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

  1. Not to forget to mention that FB is only one example. A lot of Performance gets lost in the Advertising delivery chain too. BUT not all parts of the ADC participants support asychronous delivery.
    And for making Money with the content it is not always good to load ads at the end of the domtree (i. e. Users leaving pages because they found their link and click before ads were requested)

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