Political Animal


July 31, 2012 4:42 PM Reader Survey

By Ryan Cooper

We’ve been getting some reports from people saying the Monthly website is loading very slowly. If you’ve got a moment, we’d appreciate it if you could tell us in comments or (or via email) how it’s working for you, if it’s changed recently, or any other issues you might be having. Thanks, and as always, we appreciate your reading and commenting.

(And yes, we’re also aware that Captcha is up there with roosters and pandemics on the list of God’s most loathsome creations. We’re working on moving to a new system, but given our budget it’s a slow process, so please bear with us for a moment.)

Ryan Cooper is a National Correspondent at The Week, and a former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @ryanlcooper


  • steve on July 31, 2012 5:03 PM:

    Monthkly loads very slow due to the stupid pop-up that rises fro mthe bottom of the screen. It seems to be causeing issues at opening and closing. IT is stupid because you can click on the box to close it, but since it is moving up from the bottom when you try to click on the close box sometimes you end up hitting the advertisement section rather than the close box and are redirected to some commercial advert.

    Sure we all have to make money, but it has lead me to just closing the complete sight and ignoring monthly for the day, yet I always come back, and yet I hate that damn box.

  • T2 on July 31, 2012 5:05 PM:

    I've not noticed anything bad.

  • Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 31, 2012 5:10 PM:

    The permalink to one story, I think Ed's last for the day, wasn't linking to anything that was there, just an error message.

    ReCAPTCHA is annoying anyway, but it's less annoying when you realize you only have to get one of the words right (the synthetic one, not the one scanned from a book).

  • Fess on July 31, 2012 5:10 PM:

    I'm running Firefox on a MacBook Pro with AdBlock and Ghostery. Everything's fine.

  • johnny canuck on July 31, 2012 5:10 PM:

    No problems in speed of loading. I have given up commenting due to frustration of captcha.

  • Ron Byers on July 31, 2012 5:11 PM:

    You have a problem with one of today's posts that doesn't allow comments. That is why it is showing 0 comments.

  • Solid Sid on July 31, 2012 5:12 PM:

    It loads very slowly and has for at least 4 to 6 weeks...,

  • Fess on July 31, 2012 5:12 PM:

    Johnny - choosing not to comment because Captcha is a pain is much better than being forced to choose between dealing with Facebook (never!) or being barred from expressing an opinion.

  • c u n d gulag on July 31, 2012 5:14 PM:

    Yup - pop-up, slowing things down.

    And, though I'm against torture, but would gladly make and exception in CRAPTCHA's case, why don't you make this quick, and put CRAPTCHA out of OUR MISERY!!!

    Jesus, will going without it kill anyone at WaMo?

    I'll take a battalion of trolls and make-millions-working-from-home "comments," rather than face that miserable, soul-sucking, headache causing, miserable POS for one more second.


    Oh, and while you're at it, fix "Preview" which, not as aggravating as CRAPTCHA, is just as feckin' useless.

    Oh, and since you DIDN'T ask - how about an "Edit" option, for those of us morons who don't realize our mistakes until we see them frozen forever in internet time and space?

    Getting rid of CRAPTCHA, and getting "Edit," would be like Christmas (or whatever religious holiday you may, or may not, observe), and your birthday.

    "NUFF SAID!!!

  • dweb on July 31, 2012 5:16 PM:

    Anything that results in the destruction of Captcha creates a better world for us all. I make it a practice to copy anything I enter initially given the 50-50 chance that Captcha is indecipherable.

  • nadezhda on July 31, 2012 5:16 PM:

    Political Animal has been slowish off and on. Slower on my Kindle (Maxthon browser) than on my Mac (Safari & NetNewsWire). But Ten Miles Square is a regular problem. It sometimes times out on the Kindle and is just generally sluggish.

  • Judith Martinez on July 31, 2012 5:18 PM:

    Pretty much what Steve said(at 5:03). I notice the slowness particularly when I go back from the pages where I read comments to the pages with your Posts.
    I use both Chrome & Maxthon and'f3 Browsers.

