Not All Browsers Are the Same
Chrome is known to consume large amounts of computer memory. Given the high usage of the Chrome browser for BlueVolt, let’s take a closer look at Chrome’s weaknesses and offer some best practices on adjusting your browser settings for a better experience navigating the site.
Chrome Memory Issues
The majority of BlueVolt users navigate the site using Chrome as their browser of choice (Figure 1). Yet, from actual site performance data, not all browsers−or even different versions of the same browser−will have the same experience on BlueVolt (Figure 2).
These differences in browser experience and performance are directly related to the way your browser uses the capabilities of the computer or device you are using.
Figure 1: BlueVolt Browser Breakdown
Five tips for improving your Chrome browsing experience on the BlueVolt LMS
Tip 1: Consider shutting down any unnecessary browser tabs or browser windows.
Chrome will store a separate set of memory for each tab open on your browser, then guess on the next page it expects you to click. It will try to pre-store information about this best guess that will use up available memory on your device.
Figure 2: Memory Usage By Browser
All this guesswork allows Chrome to offer you better stability and faster speeds. However, when your system becomes limited in available memory, the browser’s best intentions quickly start working against you by degrading your experience as you traverse each page.
Figure 3: Response Time by Browser Version
Tip 2: Consider shutting off Chrome extensions or plugins if your website experience is poor.
There are extensions and plugins you may have added into your browser. If they are allowed to activate on all sites, they can hog memory on every open tab and browser window and possibly get in the way of the actual functions of each site.
There are Extension Managers available for Chrome which can help you get better oversight as to what plugins are installed and trying to run across various websites.
Tip 3: Adjust your Chrome flags to get a better website experience.
If you are feeling adventurous, then Chrome has a neat feature called "flags" you can play with to better control your browser’s behavior. Many of these features are experimental but can significantly improve your browsing experience. Simply type “chrome://flags” into your browser and search for available features.
At the time of this writing, for example, Chrome allows settings to reduce memory consumption of tabs not actively being used. These features do change as you upgrade your Chrome browser version, so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for what may be available if you are experiencing a problem.
Tip 4: Via Chrome Task Manager, close out all unused Chrome tasks that are using high amounts of memory.
You can also always look at whether Chrome processes are contributing to your performance issues. You can easily navigate to the Chrome Task Manager by following the steps in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Chrome Task Manager
Figure 5 then has an example of the memory consumption of the various open tabs and browsers on your computer. In the example below, you can see that the BlueVolt Volt Land University is not using much more memory than a blank Chrome page, but another tab is using the double of that memory consumption. You can choose to shut down any high memory tabs by clicking on that row and then clicking the “End Process” button.
Figure 5: Chrome Task Manager Tasks
Tip 5: Clear out the data or cache of just one web page to avoid impacting your experience across other websites.
Browsers often store pictures and other website elements on your computer to improve your overall web experience. BlueVolt attempts to do the same, which in the majority of cases should give you a smoother experience. However, there are instances where the cache can get into a bad state and cause a bad experience.
Clearing your cache and data across all pages can be a painful choice because it can cause you to get logged out across many different sites at once. You can clear the cache and data of just one web page at a time in Chrome, which will make your choice and experience a more pleasant one should you face this situation.
In your Chrome browser window, simply type the following into the address space: Chrome://settings/content/all
Figure 6 shows how you can then narrow in on any particular website, including BlueVolt, where you can then clear the data of just that web page without impacting your experience across all of the other web pages you may be interacting with.
Figure 6: Chrome Cache Management
As you can see, your browser choice can have a direct impact on your web browsing experience, but there are ways you can take back control.
- Tip 1: Consider shutting down any unnecessary browser tabs or browser windows.
- Tip 2: Consider shutting off Chrome extensions or plugins if your website experience is poor.
- Tip 3: Adjust your Chrome flags to get a better website experience.
- Tip 4: Via Chrome Task Manager, close out all unused Chrome tasks that are using high amounts of memory.
- Tip 5: Clear out the data or cache of just one web page to avoid impacting your experience across other websites.