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Why You Need a CDN for Your Website

Why You Need a CDN for Your Website

Why You Need a CDN for Your Website

 

Why You Need a CDN for Your Website

 

 

Caching your website is a crucial process for keeping your website fast. It relieves stress on the host and helps report information back to the browser. Great, right? We can do better. Shamrck uses world-class cloud hosting to make sure you have a reliable, speedy hosting service, but today, we’re going to talk more about WordPress content delivery networks, or CDN. 

 

You only have a few seconds to make a first impression on a site visitor, so slow page speeds set you back immediately. Website caching and image compression are excellent ways to maintain fast load times, so why do we need a CDN? Physical hosting sites help “store” your host on a server. The server location affects load times regardless of your compression settings or caching. This effect is called latency. Naturally, when information has farther to go, it will take longer to get there. CDNs help reduce latency.

 

 

 

What is a CDN?

 

Content delivery networks, or CDNs, are a way to speed up your website. They are a network of servers built to store static content. By storing static page information in an easy-to-access location, your site can retrieve page information and deliver it to a browser blazingly fast. 

 

 

 

How Does a CDN Work?

 

CDNs operate as a large network of servers meaning information can be stored anywhere in the world and relayed back to your website. Visitors anywhere can view your website faster. Your information is stored on a “host” server. As we mentioned earlier, the further away your visitor is, the longer the load times. This latency is due to “hops.” Hops refer to how often information needs to jump from server to server before being delivered to the visitor. The more hops, the longer the load time. Choosing the location for your host server is important because it will play a major role in your page load times.

 

By serving as a storage resource, CDNs automatically pull information from your website as information like HTML or JavaScript code for future use. Your server can then rewrite links to those pieces of information to make sure it’s pulled from the CDN moving forward.

 

 

 

CDN Benefits

 

A CDN can help your website perform better in every way, including sales. Visitors are more likely to have a better user experience when a site loads quickly and easily navigates from page to page. When you’re trying to convert leads to sales with website content, an engaging website is vital.

 

CDNs also employ a caching system much like your server. Site information moves from your server to the CDN freeing up bandwidth. On that note, a CDN is exactly that, a content delivery network. Utilizing the network helps handle large spikes in traffic since it can spread information over several servers. 

 

Most importantly, CDNs are scalable. Your website will see user ebbs and flows, but ultimately, the goal is to grow your visits. When that happens, your server needs to be ready to handle the new traffic. Content delivery networks are a ready-made solution to make sure you don’t run into any kinks.

 

 

 

CDN Speeds

 

CDNs are becoming more and more popular for their versatility and speed enhancements. Just like with caching, a CDN reduces latency and load times. We know slow page speeds can kill your traffic and SEO. Every additional second of load time costs you potential sales and crucial visitors. Since the CDN stores much of the site’s information, page speeds go up exponentially. 

 

One issue websites run into is a slow TTFB, or time to first byte. Without going too far into the weeds, this refers to how long it takes for your website to retrieve data for the browser request. Depending on the server and the data, your TTFB could have a negative impact on site performance. CDNs dramatically increase TTFB just by moving bits of information away from your server and onto the network. Shamrck’s website health check helps test for your time to first byte. 

 

 

 

Shamrck and DigitalOcean Spaces CDN

 

Shamrck hosts on a cloud server and uses DigitalOcean Spaces CDN to speed up websites even more. DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure with data centers all over the world. Spaces is an S3-compatible object storage service that lets you store and serve large amounts of data. By working with the power of DigitalOcean’s CDN, Shamrck is free to provide excellent hosting and website performance. 

 

 

 

Why a CDN is Right for Your Website

 

Working in tandem with your host, a CDN speeds up your site and boosts performance. It’s that simple. We walked through how CDNs work and some specific benefits, but everything leads back to enhancing load times, user experience, and other vital aspects of running a website. Utilizing a network of servers to store information and free up bandwidth on your host server is invaluable, and the results speak for themselves. 

 

 

 

We’d love to help you get started on your website improvements. Reach out today and we’ll do a full website health check!

