Link: the Washington Post has brought its page load speed down to milliseconds

Page load speed is important – possibly more so than ever, thanks to the dominance of mobile devices for browsing the web.

As of July 2015, [load time] was cut down to 1.7 seconds — an 85 percent improvement gained by shedding bulky features that took too long to load. With the progressive web app, article pages load in 80 milliseconds, Merrell said.

Source: “With lessons from Google, The Washington Post has brought its page load speed down to milliseconds” (Poynter)

Link: 2016 – a year for greater creativity in online advertising?

As part of NiemanLab’s “Predictions for Journalism 2016”, Felix Salmon makes a hopeful prediction:

[2016] will mark the point at which the sheer quantity of junky adtech encrustations on publishers’ sites will start going down rather than up.

Salmon isn’t suggesting that ads are abolished entirely. Instead, he predicts a change in the ads you see on the web:

The change is going to be wonderful not only for the mobile web, but also — eventually — for creativity in the online ad industry. When brute force and invasions of privacy don’t work any more, that’s when creatives start to really show their value.

Source: “Cleanliness is next to godliness” (NiemanLab)

Link: Why Facebook Won, and Other Hard Truths

A really interesting post to kick off 2016 (even if it was posted on December 30th, 2015).

People read the web now at the level they read email — they look at a lot of stuff. And what they want (and what many people continue to shame them for) is a standard interface that allows them to do that without feeling stressed.

You want to win against Facebook? Let go of the idea of people reading your stuff on your site, and develop or support interfaces that put your readers in control of how they view the web instead of giving the control to the people with the servers.

Source: Why Facebook Won, and Other Hard Truths (Hapgood)

Why an off-the-shelf CMS might not be the best choice

I’ll be writing more about bespoke CMS development in the future. For now, here’s a quote from a relevant BBC Academy article:

The CMS software market is quite crowded, with a huge number of products competing with each other. Despite this, we struggled to find a CMS that met our requirements around flexibility, multi-tenant operation and integration with existing services. Those that did come close also provided a vast array of other features that we did not require (such as rendering systems), which would end up complicating our architecture and adding a support burden.

In addition, off-the-shelf CMS tools generally have quite fixed user interfaces, which are hard to customise. We knew that ill-fitting user interfaces could be a real problem for our users, and we were determined to provide them with a system that allowed them to get on with their jobs without tools getting in their way.

from “Content Management Systems at the BBC