In Is Google Analytics Slooowing Down Your Blog? by Easton Ellsworth on the , he asks a very important question:

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

The first question we usually get when talking about is "will it slow down my site."

Personally, I find this fascinating, as people seem to have no fear of adding WordPress Plugins, Google Gadgets, and JavaScript, AJAX, and all kinds of bells and whistles to their site, but add a statistics package and instantly they ask about load times and impacts on the user experience. Clearly, there is some experiential history here worth exploring.

A quick search for reports on load times across the web and found a long history of people blaming the statistics program for dragging down their site loading times, with a lot of articles disputing those blames.

Many claim the Google Analytics slow down is a myth. SwamiSEO found very little page loading slow down using Google Analytics, and discussions on Stackoverflow also reported there was little difference. The Royal Pingdom report featured on the Blog Herald admitted that while the numbers weren't significant, they were measurable across the three months of testing.

A quick glance into Google Analytics loading time history and mythology found it used to be slow. Many reports date back to when Google Analytics was using the urchin.js script, which Google replaced with the new ga.js script at the end of 2007. They recommend replacing the slower script with new faster one. AskApache has an article on how to speed up the urchin.js script loading times if you wish to continue with the older version.

The Blog Herald article referenced the slow load times for Google Analytics study by Royal Pingdom on Google Analytics script load times in Europe compared to North America, which were admittedly small, but the responses of the readers in the article comments shows a continued believe that Google Analytics is a resource hog and drag on their system, in spite of research testing reporting otherwise around the world.

There are many ways of testing your own page load times. Truwex Online Web Page Check Tool for Google Analytics checks Google Analytics specifically, and Pingdom Tools and Pagetest are just a few of the many page load time checking services available for free and a fee.

Last year, we did an informal evaluation of loading speeds for Woopra against the competition, and recent updates to servers and code have made Woopra even faster. We'll be doing more load time studies and testing soon as the new version is released, but the feedback so far continues to be that Woopra puts little if any significant load on your site and users' experience.

Woopra is seeing more than 50 million page views a day across more than 50,000 sites using our live web analytics program. This means we’re collecting 1,000,000,000 pieces of raw statistical data each day - and Woopra is still in beta testing development! That's a lot of data streaming across servers, so page loading and speed issues are important to us.


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