Even popular offsite widgets can slow down or hang your web pages. Learn how to localize offsite resources to improve web page performance.
Ann Arbor, Michigan (PRWEB) November 30, 2012
Website Optimization is announcing its new "speed tweak" article illustrating how to speed up web pages and save bandwidth by “localizing” popular offsite widgets which often slow down or hang web pages. Discover how to localize offsite resources to improve web page performance.
What is a Widget?
The Problem with Widgets
See Figure 1: Slow Time to First Byte Example
Even popular widgets can have negative effects on website performance. Google Analytics is widely used to track statistics about websites (formerly Urchin). On Thanksgiving weekend of 2012, a popular website for computers and laptops suffered because Google was slow that day (Sunday, November 24, 2012, see Figure 2). When configuring a popular Lenovo laptop (Thinkpad X230) Lenovo.com served up a page that hung for more than a minute, waiting for Google to deliver its payload to Lenovo.com.
See Figure 2: Lenovo.com Waiting for Google.com
Another Cyber Monday Example of Slow External Resources
Another example is PC Magazine. Searching for the top 100 websites, the page was delayed while waiting for an external server to deliver a programming API (see Figure 3).
See Figure 3: PCMag.com Waiting for api.recaptcha.net
To be fair this behavior tends to happen on busy online shopping days like Cyber-monday, Black Friday, and the week before Christmas, but this third-party slowdown can happen at any time.
How to Combat Widgetitus
Many of these external resource delays are preventable. The solution is to periodically cache the resource locally on the website's server and serve it locally. You can use a CRON script to periodically copy the external resource over to the server. Here are some techniques you can use to minimize widget overhead.
- Cache the remote resource locally (CRON to copy periodically)
- Load the resource in an iFrame to decouple the script from your page loads
External widgets can cause indeterminate delays of web pages, which can reduce response time consistency. If users cannot rely on consistent performance of a web site, they are more likely to go elsewhere. To improve attunability, localize external resources to reduce reliance on third-party servers.
Designing for Delay in Interactive Information Retrieval
Chris Roast, Interacting with Computers 10 (1998): 87-104. Introduced the notion of attunability. Consistency in response rates is important for user satisfaction.
Diagnosing Slow Web Servers with Time to First Byte
Slow web servers can be caused by a number of factors. Test for slow server response times with the time time to first byte metric.
Google Analytics Is Installed On More Than 10 Million Websites
Google's own conservative estimate of the number of sites using Google analytics is over 10 million sites as of April 2012. Marketing Land, Nov. 25, 2012 accessed.
Speed Optimizing Google Analytics
Learn how to speed up web pages that use Google Analytics with a few simple changes, while maintaining its advantages for faster-loading sites.
About Website Optimization:
Website Optimization provides services and techniques to improve web site performance: boosting search engine visibility for more traffic, increasing conversion rates to maximize leads and profits, revving up site speed to retain users.
Andy King’s new book titled “Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets” offers a comprehensive set of techniques you can use to improve web site performance including boosting search engine visibility for more traffic, and increasing website conversion rates to maximize sales, leads and profits. http://www.WebSiteOptimization.com/