Posted by Sean Forman on August 19, 2011
I try to be very careful with how the site's code is structured, so that the pages will load and render as blazingly fast a possible. Users like it and it can have a direct impact on our bottom line.
One item that has been out of my control is the ad code we include on the pages. Some of these ads load 5-15 additional files and quite frankly some of the ad servers don't seem to have a good idea of what speed means, so the pages hang and we get lots of frustrated e-mails. As well as being frustrated ourselves.
We have just made a significant investment in our infrastructure that should remove this issue from the equation. All ads on B-R and eventually all SR sites now load in the background and will not block the page from loading. This went into effect sitewide last night, and at least as I've been using the site then and this morning I haven't seen any hangs. Hopefully this will solve this matter and we can all get back to looking at stats rather than waiting for things to load.
One other complaint we get is ads with audio. We have repeatedly asked not to serve these and report these to our ad provider as soon as we notice them. The way ads work is we have someone we deal with and then they are dealing with 5+ large networks themselves and selling their own ads. The 5+ large networks appear to have some issues filtering things on there end. I know this is passing the buck, but that is how it happens. I've found that the mute button generally stays muted from page to page, but your mileage may vary. We'll continue to work on this.