Animations and Site Performance

Big fan of the site and I check it almost every day. I’ve looked through the posts in the Site Feedback section and didn’t see anything which discusses this topic.

The site places a heavy load on my computer’s CPU. When I come to the site’s homepage, within a few seconds my laptop’s fans start going full blast and I can feel it getting hotter. When I leave the site, the fans wind back down again. Activity Monitor confirms that the CPU is working hard when I’m on the homepage. This is an issue on both my MacBook and my Chromebook. (The site will actually make my old MacBook Pro with a worn-out battery shut down within a few seconds of opening the site because of the load.)

I’m 99% sure that this issue is related to the “animations” on the site, that is the pulsing glow on the icons and the zoom-in/out on the “Top Rated Stories” and “Stories from the Archives” boxes.

Seems highly unlikely that I would be the only person with this issue. Does anyone else experience this? If so, would Martin perhaps considering a less resource-intensive solution?

Thanks and keep up the good work running the site!

I hadn’t noticed it until now, but you’re right, the site does cause a moderate CPU usage spike whenever I’m on that tab. As soon as I switch away to a different tab, or click on a story, it’s fine.

It’s definitely the animations, because if I go to a page with only the top animations and no flashing story icons, like this one (at least as of this message), the CPU usage is higher at first, but then if I scroll down and back up again, the animation stops and usage drops accordingly.

Some browsers or systems seems to be susceptible to CSS based animations. Usually the workload should be offloaded to the graphic card.

Still, the animation is stuttering heavily on my old iPad Air 2 as well. While it’s completely smooth on my new Android tablet and phone.

I don’t want to lose the animations entirely, but I’m considering adding an option, which will disable the pulsing rating icons. That should help a lot on the systems that are struggling with this.

Thanks for taking my concern seriously. An option to disable would definitely be a good solution. Otherwise, maybe you could consider switching to a static glowing appearance, without an animation, when emphasis is needed?

BTW, my computer which heats up on your site is a brand new 2018 MacBook Air.

Wow. Can you try another browser? Just curious.

I’ve already decided to create an option just like you described: Using static glowing rating icons.

OP here. Tried it in Safari and it’s not as bad as Chrome but it definitely still puts a heavy load on my CPU. The glowing animations on the icons were choppy.

Thanks again for discussing this issue!

You might try the new option I’ve recently added to the Theme menu: ‘Disable Pulsing’.

That should be helpful for you and anybody else whose system struggles with the site.

I think I like the idea and need to figure it out…