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Fast, faster, fuck it

Or: How I stopped worrying about 100x4 and learnet to embrace the bomb(ing on Google).

Google has, next to collecting and monetizing everyone’s life, a habit of educating the web by rewarding good web keeping and punishing the bad. And I am not even mad about that. From forcing ssl-encrypted websites to favoring high-performance ones in its search rankings, slow by slow, it managed to make the HTML-based Internet a better place. At least in that regard.

But this means that we, the web makers, chase the 100x4, those coveted four green rings reading 100 in Google’s Lighthouse:


For me, this means “no web fonts.” Neither my uplink nor the system my website is running on are fast enough to serve the 350k required to load two variable fonts and display them, without dropping from 100x4 to 99:100x3. Additionally, a bit of JavaScript and server-side magic make sure, that screen readers are served a slightly optimized version of each page, adding another short delay. To be clear, combined those two amount to less than 3ms, but that’s enough for Google to be unhappy:


And that’s when I needed to make a decision: return to system fonts and forego the small quality of life changes for screen readers (I know, I need to weave the “aria-role” stuff into the non-reader version as well, just in case someone uses a system I have not covered), or live with 99:100x3.

My decision here is simple: the font I am using has been shown to be better readable by visitors with dyslexia and comprehension difficulties. And screen readers are more important to me than a Page One above the fold SEO. The site is, thanks to not being overstyled, still blazingly fast. And at less than 0.4 seconds, overall load time is the least of a visitor’s concern.

So, yeah, fuck it. Fast is good, faster is great, but readability and accessibility are more important.

98% of my 650-ish daily visitors come from social media and links from other blogs (and the odd Hacker News or Reddit post), Google isn’t even in the picture anymore. Where it is, it is because I write about weird things no one else does. No competition means no worries about 100x4.

I’m just sad, that I probably won’t make it into the smiley-heart-eyes-face on, but alas… them’s the cards.

P.S. Mastodon is atrocious

Mastodon Lighthouse Score
Mastodon Lighthouse Score