 

 

 

Enter Caching.

 

Caching is the quick and (sometimes) easy way to speed everything up. At a server-level, caching can be broken down into very technical terms, but for the average end-user, plugins like WP Rocket help take care of the work for you. Here are some ways to speed up your website with caching.

 

 

What is Cache?

 

 

A cache is a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place. In the software world, we refer to it all the time. Traditionally, when someone clicks into a web page, the site has to request information from the server, which sends the data back to the browser, and users see the end result. Caching speeds up your website by not requiring it to request page information every time someone visits. 

 

Since most webpages contain headers, bodies, and footers, continually having to piece together every bit of information after each click is, understandably, time-consuming. The process slows down page load times since the server is processing so many requests at once. 

 

 

Why is caching important for websites?

 

 

Caching saves much of the website’s information for a server, so it doesn’t have to handle requests for every part of a web page anymore. The cache stores files to a disk or RAM, making it easier to duplicate the information when requested. This process limits the amount of work going into loading and reloading webpages, making them load faster.

 

Since these repeat files are stored, caching reduces the stress on your server. A fast server equals faster page load times, which has a substantial impact on your SEO. But more on that in a minute. This process also speeds up the time to first byte (TTFB). Essentially, the TTFB is the time it takes for a browser to start to receive information from the server. A low TTFB is crucial to fast load times.

 

 

Server-level caching with a good host.

 

 

A good host will handle caching for you. There are generally four types of caching done at the server-level: Bytecode, Page, Object, and CDN. We can break these down one at a time to understand why each is essential and why utilizing a speedy server with a good host is vital.

 

  • Bytecode: Bytecode cache deals with PHP code. PHP codes must be compiled into what’s known as a readable “opcode.” Once the opcode is in place, the server no longer needs to sift through the PHP to return browser requests. 

 

 

  • Page: Page caching refers to storing the entirety of the HTML from a webpage, so WordPress does not need to generate the page over and over. Most pages are static and evergreen, meaning they don’t change much. The server does not need to build the page for every click continually. 

 

 

  • Object: Object caching refers to storing database query information. Querying a database can be arduous and time-consuming for a server. Caching bits of data produced by a search means speeding up the page load times since there’s no need to query an entire database every time.

 

 

  • CDN: CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. CDN caching stores website files like javascript, CSS, and media. CDN caching is a more complicated process because it involves storing information away from the server on a, you guessed it, separate network. CDNs can deliver the website information instead of the server, reducing the stress on the server and speeding up load times.

 

Server-level caching is crucial because a good host does all of this behind the scenes. Since page load times are vital to your website’s SEO, caching as much information as possible is paramount.

 

 

WordPress Caching with WP Rocket.

 

 

Sometimes we need to go further than our server-level caching. WordPress has mechanisms in place to replace or supplement caching strategies. You can use plugins to perform caching functions if you are self-hosting or using a shared host. There are dozens of plugins to choose from, but we recommend WP Rocket. 

 

WP Rocket is exceptionally robust but simple to use. Developers will love the ability to play around inside the plugin, but we love that it is excellent for beginners who might feel overwhelmed quickly. The WP Rocket dashboard and settings are easy to set up and understand. The plugin also seamlessly works with eCommerce sites to make sure page load times are blazingly fast.

 

WP Rocket is a premium plugin offering different pricing plans, but given the usability and depth of the software, we recommend at least trying out the free trial.

 

 

How caching affects SEO

 

 

One of the largest hurdles websites face when trying to rank on Google is page load times. The Google search algorithms weigh load times heavily when ranking sites. This factor makes caching a must-have. Without caching, your server load speeds will deteriorate as your pages become more dynamic, and the servers have to request and report every line of code/image/etc. for every click. 

 

The stress will be too much for your server, and page load times will be slow. Not only will that affect your SEO, but you’ll lose traffic almost immediately. No one wants to wait more than five to seven seconds on a website to load. For every second it takes until TTFB, your site slips slightly further in the rankings and becomes more invisible in searches.

