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Web Performance Daybook Volume 2 by Stoyan Stefanov

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Chapter 23. Advice on Trusting Advice

Billy Hoffman

We all know that third-party content means you no longer control all the factors which affect page load time. A sleek, well-tuned, and optimized site can still deliver a poor user experience because of problems with third-party content. Steve Souders even used to publish a series of blog posts (http://stevesouders.com/p3pc/) where he analyzed and rated the performance of third-party content snippets (http://www.stevesouders.com/blog/2010/02/17/performance-of-3rd-party-content/). (Dear Steve, please bring this back, it was awesome). Mathias Bynens took this one step further, showing how to additionally optimize Google’s markup and JavaScript snippets (http://mathiasbynens.be/notes/async-analytics-snippet).

The surprising lesson to learn from Steve and Mathias is that if you want a fast site and third-party widgets, then you need to examine the third-party content for performance problems, even when a snippet comes from a trusted authority on web performance. So this post isn’t really going to be about third-party content. It’s going to be about trusting advice.

Last week a Zoompf customer, the online precious metal exchange GoldMoney (http://goldmoney.com/), contacted Support about an issue our technology flagged on their site. We had detected an issue with Google’s JavaScript library for their Google+ button. Zoompf WPO was suggesting the customer do something which was contradicting Google’s advice. And that was enough to give GoldMoney ...

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