I’ve been a longtime holdout. I think it’s important for Web sites to be able to support themselves with ads. So I’ve resisted using ad blocking software for years.
But recently, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend: Web pages have been taking longer and longer to load because the ads were taking a long time to load. You go to a web page, and the page stops loading before there’s any content. Finally, slowly, an ad appears, and then the rest of the page fills in in half a second. The ads were stalling the page.
Even worse for the advertisers, you can’t even see the ads while the page is stalled. It’s not that advertisers are deliberately slowing page loading so we spend more time looking at the ads, it’s that the advertisers are too cheap to develop content that loads quickly.
A few days ago, I got fed up, and finally I installed AdBlock Plus on Firefox. Now nearly every page loads in a second or two. Only rarely do I see delays. I didn’t mind seeing the ads in the margin as I did my daily web surfing; I just didn’t like them slowing me down. I even used to click on an ad if it was marketing a product I was interested in. But no more. Until the ad companies can figure out how to deliver the ads without crippling my browser, I’m going to keep running AdBlock.