Why Is Barnes & Noble Website So Slow? Here Are The Reasons

Barnes & Noble is the largest bookseller in the United States, operating over 614 stores across the country. Its subsidiaries include the website, SparkNotes, and Funcoland.

A speed report from Lighthouse paints a rather grim picture and scores Barnes & Noble website 13.4 seconds on the speed index (SI), and 60 on Performance.

There are many reasons why the Barnes & Noble website is so slow. This includes:

  • Bloated JavaScript files
  • Unused CSS files
  • Unnecessarily large image files
  • Old Image formats
  • Large DOM size

Let’s look at each of these reasons and identify potential ways that Barnes & Noble can make their website load faster.

But before we do that, a quick word about our website - we are a free email alert service that sends out notification any time your website is loading very slowly (often due to heavy traffic, or poor scripts). If you have a website, consider setting up an alert so that you can fix issues before they become major. 

Bloated JavaScript files

Barnes & Noble uses a lot of JavaScript to run the website. However, loading them all from one source could slow up the performance of the website. Barnes & Noble can avoid this by splitting the code into smaller files. This way, you only load files that are necessary.

The Barnes & Noble website can be as much as 7.9 seconds faster by adopting this technique.

Unused CSS files

Barnes & Noble uses CSS files to load the styling elements for the website. However, this file contains a lot of unused scripts that can be slowing down page loading by as much as 1.8 seconds. Code splitting may help avoid this issue.

Unnecessarily large image files

Another common problem that users face – especially when they access the website while on the move – is having to load unnecessarily large image files that are not optimized for the mobile phone. Not everyone has access to WiFi at all times. Loading oversized product images is unnecessary.

According to the Lighthouse estimate, Barnes & Noble website homepage can load 0.9 seconds faster if it made all the images more cellular-data-friendly.

Old Image formats

The Barnes & Noble website uses a lot of JPG and PNG files that are considered outdated and heavy for modern web use. Replacing them with WebP and AVIF files can save as much as 2.37 seconds from the page loading time.

Large DOM size

The Barnes & Noble website takes close to 21.5 seconds to evaluate all the scripts, parse them, compile, and render them. This can be minimized by minimizing the main-thread work.

They may also look at reducing the number of nodes in the DOM. In simpler terms, you need to make sure that the main HTML code is smaller and has fewer nodes. I have explained this in greater detail in this article about DOMContentLoaded.

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