Using SVG as image placeholders

Two SVG-based placeholders composed of polygons in the rough shape of of a photo of a person. The first placeholder is very abstract with few polygons, while the second contains more polygons and looks closer to the real photo.

I’m passionate about image performance optimisation and making images load fast on the web. One of the most interesting areas of exploration is placeholders: what to show when the image hasn’t loaded yet.

During the last days I have come across some loading techniques that use SVG, and I would like to describe them in this post.


Browsersync - Time-saving synchronised browser testing

Your indispensable test assistant.

With each web page, device and browser, testing time grows exponentially. From live reloads to URL pushing, form replication to click mirroring, Browsersync cuts out repetitive manual tasks. It’s like an extra pair of hands. Customise an array of sync settings from the UI or command line to create a personalised test environment. Need more control? Browsersync is easily integrated with your web platform, build tools, and other Node.js projects.


Duoload: Simplest website load comparison tool, ever

A screenshot of the Duoload interface, with two websites in iframes side by side.

This is pretty excellent tool. (Note that it cannot be used on sites that disable iframe embedding, however.)

Today I needed a quick tool to compare the loading progression (not just loading time, but also incremental rendering) of two websites, one remote and one in my localhost. Just have them side by side and see how they load relative to each other. Maybe even record the result on video and study it afterwards. That’s all. No special features, no analysis, no stats.

Tags: A basic functionality Readability almost-clone

A basic functionality [Readability] almost-clone. This service will try to search for the body of the content to a URL, and represent it stripped back and with minimal styling.


Send your URL to via a query string, and so long as the URL is publically available (i.e. not behind login), then the page can be re-rendered:

The page will be cached for a period of time, so subsequent requests will be faster.

Usage with private URLs

You can POST a body to the service and it will give you a hashed URL to redirect to. For example:


const xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();'POST', '');
xhr.setRequestHeader('content-type', 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded');
xhr.setRequestHeader('referrer', window.location);
xhr.onload = () => {
  const res = JSON.parse(xhr.response);
  window.location = `${res.url}`;

Issues & feedback

All feedback, suggestions, pull requests to github (please):

MIT Licensed