Is Safari just a pain in the neck?

Over the years I’ve tried several browsers and always gone back to Safari, but since starting to work on Rapidweaver sites I am slowly coming to the conclusion that Safari is a pain in the neck with it’s sticky cache and at times it doesn’t seem to matter how often you empty a cache.

I’ve been making frequent updates to a site recently as it nears completion and noticed some incredibly slow page loading as though Safari is negotiating for several seconds before it decides to start loading. I see no such slowness in Firefox or Chrome, so I began to think if it might be something on my site that Safari is struggling to render but now I’m just wondering if Safari is a web designer’s nightmare for testing and viewing site changes.

Any thoughts from others on this subject?

Every browser has its quirks. I try not to get too married to any one of them – supporting them all equally is the most important feature of a great web site. Every user has their favorite for whatever reason – and respecting a user’s choice is more important that expressing my own opinion.

that said, i do have opinions:

  • i like chrome for speed. i dislike it for security (it comes with flash integrated and has too many features designed to phone home your data to the big G).
  • i like safari’s debugger, automatic de-uglifying of JS is great and breakpoints work a lot better imho
  • the new edge browser is crazy fast – but probably because it’s missing some bits of html5/css3
  • i am not sure why any sane person would choose to use firefox or internet explorer – they are both slow, buggy, and feature poor – it’s all fail all the way down with those two. :wink:


Chrome does not recognize MOV files and Chrome for IOS makes my site look weird as it does not play nicely with UsefulGrid Stack. When I’m testing my site on Safari I set Disable Cache and find this seems to work. I like the Developer tools in Safari too, much easier to use than FireFox.

Ashleykaryl I would be interested to hear if disabling the Cache works for your issues with Safari.

My favorite browser for everyday use is by far Firefox. There are several addons I use that make it the best tool for me. I am surprised that people find it so slow because It seems to run pretty fast for me. I am involved in a few forums where many members seem to prefer Firefox. I refuse to use any Google product as I believe they are a very evil company.

Very soon Apple is going to be handing Google a wallet punch. Stay tuned…

FYI… a side by side test of browsers.

This article put me off on installing Chrome:

The first paragraph:
Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.

That’s scary stuff with Chrome on the privacy side and as for the Apple development I think I picked up on that in my web stats a while back.

This is a video of how my site typically opens on Safari with my 76mbps connection but sometimes it’s worse and disabling the cache does nothing to help.

I’ve now added Chrome below Safari on that link for comparison sake.

I have taken Google off the list of my software makers some time ago – for the reasons cited above and some. I even started using Bing for searching the web…

Firefox? I’ve never been very excited about that browser.

Safari still is the king in my book.

FWIW @ashleykaryl We were just bumped “up” to 47Mbps here in Hawaii, and your site opens significantly faster for me than what I see in your video. With the pause at the beginning, are you sure that the delay isn’t related to DNS? Have you checked what happens when you enter the IP address of your server instead of the URL?

hmmm… wonder what is causing that slowdown. it’s almost like looking for a needle in a haystack. :wink:

(fyi: it’s thousands of js timers and massive dom painting and repainting – don’t know why that’s happening, but it is – actually enough to cash the js profiler – impressive!!! never seen that before – i bet you could find that needle if you just… well, you know :wink: )


Your site takes less than 2 seconds to load on Safari.

@colorwave If it was related to DNS wouldn’t it be slow in other browsers as well? That domain has been online for many months and there are no DNS warnings if I check that. My server IP is a bit muddled because I am also using CloudFlare. I ran a dig + trace from the terminal and it all looks correct.

I’ve cleared the cache, flushed the DNS and all sorts but Safari here is just dog slow on that site for me, though it would only really be of concern if others were also seeing that kind of delay and @britinusa seems to be seeing faster results.

The part I find annoying is that Safari has me running around searching for the proverbial needles and wasting time on the the server or site where there may be nothing wrong.

I ran a speed check this morning on Pingdom in Sweden and I score pretty well considering it’s an image heavy site at retina resolution.

@ashleykaryl You are willing to settle for just being in the top 1%? Slacker.

Here is what I was alluding to regarding DNS, mainly because it sounds like your results are atypical and it might explain the difference.

@colorwave You wouldn’t believe how much effort has gone into tweaking the performance, though certain things are beyond my control.

I’ll have a look at this prefetching issue though it doesn’t affect Chrome like this whether enabled or not. This slowness I am seeing in Safari is something that crept in a few weeks ago and it was fine before that, though issues from the sticky cache leading to a lot of head scratching have been common from the start.

@ashleykaryl the profiler in chrome and safari showed huge numbers of js timers and dom re-paints – like hundreds – the vast majority of the load time. I don’t know if those are a symptom of the real problem or they’re the problem itself (too much hay) but they’re definitely unusual – a good place to start looking.

I think there are several things you can eliminate right off the bat:

  1. it’s not the resources on the page. Even over my 1Gb connection the page still takes 4.5 seconds to load.

  2. even with the all the resources and dns cached, the page still takes almost 3 seconds to load.

  3. the fact that the behavior is so markedly different between safari and chrome is a good hint that JS is probably the needle you’re looking for.

Looking at the profiler i can see out at 4.5 seconds rocket fires (yet another) js event, this causes the dom to again repaint and triggers several other scripts within foundation to do their thing.

If I had to make a guess at where the needle is in that haystack, i’d say it’s that you have a few JS functions fighting on that page. But that’s just a guess – can’t know for sure with all that hay in the way.


@Isiah I am surprised it is taking so long to load for you on such a fast connection and as you could see from my video it’s opens more quickly for me than that on Chrome but location can also be a factor.

When I first started with CloudFlare activating the Rocket Loader made my site notably faster but I am wondering now if something has changed recently that could have made it counterproductive with Safari at least. I’ve just turned it off now and in the very quick tests I ran it seemed faster in Safari but I shall test this again later because this slowness has not always been consistent just to add a little more hay into the mix.

Take another look at and scroll down to the third video, which is Safari now that I have switched off Rocket Loader.