some websites aren't coping. I've an example from bigmouthmedia. I was checking out our coverage of social sites out-pacing search which was doing fairly well on Twitter when I noticed this...


What's this? An error on our new website. The footer appearing before the content finished?

Turns out there's nothing wrong with the code (although; yeah, there's an IE6 error we can live with (actually; I wanted the site to explode in the face of IE6 users - but I was overruled)). What's happening is that Chrome completes the JavaScript function correctFooter() before the images have finished loading. This only happens with Chrome 5.0.375 and up.

In our case the fix was simple - delay the JS a little bit.

Going forward - I suspect this will become a growing issue, especially with HTML5, and more sites will have to manage the time/order of loading - especially in relation to relative positions.

It's also worth being aware this is Google's tech. This is a suggestion at how quickly Google could parse JavaScript. I'm not saying this is what Googlebot will always see but it's certainly a suggestion of the sort of rendering Googlebot could see.

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