Why Is Your Website Lagging?

    November 29, 2011

How fast does your site load when visitors access it? Does it make users — and potential customers — wait or does it pop right up? If so, are simply blaming the hosting service, and/or the ISP and ignoring the problem? If so, you could be missing out on the fact that it’s your site, or at least, the widgets attached to it, causing the lag, and not the providers you’re using.

According to a report (via Technology Review) from the makers of browser plug-in, Ghostery, one of the main causes of website slowdown is, provided the hosting service is working as normal and there’s nothing interfering with Internet access, all of the widgets and embeds site owners include in their site’s backend.

In fact, if you’re going by the blog post’s text, many of the slow website loading issues can be pinned on analytics scripts and/or widgets. The post even features a graph showing the biggest offenders in relation to site slowdowns:


As you can see, one of the biggest offenders in relation to site lag is a service called Avalanchers, which appears to be blog network suggestion site, but, as Technology Review says, it also comes across as a spam-filled link-sharing network, which is just the kind of thing you want to avoid if you don’t want to get bit by Google’s Panda movement. Not only is associating your site with such networks haphazard, at least in relation to Google rankings, slow website load times are a great way to ensure visitors don’t return to your site.

Based on the GhostRank panel findings, here are some additional points of interest, based on their findings:

  • Avalanchers’ load time exceeded its next closest competitor, AdFunky, by a whopping 1,300 milliseconds.
  • If you were to load all of these elements on one page, in succession, they would add about 22 more seconds to the page’s load time. Think about that.
  • From a transparency standpoint, most of these companies don’t disclose how long they retain the data they collect or who they share it with.

Simply put, if you are trying to produce a quality site that appeals to your visitors — remember, we are now firmly in the grip of the holiday shopping season — avoiding these products, especially if used in conjunction with others on the list, is something to avoid. If search engine rankings, especially Google, is something you cherish, you’ll avoid these services as well. Not only does Google frown upon link-sharing networks like Avalanchers, slow-loading sites are not embraced by Google, either.

Simply put, avoid services like these, especially if you are using a combination of them, if strong Google rankings are something you enjoy.