Social Media Buttons and Widgets Could Double Page Size

Here’s one for anyone who uses social media plugins, widget or badges on their website. You could be slowing your site down by doubling the size of your documents! I just realized that my social plugin added a whopping extra 300Kb to my site. So my page load doubled from about 300Kb to 600Kb because of one small plugin. All the plugin does is to make it easier to “like” a post and display the number of likes the post got. The funny thing is that by default it loads on all pages, even on the homepage.

Facebook fan badge

Like to show the world your site has been liked by so many people with one of those Facebook fan badges. Steady now! It added a crazy 600Kb to my site. Suffice it to say, I got rid of that too.

The trade off

Yes, this is the dilemma. Either have your site load faster – I just optimized it for 3G devices – and miss out on the user’s ability to like or promote your site, or live with longer loading times and just grin and bear it. In the meantime, I’m on the lookout for smaller scripts or custom plugins.