 

 

Caching is crucial

 

 

Websites today are dynamic, loaded with images, and interactive modal windows. Ecommerce sites have tons of media, links, and walls of text. The sheer amount of data on each page is enough to strain any server. This is why caching is so vital. Without caching, servers can be spread too thin, and page load speeds can drop dramatically. The consequences can be disastrous. 

 

Imagine your website is a store on the main street, but you start to open later in the day than other stores. So, the city moves your store to 3rd street. Search engines are no different. Search algorithms look for the “stores” that open early. Websites with fast speeds will outrank the slower ones, so make sure your site is as quick as possible. Don’t lose your place in the market because you didn’t apply some simple methods to make your website faster.

 

Shamrck knows website caching is crucial to a site’s success. We’d love to talk to you about your website’s performance and how some simple caching techniques can help immediately.

 

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Why You Need a Development Team

Why You Need a Development Team

Why You Need a Development Team

Going it alone is hard. Business owners are well aware of this maxim because it applies to every aspect of running a company. Building and maintaining a website is no different. Website builders help users get started, but the perfect site requires more than a basic template and a few words. Resources like articles and videos help, but the most useful resource of all is a development team.

Most business owners aren’t also web developers. You don’t have time to learn how to code and create a custom website that fits your brand. Maybe you’ll find a template that’s close enough to what you want, but what happens when you’re ready to grow into something new? What happens when your simple site needs to be much, much more?

This step is where going it alone becomes more challenging. Choosing the right content management system (CMS) is critical. Content management systems come with all kinds of tools and resources. 

Development teams know exactly how to leverage those tools and resources.

 

What is a development team?

Businesses starting from scratch need to determine what approach they’re going to take to build their site. Will they use a website builder and simple templates? Some do, but general templates recycled styles don’t help a business stand out in the crowd. In today’s market, every business needs an online presence. Building a site with a fundamental website builder like Wix or Squarespace is like putting an ad in the White Pages (no one really sees it). Using a development team is like putting up a billboard on Main St.

Development teams come in all shapes and sizes, but the leading roles are web developers and web designers. People like to conflate development and design even though they’re two very different aspects of a website. Development is the construction of a site, the custom coding and creation. On the other hand, design refers to the aesthetics of the website, the schemes, and the look.

We can break these teammate roles down into a little further detail.

 

Back-End Developers

The back end of your website is where all the magic happens. Every click navigating to another page, every video on auto-play, and every pop-up happen because a back-end developer built it. Businesses need them to create custom elements that will make their website functional. These elements include site security and other applications, so finding the right back-end developer is essential. Developers also help build the kinds of flexibility that allow site owners to receive and manage user information. 

 

Front-End Developers

Front-end developers focus on user experience. The back-end developer will create the system for running searches or navigation, but your front-end developer makes it look awesome. The spinning wheels, zoom in/out buttons, and feature locations (among other things)? All of that stuff comes from on the front-end. 

Finding an excellent front-end developer is every bit as important as your back-end. The user-experience helps define your website. Visitors will judge not just your site but your entire business based on how your site behaves. An essential part of behavior is across multiple platforms. Your website needs to function the same whether someone visits on a computer, tablet, or phone. 

 

Web Designers

Web designers work in tandem with the developers, but they work on different aspects that flow together. The designer creates the look and feel of your website. Starting with the overview “template” of ideas, a designer will work closely with you to organize color schemes, create custom graphics, and help with the overall concept. Your brand is on display, and your brand is your business.

Keep in mind that designers are not developers. While they may have some experience with coding, their function is to design, not build. Working with a designer is almost an essential part of building your website, but you can’t count on them to make your site function.

 

Use a development team to make a change.

Website builders like Wix and Squarespace are extremely limited. Users start because the platforms offer attractive templates and a user-friendly dashboard. After a while, people realize their website can’t grow with their business and look elsewhere. 

If you already know there’s no future with a site builder, why bother at all?

