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Ten-Ton Widgets

At a recent conference talk (sorry, I forget which one), there was a quick example of poor web performance in the form of a third-party widget. The example showed a site that installed the widget in order to add a "email us" button fixed to the bottom right of the viewport. Not even a live-chat widget — just an email thing. It weighed in at something like 470KB, which is straight bananas.

Just in case you are someone who feels trapped into using a ten-ton widget because you aren't yet sure how to replicate the same functionality, I've prepared a small chunk of HTML for you.

It's 602 Bytes, or about 1/10th of 1% of the size of that other widget — with nothing to download, parse or render block.

See the Pen
Mailto Fixed Postion Widget
by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier)
on CodePen.

Perhaps on your own site, you'd move the styles out to your stylesheet and add in some hover and focus styles.

It's not that third-party JavaScript has to be bad. It just has a habit of being bad.

My friend Richard showed me a new product he built called Surfacer. It's like an RSS widget that you can put anywhere.

See the Pen
Surfacer
by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier)
on CodePen.

That's a 773 Byte JavaScript file that does a 3.5KB Ajax request for data, and you'd place it at the end of the document to avoid any render-blocking. It would be nice to see more of this kind of thing.

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