Save the Internet from WordPress speed abuse.
Updated: December 2017
Aggregator websites getting 1 to 2 million visitors per month is pretty nice – and profitable!
Many agregator sites are somewhat “responsive” for mobile – but frequently don’t have good UX on small screens like an iPhone. It’s very cluttered and confusing. Aggregator sites have about a 70 percent bounce rate typically. Top aggregator sites are getting as low as 25 precent bounce rates with 2 million monthly visits.
Strategic monetization attempts forcing users to look at ads. It’s bad UX – but perhaps it pays out for your company. User’s generally have a low tolerance of anything that gets in the way of content. Perceived obstacles are bad.
Most aggregator home-page loads are between 8 and 10 seconds in the USA. Mobile speeds will be twice that. Our goal (performance budget) is a 2-second page-load time (4-seconds for mobile).
“Ads are always the worst code on the Internet, and once you include them you can’t really be accountable for performance any more.”
—Matt Mullenweg: WordPress founder, August 2015
Aggregator sites use many third-party widgets.
There’s esoteric talk and proposals in the “website-performance” community to solve third-party integration problems – but few actually provide real-world solutions. They talk about the web future – but not today’s resources. Third-parties are often apathetic about speed. This is a killer for mobile (and desktops, too).
How to manage and control third-party content is the critical factor for speeding up your website. What this means with present “tools” is using better strategy to decide what third-party provider content can be synchronously loaded, deferred (or lazy loaded) – or disabled on critical pages. And things like not updating user-facing Facebook stats in real time.
Landing pages, product pages, and pages on the “money path” are of most interest.
Most offsite (third-party) assets have mechanisms (alternatives) for better browser behavior. But each has to be examined based on your goals.
How can you see the impact ads have on your site? Log into your free GTmetrix account and under the URL field there will be an “Analysis Options” button. Check the “Adblock Plus” option. Your URL will be scanned with the ads blocked. You can also enable this option in the “Page Settings” button on the Report page sidebar.
Blocking ads is helpful if you want to see the impact the ads are having on your page load times.
Is all of this investigation worth the grief? Common sense says, “Absolutely.” People hate slow-loading pages. Bloat is frustrating and annoying. But there’s also experiments (data) by large companies that prove speed affects profitability.
Speed helps you stay ahead of your competitors by differentiating your mobile UX. Optimization is best when it’s built-in with advance strategy – instead of after-the-build fixes. Measuring the impact of third-party content on a site’s usability is often an afterthought – if it even gets thought about at all.
Mobile WordPress Speed – without coding!