I’m currently investigating different services (Azure, DigitalOcean, Netlify) for our app to check which fits best for our needs. Netlify is kind of my personal preference but it unfortunately lacks in one critical point: the serving of static assets. All of the three competitors have a immediate server response time, but while the others need like avg. 2s to serve all static files, with netlify we have to wait around up to 10s - which is huge!
Altough it’s only our development build at the moment and the js files might get a better compression in the end, I still find that very suspect. In the example I can share with you, the
app.js weights 3.5MB but took 5.88s to fully load.
I also can share a screenshot where I made 10 tests for each service with google pagespeed and come up with this result:
Would be great if you could me help out with this, since it strongly influences our decision making.
My experience, in general, is pretty much the same as yours, Netlify is in general slow, and individual resources will often have an unusual long load time or just flat out fail.
It also, in my experience, seems like a file size is dependent on this. The larger the file, the higher the response time. By that, I don’t mean the natural higher response time a bigger file would create, but it feels like Netlify’s servers are struggling when the files get bigger, maybe a penalty? A queue system that down priortize larger files?
Netlify, unfortuantly, is not something I would use for something “serious” at this point, just general testing when pushing new code gives an abnormal high amount of slow requests, and that’s me alone, from time to time I end up, like you, with 5-15 second load times, and that for a website that’s 300kb large, in total.
I don’t think there is anything you or I can do to remedy this. Netlify is a free service, and the product, servers and service provided reflects that. An alternative, which I havn’t tried, is their Pro membership, giving you their “Edge” nodes at blazing fast speeds (Their words). One would assume it’s much better, but if not, then you, as a paying customer, can at least demand improvements
Thank you for sharing your experience with that!
We definitely are willing to pay for a Pro/Business solution but I’m not aware of the fact that the free version is limited in that sense.
That’s the reason why I opened this issue here: Before we are going to pay for that service, I wanted to know if this issue either exists only in the free version (which would still be strange tbh) of if this is a general thing.
hi to you both! interesting. In general, you should find that netlify delivers exceptionally fast download speeds for small files, that is what our CDN is for. Larger files stream from our origin server, so that is why you do indeed see slower speeds for those assets. And if files aren’t cached, that can also impact performance.
Can you capture a HAR file for us (the request id is a great start, but a HAR file does provide more information) so we can take a closer look?
as far as differences between our Enterprise level CDN and regular CDN are concerned - mostly, the Ent level CDN has more worldwide PoPs. Not sure if this is the reason why you are seeing performance issues - could be, but i’d want to rule out other issues first.
thanks for giving us a chance to look into this - exciting to hear that you prefer netlify generally - lets see if we can figure out how to give you better performance.
Interesting @perry, may I ask, how big can the file be before it’s no longer shared across the CDN network and is just on the origin servers?
to the best of my knowledge, i have heard that the cutoff is around 5mb. If you were interested, you might test it - you could create a test site with different sized files and see how that impacts performance.
Overall speed enhancements for 99% of file types and sizes vs. occasional slower loading for big assets felt like the way to go, and so we made the philosophical decision to strongly target the fastest possible speeds for the common file types in static sites (smaller jpgs, html, txt, md js, png, css files are very rarely over a couple hundred kb, or at least, they shouldn’t be), maybe some fonts, that kind of thing) as there are many places around the web that are a good choice for hosting larger files.
We feel the performance tradeoff is worth it and our customers overwhelmingly agree, but this does mean that larger files that are uncached may seem slower to come over the wire in comparison.
there are other reasons, such as not ideal DNS config that can affect performance, and I do know that sadly traffic from africa does tend to have some routing difficulties we are trying to remediate; but generally speaking, our network is very fast.
Netlify is indeed fast, and just generally awesome, without a doubt.
But, it still has some issues in terms of this specific topic, you mention that Netlify is made to speed up delivery of smaller files, but as we mention, then we often run into issues, on smaller sites, like one of mine that is 300kb in total (Vue), will experience heavy latency and basically spend 5-15 seconds to load.
In my experience, it seems to go up and down, one second it’s super-fast, the next it takes forever. And I’ve just assumed it’s because I/we use the free part of Netlify, and like many other services, get put on different, often over-populated servers.
But if that’s not the case, and Netlify’s paid solution is using the same network with just more pops, then, well… Kind of sad to hear. Hopefully, all of this is also just initial release issues that get fixed over time, after all, Netlify has just gotten started
PS: Netlify is literally advertising better speeds
“The premium network for production, high-performance applications. Experience 30-50% faster response time and more global POPs, backed by a 99.99% uptime SLA. Includes DDoS mitigation and six times the bandwidth as our standard network.”
thank you for the response!
I access the website from germany - hope that’s nothing too special.
So, when I first read your answer yesterday after work I wanted to try that immediately just to see what that HAR files does and I really couldn’t reproduce that case because the page loaded insanely fast. Same just now, I wanted to reproduce that but couldn’t.
That’s why I started doing a new deployment via just merging dependabot stuff. And look: After the deployment the page was very slow again (10s). So I could “finally” create that HAR file for you. Unfortnately I’m now allowed to upload this file here in the reply box, so I can only share a screenshot with you.
So, I’m asking myself: Will that always be a problem after new deployment? I mean I can understand that things needs to be reorganized after a new deployment was made, but I stll find that weird, especially because DO and azure don’t have that sort of issue.
Edit: Just uploaded the HAR file on Google Drive -> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1F2_TNwU5XQklyCC8Jp85ob-HkeXpf5s-/view?usp=sharing
just wanted to ask if there are any news on this topic?
unless i am misunderstanding, what you are describing is the difference in loading time between cached and uncached content? uncached content will always be slower to load, that is correct.