Facebook Like Button And Social Plugins Might Slow Down Your Website

A fast website is good for both the users and search engines. If your site takes more than 4 seconds to load, you are losing potential readers because a fraction of the traffic will close the browser window if your site takes a long time to load.

With the evolution of Facebook social plugins e.g the Facebook fan box, the like button and the Facebook share button – a lot of websites (including this one) have incorporated them on their template. This is because every blogger wants the word to be spread, would want users to share their articles on Facebook to gain exposure and sustained readership.

But here is a new report which puts some light on the effect of using Facebook social plugins on your site’s overall loading time.

The above study shows that if you are using Facebook social plugins on your blog, the load time can increase by as much as 5 seconds. 5 seconds is too much, considering the reaction time of a common web user. It’s surprising to note that the like button takes a long time to load when compared to the Facebook fan box. In theory, the Facebook fan box should load slower as it contains more thumbnails, profile images and other inline javascript.

Related: Remove Facebook Social Plugins From All Webpages You Visit

Should I remove the Facebook Social plugins ?

It would be better if you can perform a quick check of your site’s loading time using http://tools.pingdom.com. First perform a check with the social plugins installed and then check again after removing each social plugin one by one. You have to detect which social plugin takes the maximum time to load, hence slowing down your blog.

In the following video, Matt cutt’s puts some light on the effect of Facebook social plugins with the loading time of your website

Matt suggests, ” Do what’s best for the user.”

If you think that the Like button and the social plugins are essential for your website’s readers, it’s not going to make a huge difference whether you keep the social plugins or completely remove them. If readers like your site’s content, they share it or “Like” it  – it’s going to attract more readers and eventually bring more backlinks. This is good from the SEO perspective which is very hard to ignore.

You don’t have to go overboard and remove all those widgets, plugins and social plugins. It depends on the readership of your website and the sharing habits of your readers.

However, if readers of your website do not use the “Like” button, your Fan page count isn’t increasing or people are not recommending any page on Facebook – then it might be a good idea to remove those widgets. I would recommend studying the user behavior by installing a visitor heatmap script and then take a decision. Good luck!

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