Luckily, there are ways to migrate away from these other platforms (see our guides on Wix and Squarespace). Moving can be a challenge if you’re looking to do more than just change the look of your site. Using a development team to help you make the move removes confusion and limits mistakes. Plus, you get the bonus of expanding your current functionality by using developers to create new tools. 

 

Why you need a development team

The DIY route is challenging. As we mentioned before, you need a website. With internet traffic trends the way they are, your site needs to shine above everyone else. It has to be functional and chic. You need a website that represents your brand without sacrificing the user experience. More than anything, you need to be able to make changes. No business is the same. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so saving the ability to build custom features is essential.

Development teams do all of that for you. You get to choose the direction you want to go, work with the team, and watch as they turn your ideas into a beautiful website. The best part? You get to focus on the most critical aspects of your company, your customers. Some people believe they don’t have the budget for a development team. There are teams for all budgets, but all you need to remember is how much time and energy you’ll spend to build the perfect website. How many hours of work will you lose while you fumble through building a site? Compare your budget against how much money you’ll drop by not running your business and see how much it really costs to hire a development team.

 

We’d love to chat with you a little more about why a development team is a perfect business solution. Reach out, and let’s get started!

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How to Move From Wix to WordPress

How to Move From Wix to WordPress

How to Move From Wix to WordPress

Wix is one of many simple website creation tools businesses turn to have an online presence. The builder is easy to use. Users pick a template and use a straightforward drag and drop creation to construct a basic website. Wix isn’t complicated. It also isn’t versatile. That’s why users look to move from Wix.

WordPress blows Wix away when it comes to customization and flexibility. Users leave Wix once they realize they’re not building the website they want. Instead, users have to develop inside a box. Unfortunately, Wix doesn’t make a move to WordPress very easy, but we can still do it.

 

Why is WordPress Better?

WordPress is an explosion of options and possibilities. WordPress has everything someone needs to build the perfect website from premade templates and plugins to the ability to create intricate customizations. Wix starts as an attractive option because the interface is user friendly, and the templates are enticing, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. 

As your business grows and your needs grow, Wix’s limitations become more and more evident. The Wix app store sports a paltry 250+ plugins to improve functionality. WordPress features more than 50,000, ready-made plugins affecting every part of your site. Wix limits the ability to build and add the custom code you may need too. More than anything, WordPress has shown to be more SEO friendly than Wix sites. As users get more and more frustrated with their Wix site, they quickly migrate to WordPress.

And here is how.

 

Import Content to WordPress

Wix is closed-source software, meaning there are no direct ways to migrate your content. You won’t have to recreate your content from scratch or copy and paste page after page. However, you’ll need to do a little work to grab your RSS feed and import it into WordPress. 

  1. Bring up your RSS feed by going to your domain and adding /feed.xml to the end.
  2. You’ll navigate to a page loaded with code. Right-click on the page and select Save As, so you’ll have a downloaded version of your XML file to upload.
  3. Go to your WordPress website and into the Tools -> Import section.
  4. Find the RSS area and click “Install Now.”
  5. After a second, you’ll be prompted to run the importer tool.
  6. Choose the file you want to import. You’ll be importing the RSS feed you recently downloaded and hit the Upload and Import File.
  7. You’ll be notified as soon as your import is finished!

Your content pages will show up, but unfortunately, not your images. Importing images from Wix requires a different process.

 

Import Images to WordPress

Like with the content, the move from Wix doesn’t allow a direct way to migrate images to the new website. Still, there is a simple way to upload your images with a little legwork. In this case, you’ll want to start by installing the Auto Upload Images plugin. The plugin helps you reupload all the images without having to do them one by one.

  1. Install the Auto Upload Images plugin.
  2. Re-save all of your posts in Wix that have images.
  3. Go to the All-Posts page and click on the Screen Options button.
  4. Make sure to update the items per page blank to 999 to include all of your pages.
  5. Select all posts and choose Edit from the drop-down.
  6. Click Apply. You’ll see an edit box come up, but just hit Update, and the plugin will update your posts.

 

Point Domain to New WordPress Install.

