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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

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.

— Joshua Benton
                                   
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  • Guest

    Asynchronous loading isn’t just for ads. There are many JavaScript tags that load synchronously and block page content.

    The Times built their own tag management system to correct this, but there are free systems (like this one used by a number of media companies: http://www.mezzobit.com/products-services/free-account/) that typically speed up websites by 30-50%. Google also has a free system, but it can’t manage many blocking tags or tags with visual components.

  • http://www.mezzobit.com/ Joseph Galarneau

    Asynchronous loading isn’t just for ads. There are many JavaScript tags that load synchronously and block page content.

    The Times built their own tag management system to correct this, but there are free systems (like this one used by a number of media companies: http://signup.mezzobit.com/free-account/ that typically speed up websites by 30-50%. Google also has a free system, but it can’t manage many blocking tags or tags with visual components.