Reed Emmons, director of web development at The New York Times:
“Async” in this case meaning that ads load asynchronously — that is, a slow ad server is no longer allowed to block the loading of the rest of the page.
Last month, The Guardian’s Patrick Hamman summarized some of the ways they’re trying to speed up
their site — and noted that the speed of NYTimes.com was one of their key comparative performance metrics.
Emmons said that the tech improvements on the homepage were similar to those already made on article pages, which he wrote about in January. And there’s also this video from November in which the Times’ Eitan Konigsberg outlines some of the site’s speed frustrations and how developers have tackled them.