First, you can only redirect traffic to your WordPress website if you have a custom domain. If you have a custom domain, the move from Wix is a little more straightforward than some of our other steps. 

  1. Sign in to your account and go to Subscriptions.
  2. Click the Domains drop-down.
  3. Choose the domain you want.
  4. Click on the “Advanced” tab
  5. Choose Transfer away from Wix and then Send Code.

You’ll receive an authorization email from Wix, allowing you to transfer your domain. 

 

Recreate Your Template With Divi

Wix takes pride in offering a slew of crafted templates for their customers. Many users sign up mainly for a template they liked. That’s understandable. Some of these templates are chic, original, and beautifully done. However, there’s nothing done in Wix that you can’t do in WordPress. We completely understand wanting to bring your template when you move from Wix, but unfortunately, that’s not an option. 

Instead, you can recreate the template with the Divi page builder, except now, you can create and make changes as you see fit. No template is one-size-fits-all. Moving to WordPress means opening up options for everything, including web design. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to build a beautiful website when you have the right tools. 

 

Configure Permalinks

Finally, the last step is making sure your page links line up with the Wix links. Wix tends to follow a basic .com/blog-name link pattern. Since this recipe is one of the best for SEO and the easiest to manipulate, we recommend the same. 

  1. Open the WordPress dashboard and scroll over Settings on the left side.
  2. Click Permalinks to open the options.
  3. Click the Post Name radio button. 
  4. Save changes.

You’ll want to make sure any imported posts have this link style. You can visit the posts by going to the All Posts section under the Posts menu. All of your new pages will follow the same link style.

 

Making the Move from Wix

Making the move from Wix is inevitable for many users. As your business grows, you need more space. You need more functionality. You just need…more. WordPress is the answer, and partnering up with a premium development and hosting firm like WPClover maximizes the experience. Otherwise, you’re wasting the many tools and resources at your disposal. 

Your website is the face of your company. It’s the first impression your potential clients have. Take advantage of the possibilities WordPress offers by building the perfect site. Why settle for less?

 

We’d love to take some time to talk with you more about where you see your brand. Our team of experts is here to help you make the move from Wix, so reach out and get started.

 

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How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

Squarespace provides an easy-to-use website builder. There are some templates and drag and drop functions, but Squarespace isn’t anything special at the end of the day. Sooner or later, many users see the limitations and conclude that they’re better off moving away. If you’re looking to move from Squarespace, there are some essential things to consider. The move tends to be over to the more flexible WordPress.

 

Why is WordPress Better Than Squarespace?

WordPress is much more dynamic. Squarespace puts you in a box, and all sites are basically the same. With WordPress, the possibilities are endless. Using the right developer, you can create the perfect website designed to your specific standards instead of someone else’s. The intricate capabilities of WordPress are invaluable to a company trying to define an online presence. Squarespace limits your options to the point you can become frustrated over what should be simple features. 

The move from Squarespace to WordPress opens up a vast array of opportunities to improve your brand and increase your traffic. The only question is, why haven’t you already moved over?

 

Export Content

Of course, you already have content on Squarespace, and starting from scratch is not an option. The good news is that you can export much of your information automatically. You can easily export your blog posts and pages. Unfortunately, you can’t export everything so easily. 

Squarespace won’t let you export:

-Album pages, indexes, product, or events
-Blocks like audio or product
-Custom CSS
-Style changes
-Squarespace template

Even so, the bulk of your content can be uploaded onto your new site reasonably smoothly. Luckily, the aspects of the information you can’t bring from Squarespace is replicable in WordPress, and again, working with a design and development team will help a lot. 

To Export

  1. Log in to Squarespace and go to the “Settings” option on the left-hand side of the screen for whichever site you want to export (if you have multiple sites).
  2. Scroll down to “Advanced,” and from there, select “Export.” You’ll be asked for the export site, so be sure to choose WordPress if there are multiple options.
  3. Wait for a pop-up letting you download the information. *If you have multiple blog pages, you’ll need to choose which one to export before proceeding. 

