Make your web lighter

Looking to instantly speed up the web? Try using lighter versions of popular sites

Tags: Social networkingUnited Arab Emirates
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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  September 15, 2009

There was a time when adding dozens of applications to your Facebook profile was quirky and fun. But as the network steadily grew, apps became more annoying and superfluous, to the point where most of us who have a Facebook profile ignore most requests involving adopting many applications.

This week, Facebook launched a more streamlined version of its social network, which has been designed to load faster and which does away with apps and newsfeeds. Facebook already has mobile versions of its site, which is quite compact, but the Lite version is primarily aimed at those who have slow internet connections.

However, I think that Lite is ideal for quickly checking your profile even if you have a fast internet connection. After having used it (on a relatively fast internet connection), I found its user interface easy and fast to use, as it is simple to navigate around and quite clean in its look. Its core functionality is also exactly the same as the main site.

It strips away a lot of the unnecessary features that populate the site, but Facebook Lite is not the only site to offer more stripped down and faster web surfing.

The likes of Twitter, Google, Bing, MySpace and Wikipedia also have versions of their sites that are geared towards mobile handset users, but which can obviously be accessed with any browser on any computer or laptop. These mobile versions often strip away elements on traditional web pages that take longer to load such as larger images, certain design elements and unnecessary links.

I find it quite fun and even useful to be able to browse these sites on a relatively fast internet connection with a laptop or desktop. Google's mobile site, for instance, presents one with a miniature search bar (quite a contrast to the main Google landing page, which has had its search bar increased in size in recent times).

In the light of Facebook launching a lighter version of its site, here's a list of some of some mobile or lighter versions of popular sites that you can use to instantly speed up your browsing experience:

Twitter: http://m.twitter.com

Google: http://www.google.com/m

Bing: http://m.bing.com/

Wikipedia:  http://mobile.wikipedia.org

Gmail: http://m.gmail.com

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