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The new revamped and rebranded Mail Online website came out of beta this week, with a number of improvements to the previous version.
There is one major problem though; browsing through the site and loading pages can be a painfully slow process.
This makes the site very frustrating at times; from clicking on the Mail Online in Google to actually being able to scroll up and down the page or click on any stories takes more than ten seconds, which is way too slow.
To make sure it wasn't my PC or broadband connection, I tried a few other newspaper websites for a rough comparison:
- Telegraph - 5 seconds to load home page
- Times Online - 3 seconds
- Independent - 3 seconds
- Guardian - 6 seconds
Some of the feedback on the new site seems to back up my observation, with a number of users complaining that the site is now much slower than before.
The rule for loading times used to be eight seconds, before users would get bored and give up. Most have relatively fast broadband connections now though, so this is too long to wait.
Indeed, usability guru Jakob Nielsen recently told us that the rule was nearer one second, and should certainly be less than the ten or more it takes to load the Mail.
There is a lot of content, images and adverts on the Mail's homepage which, as with some other news sites, slows the load times down. Perhaps the Mail should consider removing some of these elements and trimming down the page to make it easier for people.
Loading speed aside, the new site is an improvement on the old version. The look of the site has been improved, the new sports sections have much more detail and the navigation works better than before. It's just a pity that it is so cumbersome.