 

Point Domain to New WordPress Install

If you purchased a domain, you’ll probably want to carry it over to your new WordPress site. The task isn’t difficult. You’ll need to change your domain’s nameservers to point to WordPress instead of Squarespace. 

The only word of caution may be to make sure you’re ready to make the switch ultimately. You can work with your WordPress host to set up a WordPress staging site. This way, you can handle any Squarespace traffic while waiting on the work to be finished for your full website. 

Remember to go to your domain registrar to change the settings too. Once you have your site built and domain pointed to WordPress, you’ll ultimately be ready to move from Squarespace.

 

Import Content to WordPress

Now that you have your .xml file, it’s time to import. 

  1. Head over to your WordPress dashboard and find the Tools menu. 
  2. When you click on Tools, you’ll see the import option below.
  3. Click import next and find WordPress at the bottom of the list, and then click Install Now.
  4. The link will change from Install Now to Run Importer.
  5. From here, choose the .xml file to import, and click the upload file and import. This step will get the upload process started. 
  6. The next page you come to will offer to create a new user for this upload, but your best bet is to select a current user from the dropdown list.
  7.  Check the import attachments box and submit!

 

The last step is to make sure your content is uploaded correctly. Check your pages and posts to ensure everything is where it’s supposed to be, and it looks good. If not, you may need to make changes page by page, or you can start the process over to try again.

 

Import Images to WordPress

We discussed at the beginning that not everything shares over flawlessly. You’ll notice some or all of your images when you move from Squarespace did not load. You have a couple of options to add them back in. First, you can go one page at a time and upload each image one by one. That method can be a little tedious, though. Luckily, there are plugins available to help with the task. 

Plugins like Auto Upload Images will find URLs in your post and automatically upload the image files to your WordPress media database. Rather than going page by page, the plugin will let you mass select posts and pages and then do a bulk action to update all of your pages. 

  1. Go to your “Posts” page in WordPress
  2. Select all of the posts you need to update
  3. Use the bulk action dropdown and click Edit and then apply
  4. A new window will appear, but you won’t need to make changes. Just click Update.
  5. All the images from your Squarespace pages should now be showing up on your WordPress pages.

 

Configure Permalinks

Permalinks are how traffic finds your website. When you posted something on Squarespace, you received a permalink resembling something like https://example.com/blog-post-title. WordPress can mimic that or other types of dynamic permalinks through a quick setting change.

  1. Go to the Settings in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click Permalinks to open the menu
  3. Select the Date and Name option since it’s the most commonly used.
  4. Use the custom structure to recreate something close to the Squarespace link. Since theirs is usually a date-page-post, you can create a custom structure using a dynamic link. For example .com/%year%/%month%/%day%/blog/%post%
  5. Hit save changes to lock everything in place.

 

Recreate the Template in Divi

You can’t take your Squarespace template with you, and most people don’t particularly want to. However, if you’re in love with the look, you’ll be able to recreate it with Divi. Divi’s page builder option gives you a vast amount of possibilities to effortlessly insert rows, sections, columns, text, blocks, etc. Creating the look and feel flows smoothly, and Divi offers excellent customer experience to help. 

The Divi builder makes it easy to take your current content and build it into the same type of template you had or if you prefer, a brand new look. You have options like custom CSS, responsive editing, and simple drag and drop tools, among others. If you’re not ready to build from scratch, Divi also has an immense library of pre-created options. 

 

Leaving Squarespace

The move from Squarespace is inevitable for a lot of people. The system can be clunky, limiting, and expensive for what you actually get. WordPress provides a much better opportunity to make something with more flexibility that better represents your brand and lets you grow. The change can be difficult, though. Despite the step-by-step instructions above, your site and user experience can get lost in the shuffle. 

Professional firms like WPClover are here specifically to help you make your WordPress site precisely the way you want it instead of how someone else wants it. We’d love to talk more with you about how working with us can save you time and money, not to mention all of the perks that go along with a WordPress website. Reach out, and let’s get started!

