What Living with Incredibly Slow Internet has Taught MeWritten by Jeffrey Bennett
Like many things in life, there are both good and bad sides. The same is true with the *very* slow internet in the Philippines.
Just to give you an example of the speed I’m talking about here, it’s not incredibly uncommon for me to have to try for half an hour and use 25% of my iPhone battery just to load a single piece of text.
I’m not even including the webpage interface in that time. I’m talking plain text content from the installed Twitter, Facebook/Messenger, and WhatsApp apps on my iPhone.
Aside from testing my patience, there are actually some good things that have come from this experience.
As someone who works exclusively online, this really required me to make some pretty big changes.
The biggest one being to my development workflow.
Because I can no longer reliably update a remote server, I am forced to bring all of my files to my laptop and work in a server-like environment, often completely isolated from the internet.
This may seem bad, but the truth is, now I am able to produce better quality results, faster.
In some older projects, my workflow required waiting on a network in real-time to deliver any changes. This caused seconds of delays here and there that added up to minutes, hours, etc. over the course of a project.
Now these changes are updated instantly. Repeat after me:
“There’s no place like localhost.” — Dorothy
OK, I may be paraphrasing a little bit… 😜
Another good thing is that now, I am forced to reduce the size of my webpages more than ever before.
And when a page I’ve built loads fast over this slow internet connection, I know it’s going to be craaaazy fast for the rest of the world!
I’m really proud to say that the heaviest page on my blog — weighing in at over 15.3MB from assets and a video — loads in around 1/4th of 1 second on a 5 Mbps connection. See the actual test results.
Admittedly, that page doesn’t request all of the content up front. It requests most content only when absolutely necessary. The vast majority of sites don’t do this, however.