When you’re evaluating a website’s performance, you may find that several culprits could come into play that can bog down your website’s load time. Today, we’re going to take a look at one of the biggest – if not the biggest – causes of web performance problems: third party code.

If you’re not quite sure what that is, third party code is usually any code provided by another company or website to plug in / embed a service on your website. For example, you may have a web stats tracking code, a banner ad rotator, or a couple lines of code that drops your Twitter or Instagram feed onto your website. These pieces of code are considered third party code since they’re provided by another source.

2015-Q1-Third-Party-code-cropped

Some of the problems that this kind of code can cause may be:

  • Slow page load times
  • SSL errors (there could be a non-secure component in the code)
  • Unexpected javascript errors of various kinds
  • Failure to load some of your website content
  • Inaccurate stats tracking

The case of causing inaccurate stats is a particularly interesting one that most people don’t consider. Problems with third party code could render your website’s stats unreliable if the stats code is not fully loading. When this happens, you may only be getting partial information about your visitors or no information at all.  If you make business decisions based on those stats, you may be making the wrong decisions based on misinformation.

In the case of third-party code causing slow page load times or loading errors, it affects your visitors’ experiences on your website.  Unhappy visitors may choose not to buy from you and often times won’t ever return to your website.

So what can you do in this situation? First off, you’ll want to diagnose the problem to make sure it is indeed the third party code causing the problems. AlertBot is an excellent service to use for finding out what is causing a bottleneck in your load time.

Once you know for sure that it is the third party code creating the issue, here are a few things you can do to resolve problems with third-party code:

  1. Ask the Third-party provider to resolve the problem – The solution may be as simple as contacting the third party, informing them of the issue(s) you’re having and asking them to fix it. It’s possible that they’re not even aware there’s a problem.
  2. Remove the third party code altogether – This may be the quickest and easiest solution, but obviously it doesn’t solve the problem if you really need the code on your site.
  3. Look for other third party code providers – This may be your best course of action. While it can be time consuming to search for viable solutions, if you need the code, trying something else out could be the most sensible option. And if you can find reviews on the solution from other users who have tried it out, that’s even better.
  4. Move to a purchasable / installable application – Free third-party code is great, and just dropping in a piece of third-party code is a nice time saver, but sometimes taking the high road and paying for an installable solution (with support) could be the best option for your business, especially when your own customers or clients are involved.
  5. Ask a web developer to look at it – This might not be possible for every site owner, but it’s an especially good option if your company has a programming department. There’s a good chance that just moving the code to a different location in your page’s HTML (or onto a different page altogether) could drastically improve the situation.

So, as you can see, third party code can greatly impact your website. And if you’re experiencing some web performance issues and you’re utilizing third party code, there’s a pretty good chance that code may be the catalyst for those problems.

Sign up for a risk-free trial of AlertBot today and start down the path to better performance for your website.  AlertBot can track the performance of all your third-party code and lets you know when it’s causing problems.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s