  • Martin on July 31, 2012 5:22 PM:

    It was loading very slow this weekend. The banner would come up but they nothing but white. The status bar said it was looking for something, probably an advertiser.
    Using Safari and Firefox

  • audax minor on July 31, 2012 5:31 PM:

    washington monthly has been loading very slowly for the past couple of weeks - some days I've basically given up reading the blog.

  • Gandalf on July 31, 2012 5:32 PM:

    I've got your survey right here!

  • Mitch on July 31, 2012 5:39 PM:

    Sometimes it loads slowly. It does not seem to be directly connected to the slider advertisement or the pop-up window, since those only appear the first time I visit the page each day.

    Usually, if it's slow, I just close my window and check again a few minutes later, and it is fine.

    This happens regardless of which computer I am using (work, home or laptop), so I do believe it is an issue on your side not mine.

    As far as Captcha goes, I have no problem with it. It nearly always works for me the first time. One thing to keep in mind is that if you take a few minutes to type your comment, you should refresh the Captcha before trying to submit. If it's impossible to read, just hit refresh until you get one that you can see.

    If/when you do go to another system please do not attempt to force me to sign up to Facebook or any other outside source. I love WaMo/Political Animal immensely, but that will make me stop visiting.

  • Gary on July 31, 2012 5:42 PM:

    In firefox on Windows , it's fine if I block the pop-up, slow if I don't.

    In IE, it's slow, period. Also I occasionally get a warning from IE that the site wants to load dangerous programs.

  • June on July 31, 2012 5:45 PM:

    The pop-up is what compeletely slows me down. It also prevents me from discreetly logging into Washington Monthly when I don't want to call a lot of attention to what I'm browsing. The main thing I despise about the pop-up, though, is that for some reason it almost always contains some Rove or Koch brothers garbage. So, not only do I have to wait and wait and wait for this noisy ad to pop up, but when it does, it's right-wing junk.

  • exlibra on July 31, 2012 5:48 PM:

    Firefox on i-Mac. No problems (except with Craptcha, of course).

  • John White on July 31, 2012 5:53 PM:

    Noticeably slow lately. This is on an iMac, with Safari or Firefox or Chrome. And I second the motion that the Captcha is unreadable, or very nearly so.

  • schtick on July 31, 2012 5:54 PM:

    Been very slow for me at times with nothing there yet showing as loaded. Sometimes links I try don't work and also a few times I got errors when clicking on the comments. I try later and if it doesn't work, I move on to something else.
    crapcha is just crapcha.

  • TCinLA on July 31, 2012 5:54 PM:

    Way too many ads taking way too long to load, and most particularly that ferschlugginah "drag up" (it definitely doesn't "pop up")ad that comes up out of the lower right screen corner, which takes forever to get to where you can kill it without getting into it, and definitely maddening that it then morphs into a DIFFERENT AD. Either get a server that works like the Maddow Blog server or the TPM server, or reduce the ads. And yes, the pop-up ad is 99% fascist garbage or advertisements for those for-profit "universities" nobody is going to pay any attention to.

    And cut all the wingnut ads, none of their sites take progressive ads and none of us are going to touch them so you aren't getting any "click through" payments anyway.

    AND GET RID OF THE @#$#%$#@!! CAPTCHA!!!!!!!!!!!! it doesn't stop the troll spam ad posts anyway.

  • Geoffrey Morgan on July 31, 2012 6:21 PM:

    On a Windows 7 Box running Chrome on a university hard-line, the site can take up to 30 seconds to load when Javascript is enabled. If Javascript is not enabled, it takes a blink of an eye.

    I'd definitely suggest looking into your JS functionality. Given the other comments, it seems likely there are some bloated resources the page attempts to load before showing anything on the screen.

