Top External Widgets that kill your website

Venura9’s blog which is runing on wordpress started getting slow all of a sudden and I was digging all over the internet to find solutions. Most of the time the contents do appear reasonalbaly quickly  yet the page is not loaded completely.

If you are not aware, Google actually considers the loading time of a website as a page rank parameter. The accepted value is only known by the Google Crawler only. So lower the loading time the higher chance of getting a better page rank.

So the first thing I did was blaming the webhost as any of us would do because they do have the effect most of the time when you are using shared hosting. But thinking rationally there are many things you can do to improve. So the first step was to do a all-round WordPress optimization which gave me about 1 to 2 second improvement yet I had about 10 more seconds to reduce unfortunately. Google Digging strted and actually I found-out that google who ranks website on speed actually is one of the number one speed killers and the social widgets and commenting platforms not far behind.

So I decided to do my own analysis. For this analysis I used the Inspect Element (Inspect Element -> Network)feature which is available with Google Chrome, which lists down the loaded elements with the time taken.

Here goes the top list and the remedies I have taken to resolve that. Of course you can’t take off everything but you need to strike a balance.

  1. Google Custom Search:
    I did not enjoy the way the WordPress search appeared on my current template eating up most of the space, so I moved to google’s custom search to save space and because of the nice comprehensive inline results. yet I figured out that this is the biggets killer unfortunately. So back to HTML/CSS/JavaScript to develop my own version of the customized WordPress search which loads in milliseconds.

    If you do not have the programming skills better to stick with the standard search I guess.

    Bing has a better custom search in terms of load-time but does not cover the entire blog results like the google custom search, had Bing Copied Google on this area I would have definitely gone with Bing 😛

  2. Facebook Like Box:
  3. This is the nice looking Facebook Like Box which shows the followers of a page and the like option which was making the site very slow, I guess too many are using this and too many content is being passed over the internet from these servers making access very slow. There is an alternative method I found playing with the standard Facebook Like Button fetaure where you have on individual pages to like them. I used the URL of the facebook page with that wollah you have all the likes appearing with that also. You customize this to show the faces of the people who have liked, so for me it looks better than the previous one and loads much faster.

  4. DISQUS Comments:
  5. After staying behind on these social commneting platforms for a long time I also moved to this mode to get the better commenting system which was in the third place contributing to the increased loadtime. I did some tweaks to not load all the fancy fetures available (such as liking every comment) even now this is one of the main contributors to the loadtime, yet for me the better user experience is greater than the effect of the loadtime in this case.

  6. Google Analytics:
  7. This is something I could not take off even though is has a contribution as this has a bigger benefet compared to the loadtime. This delay is not always visible yet on my Google Chrome sometimes takes a noticable time to load the analytics script.

  8. Google Adsence:
  9. Adsence script is also taking a long time to load in patches, just like the Google Analytics script and like Analytics can not be taken off 🙂

  10. Twitter Widget/Other DISQUES widgets:
  11. Twitter widget is suprisingly does not take a longtime compared to the others to load and it is sitting in sismilar speeds with the other small DISQUES widgets like the popular posts widget.

Mashable Vs Venura9

mashable_load_time
Mashable - Click the image to View Full Image
venura9_load_time
Venura9 - Click the image to View Full Image

2 thoughts on “Top External Widgets that kill your website

    1. It’s up to you to decide on what to keep and what to take off, I have collected the complete list. Just because the widget is slowing up the website it does not men that you have to take that off. If so you can not have any widget on a website as anyway they have some effect to the load time. You need to strike a balance. Refer what I have documented under that point 🙂

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