Are you a blogger who uses Shareaholic? Do you care about your site speed? If so, read on…
Isn’t it funny how when you’re working on one thing for your blog, a bunch of new issues pop up? I’ve been checking my site speed as a baseline for comparison for before and after migrating to premium hosting. And through this process, I found out that Shareaholic seemed to be really slowing down my WordPress site. If you use this plugin too, you may want to keep reading about Shareaholic WordPress Slow Down.
Updating my Shareaholic settings was one of two steps that put my blog in the top 10% fastest sites.
The Speed Test
I ran my site through the speed test over at Pingdom. There were many areas for improvement, but the Performance tab seemed to have things summarized best for my consumption. Read on for the lowest score area.
Note: If you’re testing your site speed, I’d recommend running a test before you update your site. Take a screenshot of the results and leave that tab open. When you test for the “after”, open the new test in a new tab.
On the Performance tab, I was surprised to see something had a 0 grade in the Minimize Redirects section. I didn’t have any known redirects set up, so I was curious to see what would be on this list.
I clicked the arrow to view more details and saw a long list of unusual links that I wasn’t familiar with. This site is extremely light. I’ve purposely left it simple. So this list jumped out to me as a problem stemming from a plugin. I didn’t add those links. I didn’t have any ads or other third party tools on the site. What could be causing this?
The sites included references to doubleclick and other links that looks really spammy and suspicious to me. As I mentioned on my post about making my site faster, I found this WordPress thread online suggesting the redirects were caused by the Shareaholic third party analytics option. I wondered if the fix could be as easy as turning that off. So, I tried it.
Speed Without Shareaholic Third Party Data Services
I turned off Shareholic third party analytics and re-ran my site speed test on Pingdom. Voila! The score was now 100. I haven’t attempted to analyze the Shareholic code in detail, so I can’t say 100% this is the true root cause. But, the results were enough for me to leave the third party toggle off.
Here’s How I Turned Off the Shareaholic Third Party Analytics
- Log into your Shareaholic dashboard. Note: This is *not* the same as accessing Shareaholic through your WordPress dashboard. You access this via Shareaholic’s web site. You can read about linking your WordPress plugin to a separate Shareaholic account here.
- Click on the settings icon next to Content Analytics
- Click on the toggle button next to “Use Trusted Third Party Data Services”
- Click “Save Settings” button
If you’re running site speed tests, try running another test and comparing the results. Did this make a difference for you too?
Plugins come and go. The ones that were the best can sometimes become the worst. I’m not saying that’s what happened here. Rather, it’s important to stay in the loop of how your tools and plugins are working, in general. Sometimes the developers remove plugins completely. Or worse, they stop updating their plugins, which can leave them (and you!) open to trouble. Some tools have default settings turned on that you may not want to use. Be sure you’re checking your site and tools regularly.
When I logged into my Shareaholic account to change the third party option, I also noticed an affiliate option had been turned on somehow. Not sure how that happened. Personally, I turned this off for my sites.
I’ve ultimately decided to disable the Shareaholic plugin on this site and leave it on my other blog for now. I’ve been running two share tools on Diana Starts to compare them. I’m just going to stick with the other one, which is Jetpack. I turned on “Sharing”, which is under “Traffic Growth” on my Jetpack plugin dashboard. From my tests, the counts are the same between the two tools. I do think Shareaholic looks better, but I’m hoping Jetpack will utilize less resources and hopefully slow my site down even less.
Did You Test This?
Have you tried testing this out? What did you find?
What sharing plugin do you use and how do you like it?