Roundup: Why the Facebook outage is (yet another) wakeup call for site owners

Did last Thursday’s Facebook outage affect your site? If not, you’re one of the lucky/smart ones. Here are a couple of good reads from Catchpoint and Keynote on the subject. Outages like this are clearly a wake-up call for site owners. I’ve been writing about this issue for a while now — most recently, coincidentally, just a couple of weeks ago — and thought it might be useful to round up these posts.

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

If the issue of third-party performance is new to you, this post will help you (1) understand the impact of all those harmless-looking little snippets of code, and (2) regain control over your rogue third-party content.

The day StumbleUpon stumbled: Why we removed the SU button from our sites

Is this day and age, third-party content providers need to make their scripts load asynchronously in order not to bog down page load. StumbleUpon didn’t, and as a result, we removed their script from our websites.

How vulnerable is your site to third-party failure?

As we’ve all internalized by now, third-party scripts are the one of the most common points of failure for sites. Despite this, measuring the impact of third-party content on a site’s usability is often an afterthought — if it even gets thought about at all. Here’s how you can use a free tool like WebPagetest to test your site’s vulnerability to third-party failure.

Fourth-party calls: What you don’t know can hurt your site… and your visitors

There’s a growing awareness of the fact that third-party content can cause a major hit to your website’s performance. Good. Great. Now we need to tackle what I’ve dubbed “fourth-party calls”. Not only can these insidious server calls leach performance, they also have massive security implications.

Do you really need that widget?

I see a lot of widget bandwagon-hopping, with people loading up their site with every new button and third-party tool that comes along, with little regard for the end result. Today, widgets are to websites what animated gifs were in 1996. Here are a couple of tips for you die-hard widget junkies.

Three common performance problems caused by third-party content (and how to fix them)

Inspired by this popular blog post, this short webinar goes into greater depth about three speed-zapping third-party culprits on your site.

I should make it clear: I’m not against third-party content. Many third-party tools provide real value, and I’m all for those, provided they actually give you something in return: more conversions, page views, sales, or whathaveyou. But too often, third-party tools get slickly packaged and sold as “just a single line of Javascript” to site owners who don’t realize that “just a single line of Javascript” can mean anything.

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