  • bloomingpol on July 31, 2012 6:26 PM:

    Not having any problems with the site loading. Safari, Snow Leopard, MacBook. Good on my iPhone as well.

  • ron on July 31, 2012 6:39 PM:

    Working just fine. :)

  • citizen_pain on July 31, 2012 6:41 PM:

    This site has always been slow. On a smartphone it's painful. Dump the klunky bell and whistle ads, and get a mobile version going.
    Don't get me started at craptcha.

    Content is great as evidenced by the fact I visit you all everyday.

    My two cents.

  • Anonymous on July 31, 2012 6:46 PM:

    Pretty much what Steve said at the first comment. It loads slowly and has to months but lately it has been loading even slower. And Captcha has gotten nearly impossible to decipher. The problem is that the second word is often a jumble of letters piled on top of each other. Right now it looks like "onA" then maybe a "g" then something that doesn;t even look like a letter followed by an "o" and then a streak that coould be I, l or 1.

  • David on July 31, 2012 6:46 PM:

    Page loads slowly on all platforms. Usually masthead and sidebar will load quickly, content much later (sometimes content doesn't load at all). And yes, that popup needs to go. Also, the window that opens behind the browser when you click on the content is extremely annoying.

  • penalcolony on July 31, 2012 6:51 PM:

    One of the slowest loading sites I visit regularly; has been for a long time now.

  • MuddyLee on July 31, 2012 6:51 PM:

    Using Chrome, Windows XP - other than Capcha haven't seen too many problems. Maybe AVG is blocking some popups? Sometimes there's a reference to a video that I don't see, but I don't usually watch the videos. I like to read. I like this site and have read the Washington Monthly magazine since about 1973 off and on. I worked a few years in the Fed Govt when I was young, and reading the Monthly helped keep me sane (or saner than I would have been anyway).

  • Earl Rose on July 31, 2012 6:53 PM:

    Slow for me on the front page startup.

    Up to date mac with safari browse

  • SBcardinal on July 31, 2012 7:20 PM:

    Slow for some time with masthead loading without content recently. Mac 10.6.8, Firefox 14.0.1.

    Ever since I saw the TED talk about how Captcha is digitizing old book scans, I haven't minded it as much.

  • ericfree on July 31, 2012 7:20 PM:

    Loading on Safari, I've always found it one of the quickest and stablest sites, probably because of the relative paucity of elaborate graphics. Don't like the floating pop-up either, but that's about the worst. I abide Captcha, with reluctance. I usually leave this site up when I put the laptop to sleep. I know it will be there when I wake it up, as opposed to, say, CNN or Huffington Post, which at their worst have been known to crash the browser.

  • CDW on July 31, 2012 7:53 PM:

    I have same problem as sbcardinal. Masthead loads w/o content. PC Firefox 14.0.1 However content catches up fairly quickly.

    I'm thrilled to hear you're moving to a new comment system. I hope it's not facebook.

    You did without captcha a long time. Why not just remove it until you get your new system up. I left WaMo because of it and not that I'm back today, I find it has become impossible to read. Dump it today!

  • Dee on July 31, 2012 8:08 PM:

    Page loading fine for me (NYC).

  • Gary on July 31, 2012 8:12 PM:

    That pop up can be sooo slowww, often seems to temporarily lock up Chrome.

  • NealB on July 31, 2012 8:57 PM:

    Maybe you fixed something since this post? Today is the first day in two to four weeks where Political Animal has been loading slowly. I've figured it's some third-party (advertiser? malicious?)that had its hooks in your web site. But just now, 7:45pm CDT, the site loaded, ads and all, in a reasonable

    (New interesting bug on your site just now though: clicking the Preview button functionality is hosed. It brings up some sort of page that doesn't get the css, and (oddly) the text of my post is truncated to the first 120 or so characters. You need new team of web administrators and developers working on your web site, I think.)

