Header 4 not shown for mobile speed.

Save the Internet from WordPress speed abuse.

Updated: August 2017

2 minute read

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% bounce rate typically. Top aggregator sites are getting as low as 25% 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).

No matter how much you try third-party Javascript is always the speed killer on aggregator sites. Third-party widgets include Facebook, Google GA, ad services, gravatars, Twitter, YouTube, Icegram, Doubleclick, popups, FontAwesome, etc.

“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: August 28, 2015 at 5:45pm

Aggregator sites use many third-party widgets.

There’s esoteric talk and proposals in the “website-performance” community to solve 3rd-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 3rd-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.

Doing value analysis (cost-benefit) especially on Javascript and defining “how good is good enough” is determined by user engagement – and your whim. What is the conversion rate with and without the third-party scripts?

Most offsite (third-party) assets have mechanisms (alternatives) for better browser behavior. But each has to be examined based on your goals.

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.

Suggested links:
http://apmblog.dynatrace.com/2011/12/20/third-party-content-management-applied/

Has your site’s third-party content gone rogue? Here’s how to regain control.

10 pro tips for managing the performance of your third-party scripts

We just reviewed an aggregator theme called “Bimber.” This PagePipe article might interest you >

Godspeed—

Steve Teare
performance engineer

Mobile WordPress Speed – without coding!

What others think of us:


"Hi Steve, Thank you so much for that insightful speed review! I appreciate the time you took to explain the issue of the website I'm working on. I'll be looking into some of the recommendations you have and advice that you have given." skiveworks.com, Singapore

by - Jaaze Lim