Do not use CSS gradient with Chrome

Some Reddit users reported my website was really long to load and to scroll. They thinks it was because of the ‘1px shadow’ I apply on all the text. I was a bit surprised, because I make some test into a really slow virtual machine. And all have always worked fine. In fact, what slow down so much are by order of importance:

  1. Radial gradient on Chrome (not in Safari on Mac)
  2. Box shadows on Firefox and Chrome

Gradient

On Safari on Mac there is absolutely no rendering time problem. But when I use Chrome under Linux it is almost unusable.

Safari and Chrome use webkit, when you access my website with javascript enabled, an additionnal browser specific CSS is loaded. Until now I switched only between: IE, Mozilla and Webkit. Now I added one more special case for Chrome. Now I continue to use gradient for Safari but no more on Chrome.

I didn’t tried to verify the efficiency of all new CSS 3 features. But I advise you not to use -webkit-gradient on Chrome. At least when the host is a Linux.

Box Shadows

I also detected that -moz-box-shadow elements slow down the rendering on Firefox under Linux. But there was very few time rendering issue with Safari on Mac.

Text Shadows

Many tell me to use text-shadows sparingly. But I believe it was not the real reason of the slow down. This is why I’ll get them back.

Conclusion

Do not use -webkit-gradient on Chrome browser yet. Try to use -moz-box-shadow sparingly.

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Published on 2010-07-07
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Yann Esposito©
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