At DiversDirect, I ran into a load of issues with website QA because of my browser plugins. Took me a LONG time to figure out the cause — my extensions were throttling page performance. A lot.
Ultimately I wound up uninstalling them and doing all my QA in a Chrome incognito window (as well as naked installs of Firefox and Edge). This reduced page load time 30-50% — from Crisis! to Needs improvement. I only wish we could struggle out of Needs improvement into Fast.
So I wasn’t terribly surprised when I saw the insane impact so many Chrome extensions have on performance (via Hacker Newsletter). I had quite a few of the worst offenders installed on my workstation:
- ColorPick Eyedropper
- Dashlane (hate it, required for work)
- Evernote web clipper
- LastPass (for personal password management)
- Selenium IDE
One of the extensions — not sure which — delayed user interaction by a full five seconds after all the site content was loaded. WTF?
Lesson learned! Now I have a much leaner set of extensions.
Here’s the take-away: when you’re doing QA or UAT in staging or production, make sure your extensions aren’t causing problems. Otherwise you’ll give yourself, and your dev team, massive headaches.