Detecting connection speed / light version ofsites

29 Apr 2009 - 11:38am
282 reads
Sarah Kampman
2008

Though it's light on implementation, I hope this idea is useful. I
haven't actually implemented it, so I'll be interested to learn if
others see pitfalls.

I think the issue isn't dialup vs. broadband, it's simply speed of
rendering; even broadband connections can be slow at times. Therefore, I
wouldn't be inclined to do client detection -- I'd plan for all users to
get the same opt-out from the rich UI.

I don't have implementation details, but I know that it's possible to
render some text before the rest of the content. Yours could say
something like, "Loading too slow? Click here to use the lightweight
version of Vanguard.com" and then disappear once all items on the page
are rendered.

There are some nice JS display techniques (e.g., see jQuery) that would
allow you to slide the message down and then back up again gracefully,
so that the rest of the screen doesn't jump around. You could also add a
short delay that covers a typical broadband user's render time, so that
they only see it when the page is loading slowly.

-Sarah

-----Original Message-----
Thanks to everyone who suggested Speakeasy's speed test and the
speedtest.net site... but these solutions appear to tell me-the-user
what
the connection speed of my computer is. I'm looking for a script or
code
that we-the-developers can put on our pages to detect the speed at which
our users are connecting to our servers, so we can redirect slow
connections to lighter weight pages.

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