So, this week, i’m looking at website plug-in’s, or more specifically, social media plugins, are they worth it? More and more often, here at IT Freelancer, we are seeing hundreds of businesses and companies use social-media plugins on their websites. A great way of staying in touch or sharing your content, social media is fantastic to ensure your voice is heard loud and clear. However, what many businesses who come to us fail to realise is that social media plug-ins can significantly slow down the speed of your site. And we all know that one of the biggest turn-offs for web browsers is a slow-loading page, right? By simply adding three social buttons to your home page (take, for example, Twitter, Facebook and Google+), you could be unnecessarily adding around 400 kb of page load and 40 server requests. Yes, really!
Increasingly, search engines, such as Google, are using page load speed as a factor in SEO rankings said by SEO Agency Perth. So what you think may be making you more relevant could actually be distancing you from your audience more and more and more. So, now you know it’s a problem, what do you do? Do you delete all your social media plugins, or do you stick with ‘em?
Do I Need Social Plug-Ins?
Of course, having a site which is social-media savvy helps to keep your page fresh, light and relevant. But, first off, you should check out which parts of your site sees the heaviest usage of sharing tools (we doubt your “contact us” and “help” pages really need it!). This means that you can see where they’re most valued and most needed, and then delete as applicable. Next, always keep monitoring the social media tools you’ve got installed, particularly if your page has a blog. Is your page being shared? Are the buttons helping in any way at all? If the answer is “no”, then go ahead and delete. Besides, do you really want your customers to see that none of your articles are being shared?
What Are The Options?
There are other options to social buttons. To enjoy faster page loads, but to still ensure customers can connect with your social media pages, why not simply link back to all your online profiles using custom icons? And if you want your users to have the option of sharing your content, there are ways around it without resorting to plug-ins. For example, find out how to share on Facebook, and here for Google+. As ever, here at IT Freelancer, we understand that the net can be tricky to get around. If you’re still scratching your head and feeling utterly lost, then let us help!