Did you know that plugins and scripts can slow your sites down by over 300%? We recently discovered this when we analyzed a slow loading site from our new cluster in Australia!
When you add a plugin or 3rd party script on your WordPress site, whether it be a Google Analytics tag or a Facebook Like button, it directly impacts your load time. I’ve seen a lot of people get frustrated with their WordPress load times over the years and it all (generally) is a result of loading 3rd party assets (unless they just have poor WordPress hosting).
These problems are most commonly seen with advertising tags or ad networks loading many pixels on your site. Some people choose to monetize their WordPress site by adding ads, which is a great way to make passive income. However, these assets (images, videos, or tracking codes) have to be pulled from somewhere other than your site – this is where latency comes from. Latency is the time it takes a user to load an asset from your site into their browser. Oftentimes, they’re at the mercy of the ad network’s connectivity. The same goes for every other asset loading.
Recently, we discovered a perfect example of this on a site created on our new Australian cluster. The customer was pulling assets from Facebook and it added half a second to the site’s load time! Our discovery on this was that Facebook doesn’t appear to have an Australian presence and the asset was being pulled from a U.S-based data center. The load time was 3.8s and once the outside-loading assets were removed, the load time dropped to 1.0s, a 380% increase in performance!
There’s not a lot that can be done in these type of situations aside from removing the problematic assets. Some ad networks may have options to load their ads last on the page, so at the very least your page renders quickly for the user. There are also paid options out that can load those pesky assets last. It’s fairly easy to obtain this type of data using freely available tools like GTMetrix and webpagetest.org. The goal should always be to render the page as quickly as possible in the user’s browser and some of that can be achieved by simply using a premium WordPress platform – it won’t relieve all of your page loading woes, but it will absolutely help.
If you need help with your WordPress site’s load time, Convesio can help. With a presence in the US, UK, and Australia, we can position your site to load as fast as possible for your users. Reach out today and let’s have a conversation about how we can help you.