The reality of slow internet connection

Working from fancy places in the world, like currently from the island of Ibiza (Spain) during our WP Media company retreat (btw, we’re hiring!), comes with its own benefits and caveats. And sometimes, those may be one and the same thing.

The benefits are pretty obvious. 🙂

However, the Wi-Fi … “Has anyone seen the Wi-Fi?”

Reality check: answering tickets on 0.28 Mbps

There probably isn’t a better reality check for a customer support team of a performance optimisation plugin than to answer tickets on a slow internet connection. After all, this is one of the key scenarios WP Rocket is built for: to make WordPress sites faster so they will work better for people on 2G or 3G networks.

As I’m trying to perform a speed test for our current DSL (?) connection, most of the testing sites I try to access don’t even load for me—probably because of the tons of ads they try downloading before rendering their content.

Finally, this embedded tool by M-Lab saves the day:

Google.com search result for “dsl speed test” with embedded test tool
Embedded test network speed test tool by M-Labs

As it turns out, we’re helping people to make their WordPress sites faster on 0.28 Mbps of download speed:

Test results saying “Your internet speed is very slow”. 0.28 Mbps download, 0.10 Mbps upload.
Test results come in a neat popover directly on the search page.

I know, the irony …  😉 Uploading these screenshots alone took what felt like ages.

However, as a reality check this experience is invaluable for our team. It puts us in the shoes of our customers’ customers and site visitors.

So, is there any take-away here? Let me suggest this one:

If you make websites, and you haven’t turned on network throttling in Chrome’s dev tools yet while building a WordPress site, try it.

It may help you to include performance as a design concept from the ground up—just as our slow internet connection currently helps our team to reconnect with our core mission: to help people make fast websites.

What are your experiences on slow networks? Do you consider performance while building a website? Comments are open!

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