Why Publishers Don’t Care (Yet) That the Mobile Web is so Awful
Peter Rojas
977

Can publishers handle the technical challenges of the web?

Great article Peter, thank you.

Right now a publisher doesn’t just have to develop and publish content. They have to develop the web site. They have to host it. They have to figure out tracking and advertising. And, increasingly, they have to worry about performance. That’s got to cost a lot.

You say publishers don’t care and I’m sure that’s true of many. But even those that do care have a hard time making their sites fast enough. Fast web sites are hard.

If Instant Articles and their ilk mean publishers can ditch all that worry and focus on the articles, won’t that be good for business?

To ‘save the web’ we need more intelligent browsers. Browsers that don’t need mountains of CSS and font downloads to make a simple text as readable as a Medium article. Browsers that make it easier rather than harder for publishers to make a living: if we’re going to be tracked, why make each web site create tricks for tracking, when the browser could do it so easily?

The Web was originally a document viewer. Write a bit of text, mark it up, and put it on a server. The browser figures out how to display it. But on the modern web just creating a simple, readable document and hosting it is a major hassle: you have to write an app in HTML, CSS, and Javascript to contain the article — and then worry about how to get all that cruft down the pipe quickly without your server falling over.

A lot of the display, app and advertising logic could move to the browser, making web pages simple again.

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