Why Is Weather.com So Slow? Here Are The Reasons

Weather.com, part of The Weather Channel, is one of the oldest and most popular websites for daily weather updates. Since 2016, The Weather Channel has been part of IBM.

A speed report from Lighthouse paints a rather grim picture and scores the Weather.com website 12.3 seconds on the speed index (SI), and 32% on Performance.

There are many reasons why the Weather.com website is so slow. This includes:

  • Bloated JavaScript files
  • Absence of lazyloading
  • Old Image formats
  • Render-blocking resources
  • Slow server
  • Ineffective Caching Policy
  • Duplicate JavaScript modules

Let’s look at each of these reasons and identify potential ways that Weather.com can make its website load faster.

But before we do that, a quick word about our website CWVIQ.com - 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

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

The Weather.com website can be as much as 6.67 seconds faster by adopting this technique.

Absence of lazyloading

Images and videos are by far the most resource-intensive assets and take up a lot of bandwidth during the page-loading process. This can be a real problem on shopping websites since they typically include a lot of graphical content.

But here is the thing – a user who visits the website is not going to need all the images on the page to load. Instead, they only need those images on the top fold of the website to load. The rest can be ‘lazy-loaded’ – that is, they can be loaded after all the other critical components of the webpage have completed loading.

The Weather.com homepage can load as much as 0.54 seconds faster if images were lazyloaded.

Old Image formats

The Weather.com website uses a lot of JPG and PNG files that are considered outdated and heavy for modern web use.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 1.58 seconds from the page loading time.

Render-blocking resources

There are scripts on the Weather.com website that need to run first before they let the rest of the code be executed. The render-blocking resources issue can shave off around 0.15 seconds from the loading time for the Weather.com website.

How do you avoid this? If the script is not critical, avoid having it in the <head> tag of your HTML code. But if you do need to have it there for some reason, make sure to include the defer or async attribute so that they do not block the loading of other resources.

Slow server

According to the Lighthouse report, a slow server may be contributing to nearly 1.76 seconds of additional loading time. In addition to upgrading the server hardware and database systems, Weather.com should also look into the server’s application logic to prepare pages faster.

Ineffective Caching Policy

A website like Weather.com is made of several components, including a lot of images, and other media files. Caching, or storing these components in your local computer, enables your browser to load the website much faster when you come back a second or third time.

With Weather.com however, the cache for most media files clear is deleted every 15 minutes. This means that the website is loaded completely from scratch any time you visit after 15 minutes. Enabling a longer cache period could make loading pages faster and more user-friendly.

Duplicate JavaScript Modules

Weather.com has a number of JavaScript modules that are duplicated within the code. This means that the browser has to read through and parse each of these codes multiple times,thereby expending unnecessary resources. According to the Speed report analysis we did, Weather.comsees an additional delay of 1.05 seconds due to this issue.

I hope you enjoyed this article. While you are here, please take a look at CWVIQ. This is a free email notification tool that monitors your website and alerts you anytime your page slows down.

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