  • Jack Lindahl on July 31, 2012 9:03 PM:

    Page loads slowly on all platforms. Usually masthead and sidebar will load quickly, content much later (sometimes content doesn't load at all). And yes, that popup needs to go. Also, the window that opens behind the browser when you click on the content is extremely annoying.

    Exactly my experience. I emailed the company advertised in the pop-up window and told them that, as the result of their technique, I would never buy their product. They responded by saying it wasn't their fault. And yet it continues ...

  • NealB on July 31, 2012 9:04 PM:

    Another bug: The first graph of my post above should have read: "Maybe you fixed something since this post? Today is the first day in two to four weeks where Political Animal has been loading slowly. I've figured it's some third-party (advertiser? malicious?)that had its hooks in your web site. But just now, 7:45pm CDT, the site loaded, ads and all, in a reasonable [greater-that sign here] 3-4 seconds. Other posters are right though, that the little slide-up at the lower right offering unwanted crap, when you click to close it, launches an uninvited popup window for some other unwanted crap. Still, good on whoever figured out what was causing the slow loads over the past month."

    But the message was truncated at the greater-than sign. Simple fix for that, though, so no biggee.

  • emjayay on July 31, 2012 11:01 PM:

    I don't mind capcha (OK, right now the second "word" is just two half cut off lines of god knows what, but I know how to try another one, and sometimes have to look at 5 or 10 of them to get one that makes any sense). Previously this site was plagued with all kinds of crap pointless sales comments.

    But back in the bad old days the Preview function worked really well. I have bitched over and over about how pointless it now is, but nothing ever changed. No, I'm not going to check it out again since it was a ridiculous disaster area every time I've tried it for a long time.

    As others have commented, WM does sit there with just the header for a while before the rest of it comes up, but I have the economy Verizon "high speed" (just barely) internet connection.

  • JRV on August 01, 2012 12:10 AM:

    Fine on iMac. Utterly sucks on iPad. Very slow load. Floating ad is hard to target. Some days a 5 minute wait for content.

  • Texas Aggie on August 01, 2012 12:47 AM:

    No problems with Safari and Infinitum. There are lots of better options than captcha out there.

  • Crissa on August 01, 2012 2:07 AM:

    It's been very slow, to the point of not loading. Something in the ad roll not responding.

    It's working fine today.

  • Crissa on August 01, 2012 2:22 AM:

    Previous couple articles are coming up 404 even tho they show on the front page...

  • PB on August 01, 2012 7:10 AM:

    Not too slow for me, and I don't mind CAPTCHA, but I'd love to see a mobile version. Kids take my laptop away from me for gaming, and I'm left trying to read Wa. Monthly on an iPod. Painful.

  • Bill K. on August 01, 2012 8:49 AM:

    Works fine most of the time on my laptop (Firefox with Ghostery and AdBlock) although it does load slowly occasionally (not often, but more often than other sites). On my iPhone it is painfully slow most of the time.

  • CharlieM on August 01, 2012 8:52 AM:

    Using Firefox.

    Yup. Lately it loads slowly (sometimes). And sometimes it just doesn't load at all. Firefox reports waiting on some ad server to respond, load, etc.

    And I don't mind captcha too much. Can be a little annoying sometimes. But there are lots of things more annoying than captcha in my life. Not something I get too upset about.

  • Allison on August 01, 2012 9:18 AM:

    Using Firefox, the site is loading very slowly. Didn't used to. My apple seems to be working fine though.

  • Sister Artemis on August 02, 2012 3:42 AM:

    Always a fairly quickly-loading site for me. I come here one to three times a day, so I think I have a fairly well-tested scenario. I use Google Chrome, weed out the side-bar ads and banner-ads with the AdBlock extension. I do load up 5 t0 15 tabs (posts) at a time, which is kind of slow, but when I just load up one at a time, no problem, very quick.

    In firefox, very slow, as are almost all sites, which is why I quit using Firefox.

    Also, like many, I find Captcha more amusing than annoying - I just cycle through till I get one I can read, and usually don't have problems.