Does AddThis Slow Down Your Page Loading Time ? AddThis BottleNeck Experiment
Go4Expert had AddThis as social Media option but recently removed it for bottleneck issues. Let me share my experiment results so it is helpful to other webmasters who are concerned about page loading time and AddThis.
When I had issues with AddThis, my first reaction was to look for optimizing AddThis because I prefer the stats that it shows about the sharing. I search Google and I found only this which only have option for Loading JS Asynchronously and loading it without CSS. Nothing more.
So I thought of experimenting load times.
I created couple of scripts that has Facebook, Twitter and Google+ using AddThis and without AddThis.
Above content is being served from Amazon S3 / Cloudfront CDN. Then I ran few webpagetest.org tests and found the results that were conclusive for me.
With AddThis: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/130225_GE_JNM/
Without AddThis: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/130225_VV_JNS/
One more result set
With AddThis: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/130226_83_85P/
Without AddThis: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/130226_H8_85K/
You can also run the tests once again on the above urls if you want. You can also copy the source code from above html files and upload them to your server and then run the tests on your server as well.
The load time for both the script was not conclusive but few things that made things conclusive are:
1. Browser caching of static assets and CDN
AddThis does not cache static resources from su.addthis.com
On top of that AddThis does not use a CDN for su.addthis.com. This could be because they want to track those load stats and other things.
2. Too Many Requests
I see too many requests compared to direct implementation.
In the details I see some extra requests being made as you can see in the screenshot below.
If you can create social media buttons, it is always preferred but if you are just starting out with your site, try using AddThis to get things moving faster.
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