Continuing the discussion from Fonts for Buddhism:
I just tested SC at dotcom-monitor which gives results from multiple countries. China is way out there, 40-50 seconds to load. On inspection it seems it is blocking resources from google domains, even benign things like jQuery or the font loader.
Update: I just tested staging on dotcom-monitor, and the difference is astonishing. Basically staging loads in China in about 2 seconds, pretty much the same as anywhere else. The main site takes nearly 50 seconds. The difference is entirely with one file: jquery. For some reason on the main site this served from ajax.googleapis.com, whereas on staging it’s served from cloudflare. Regardless of any other changes, we should fix this right away.
@blake, this seems like a serious issue that will majorly impact our users in mainland China. Can you check it out? It seems we should probably avoid serving anything from a google domain.
It seems to me that, regardless of the technical merits of one case or the other, the likelihood is that governments like China, and probably others, will do sporadic, unpredictable, and semi-rational stuff like this, so future-proofing by staying away from google’s servers seems like a prudent policy.
Curiously enough, Google Analytics is the only google service that’s not blocked (or is it? see below). Why they see fit to block fonts but not a service whose whole point is to track usage, I cannot say. In any case, as I’ve said before, i’d rather get rid of Google analytics anyway.
Note that this applies to maps, too, so our our lovely map of early Buddhism will be borked in China. Since it’s not an essential feature, probably no need to try to fix it, but it would be nice if at least it didn’t block the page.
Meanwhile, this article gives some nice tips for the web in China.
- Using a .cn domain is a good way to get better rankings on Baidu.
- Commenters have had mixed experience with Google Analytics, but at least some people have problems some of the time.
- Some people say using maps.google.cn works.
- According to one commenter: “forget about cloudflare. The great fire wall hates cloudflare. It’s a sure-fire way to slow down your website 10x.” However, Cloudflare is aware of the issues and has partnered with Baidu to provide China services: https://www.cloudflare.com/china/ Also see above, where the cloudflare jquery works fine.
- Similar problems exist elsewhere; Iran is often cited.