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Does Google Analytics code slow down your site?

Does installing Google Analytics' code cause websites load time to be slow



10:01 pm on Aug 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm concerned about whether Google Analytics is causing a slowdown in the loading times for our sites. While I believed this to be an issue in the past, I have checked our sites using the Firebug extension in Firefox, and it appears that the Google Analytics code loads in less than 150 ms. Even so, the bottom of the browser shows "connecting to Google Analytics" for a much longer period of time.

Is Firebug right, or is the bottom of the browser correct?



6:53 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

hello goodkarma ,there is thsands of good website using google analytics and it is the most powerful FREE web analytic tool i think, and i think it really casusing a slowdown, but it will seems not be felt .


11:20 am on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think that the download and rendering times vary. I frequent a forum that has Google Analytics installed, and the pages usually load quite quickly. But then there will be the occasional day where you just give up and go somewhere else. On a cable-internet (ie, high-speed) connection, I'm afraid I simply haven't the patience to wait forty-five seconds or more for every page to load.

But that's only occasionally. And, of course, "your mileage may vary".



2:50 pm on Sep 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm concerned about whether Google Analytics is causing a slowdown in the loading times for our sites.

Anytime a third party call is made there is always the chance that delays will be present.

Google recommend that you place their GA code right before the closing </body> element. This is the optimal position as it loads last in the rendering of the page. That means the visitor is going to see your content while the rest of the calls are being fulfilled.

I too have seen GA cause delays. But, because of where it is positioned before the closing </body> element, the visitor is usually not affected too much.

Check your 404s. If you see failed GA calls, I'd be willing to bet that any slowdowns were around the same time those 404s were generated. With the legacy code, delays were more noticeable. With the new code, those delays were addressed and "I" feel you now get a 404 from GA if they have delays. They no longer hold up the rendering of your page like the old code did?

I've also seen people utilize the code with the <head></head> elements. I would think that adds a level of risk in regards to page delay as now the GA code needs to load before the rest of the page. If there are any delays in that third party call, your page may be affected too.

For those using GA from the <head></head>, are you seeing any performance issues?


3:14 pm on Sep 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We have a number of sites. The one in question about which I was concerned actually has the code snippet just before the </body> tag. Ironically, a cursory search of our other sites revealed that one of the sites has it installed in the <head> </head> section as you mentioned, but we haven't noticed any appreciable slowdowns from Analytics on that site. Even so, I think I'm going to petition some of our developers to have it moved to the end so our site isn't affected in the event of a Google Analytics issue.

travelin cat

4:47 pm on Sep 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Having the code within the <head> </head> tags can be very problematic. We had way too many problems with it interfering with other js on our site.

Because we track across multiple domains, the Analytics code had to be before the pageTracker link to work properly, we tried it in the head section first after reading in Google's help area that it would work.

We moved the code to immediately follow the <body> tag and saw no slow down in the loading of our pages.


3:17 pm on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If you follow the Google guidelines and put the analytics code at the end of the page just before your closing body tags then you shouldnt see much of an affect. The code simply calls a javascript function which updates your analytics account based on the page, referrer etc..

I dont think the speed of Googles code is anywhere near as bad as other i've seen


10:30 am on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Do you have GA "new code"? I mean using ga.js instead of urchin.js, that could help to improve speed.

For me, GA is the best way to include some analysis tool in my sites, I think there is no way to improve loading time, and it is not so much (some years ago it was a time killer for pages).

The one alternative would be analyzing system logs directly... but I think there is no log analyzer as good as Analytics!


12:03 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I put the GA code at the top of column three on a CSS-driven three column layout, so it loads after the main content is shown.

I do see it slow down the right column sometimes.


12:38 pm on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Having the code at the top will create more accurate stats since it loads at beginning; but I think it is better to put it at the bottom because otherwise it can slow down page presentation (as you said) and that's annoying for users.

I have checked that code not always loads fast: code request didn't get to server, reponse did not get to user, congestion at network links... you can't be sure that the code will always load on time.

That "connecting to GA..." you get could be a temporaly slow down, I think it is not significant.


8:21 pm on Oct 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I use google analytics on my site, it doesn't slow down my site at all.


11:40 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a site that gets about 500K hits per day. It's been running smoothly for about a year without problems. Last week I added GA to the end of files as recommended, and everything was fine until last night when I had such bad lag that apache started crashing over and over. The addition of GA is the only thing that I've changed in the code in months, and I haven't had any spikes in traffic either, so I removed GA this morning and everything works great again.

Was it just a weird coincidence or did GA cause the problem? It's hard to say.


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