Blog post: Is high bandwidth required to read a Discourse forum?


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #1

I got really sick and tired of people whining about big JavaScript downloads, so I wrote a blog post about it.

http://blog.erlend.sh/is-high-bandwidth-required-to-read-a-discourse-forum/

Edit: Hmm, I see Ookla’s global bandwidth index has been discontinued. That’s a shame. If anyone knows of a good equivalent, please let me know.


Low bandwidth users
(Michael Downey) #2

Many of our users are in the (Internet-wise) most remote places on the planet. Some of them have run Speedtest.net tests at 300 kbps, or less. We haven’t had any complaints about Discourse speed.

Edit/Caveat: We do run our server at DigitalOcean Amsterdam, to be closer network-wise to some of those locations.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

Also, a single image is usually many dozens if not hundreds of kilobytes.

So as far as “first load” goes, yes, there is a JavaScript parsing time for sure (particularly on low end or older smartphones), but the first time you load a bunch of images is quite painful on traditional sites too.


(Robin Ward) #4

Depending on your use case, Discourse can actually be more efficient due to its large JS payload.

The idea is, you get that payload from a CDN on first load. The CDN is likely closer to you than a typical server side rendered page. After that, you are just requesting JSON, rather than fully rendered pages. These are much smaller packets of data and your JS client knows how to render them.

I wrote about this a while ago.


(Kane York) #5

Though some of the json is certainly not as small as it could be… (post_actions)


(Robin Ward) #6

I bet it’s still a lot smaller than the equivalent HTML.


(Tobias Eigen) #7

do you think that makes a difference? we run ours out of digitalocean new york, and haven’t had any complaints either from our Sierra Leone and Mozambique folks.


(Michael Downey) #8

I don’t think it makes a huge difference, but the decision was based off of data collected at multiple points around the world testing against http://speedtest-sfo1.digitalocean.com/ and their other data centers listed there. It would make more difference if and when an undersea cable gets cut (which can and does happen).