 

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3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

Third-party scripts are scripts that can be embedded into websites by a third-party vendor. Mostly, they’re used for things like analytics, advertising, widgets, and connecting your website to other business software. Anytime you see an embedded video or social media sharing buttons, you’re looking at third-party scripts. 

Why are third-party scripts a big deal?

They’re everywhere! Every site you visit or click you make could send browsing information back to a third-party source. You may not know who is receiving your data and you’re at the mercy of whatever website you’re visiting. 

Your website is no exception. Those quirky widgets you think are fun and eye-catching might be opening you up to liabilities. Luckily, You can decide what third-party scripts you allow to operate. While many of these third-party scripts come from reputable sources, the internet is full of unreliable and risky ones. Here are three things to know about third-party scripts on your website.

 

Privacy Issues

When we browse the internet, our information continually goes out to several third parties. They can track us through cookies and place ads on one site based on our browsing history from other websites. Standard third-party tracking is pretty transparent. We can follow codes and get an idea of what kind of browsing is going on.

Unfortunately, there are some bad actors out there who are not transparent. Your email address, purchase history, location, and more can leak to eavesdroppers without you even knowing it. As a site owner, you’ll almost certainly add third-party scripts. Share buttons, form creators, and also comments sections all fall into this category. The best thing you can do to protect your users’ privacy is to research the third-parties you’re using and make sure to disclose the names of those systems in your privacy policy

If your privacy policy doesn’t have accurate information for users to know where their data is going, you open yourself to potential lawsuits. Be wary of any scripts that provide personal identifying information about your website visitors as they may be selling that information. That is against the law in some states and some countries so make sure you are careful.

 

Security Issues

Letting someone else’s script into your site makes you extremely vulnerable. That third-party has access to your entire front-end website. Before adding any additional scripts outside of your own, make sure the service you’re using is safe.

Sometimes, third-party scripts will actually build off information coming from another third-party. This process funnels data to at least two other companies, if not more. The more the code is exposed like this, the more opportunities hackers have to inject malware, which directly affects your website’s security.

Hackers are continuously looking for ways to access encrypted information on your website. Similar to the privacy issue above, some advertisers or third-party payment scripts have lax encryption implementation methods. Without realizing it, your customers’ information could be out in the open until the vendor encrypts the data. By that time, the information is available for anyone to see.

Privacy is essential, but taking additional security steps is paramount. Neglecting site security, including third-party scripts, can land you in the courtroom. Be diligent in your research before deciding to welcome in a third-party.

 

Optimization Issues

Another substantial problem with third-party scripts is the effect on your site’s optimization. Privacy and security are important, but they’re irrelevant if no one visits your site! Adding widgets and analytics to your website can slowly drag down site performance. Boosters like caching and CDNs can only do so much, but some third-party scripts can damage performance. 

For starters, these scripts can load large images or video files, putting more stress on your host. Slow page load times are a killer for your SEO scores since search algorithms put an enormous focus on website speeds. The more additional functionality you add with third-party scripts, the more work your server has to do. 

Having several third-party scripts can also run into the problem of launching too many requests off to multiple servers. The more requests a site has to make, the longer it will take to load. We discussed how CDNs can reduce latency, but even so, too many requests can overwhelm servers and slow everything down.

There are tools in place to help identify what third-party scripts are on your website. This diagnostic information shows how many third parties are running scripts and a breakdown of which ones take the most time to execute. Optimizing your website, including these third-party scripts, will be one of the most critical aspects of site maintenance.

 

Conclusion

Almost every website uses some kind of script from a third party. We all take advantage of inserting someone else’s code from embedded videos to pop-up forms to social media share buttons. Our challenge is to make sure we only use third parties we trust and trying to keep our site as optimized as possible. 

When adding any third-party scripts, the first step should be to research security protocols for third-party codes. Make sure you’re working with reputable firms before opening your site to additional functionality. Choosing from thousands of potential integrations is difficult. Choose wisely!

 

Do you know everything happening behind the scenes on your website? WPClover offers a FREE 30-point website health inspection to help show you the effect third-party scripts have on your site. Schedule your check today!

 

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