Is Google Analytics Slooowing Down Your Blog?

Google Analytics LogoIf you use Google Analytics to track visits to your blog, you might be surprised to know that you may be experiencing severely retarded (no pun intended) page load times, at least in Europe. That’s according to a recent study conducted by Royal Pingdom.

The folks at RP found that during peak hours of Web usage in Europe, the Google Analytics Javascript loaded nearly twice as slowly – 97% slower than usual, to be precise – as it did on average in Europe during all hours of use.

in general, GA actually loads slightly faster in Europe than in the US, but it also experiences a much greater percentage rate of slowdown in Europe during peak hours relative to its average performance.

As Royal Pingdom puts it: “[W]hile the European load times are significantly faster on average than the North American ones, the performance is much more uneven over the course of the day.”

The difference between the maximum and minimum load times for North America is 27%, but in Europe the difference is 97%.

See the Royal Pingdom post for several intriguing data graphs supporting their conclusions.

Update: I’ve clarified above that the figures above refer to load time during peak hours relative to average load time, and that GA actually loads slightly faster overall in Europe than in the US.

Do you think Google Analytics is worth the trouble? Why or why not?

Comments

  1. says

    I think analytics is amazingly complex and could perform a great job, however with the new “porn mode” in browsers, session based analytics may take a hit. I trust Urchin a whole lot more as it uses the RAW logs…

  2. says

    Stephen: yes, “Every web server keeps complete access logs” but ever tried getting access via a nice interface and reporting templates? That’s where GA shines for us non-geeks.

  3. says

    I am currently using it on my blog and haven’t really noticed a slow down in the loading performance of my blog. But this is something I will definitely keep an eye out on. So far GA has provided great info about my blog stats.

  4. says

    I use it on my sites, but have it blocked via NoScript for my browsing purposes. And when I compare the hits shown in GA vs hits shown in other stats scripts, it apparent that others are blocking GA as well.

  5. says

    I can confirm that G.A. is slowing down servers. My domain is hosted on a European server and a lot of users complained that because of G.A. the site loads slower. All I did was to remove the G.A. code from the header to the footer of the site’s code and now it moves better. But I still think of moving to a different free statistics service. Anyway, good article :)

  6. says

    I’m having comment problems on my blog and remembered this post, so I removed analytics – didn’t solve my WordPress comment problem, but I am amazed at how much faster the page loads.
    Since I have Woopra, Analytics will stay removed.

  7. Jonathan says

    I use Woopra but will now that feedburner has moved to google, looks like analytics is in the picture. Appreciate this article very much.

  8. says

    @WeSayIT Magazine that’s because you were not supposed to place the GA tracking code in the HEAD tag to begin with…
    The tracking code should always be placed right before the BODY tag ends.

    @Stephen Downes server logs are fine and all but they are seriously lacking in the measurement of unique visitors as well as rich user interaction.

    Also, see my comments on the original post at http://tinyurl.com/boxo54
    in a nutshell: it’s only slow the first time around.

    Cheers,
    Julien Coquet

  9. says

    I’m using GA and Woopra, I think they complete each other. After reading this post I tried using my blog with GA enabled and disabled. It is slowing down the site a bit, but not much. And because the script is located at the footer, the user can navigate and read my posts normally while it is loading.

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