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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Mon, 12 Oct 2015

I removed the social-sharing buttons from this blog

I just removed the social-sharing buttons for Google Plus and Twitter from this site.

Even though almost every http request for content on this Ode-powered blog is done via Perl CGI on shared hosting, the site is extremely quick.

And these two social-sharing buttons, which appear on every entry, were really slowing things down. (Instead of a third-party social-button service, I used embed code provided by Google and Twitter, respectively).

The question/dilemma I face: Is the reduced "performance"/speed of the site a fair tradeoff for what the social buttons have to offer?

Right now I'm saying no. If somebody wants to share my entries on social media, there are many ways to do it. I rarely use social-sharing buttons, especially because I try to originate my social-media entries from this blog rather than on Twitter itself. (For those who missed it, here is how I do that from a technical standpoint (and you can set this up on any blogging platform, not just Ode).

(Note: I'm not active at the moment on social-media sites that aren't Twitter and Facebook. Over the past couple of months, my work dragged me back into Facebook, another story for another time.)

In considering what to do about the social-sharing buttons, I'm looking at statistics. I'm not getting a massive number of social shares for these entries. And most of them, from what I can see, are re-shares of my own, original (and usually automated) social entries.

So at least 99 percent of readers -- closer to 100 percent than 99 percent -- come to this site for either entries or index listings and either don't want to share them on social media, or have other ways to do that if they wish.

Slower speeds for everybody to facilitate a subset (social shares using buttons) of a subset (overall social shares) doesn't make sense.

I'd rather have a faster web site. And now I do. Also simpler. And less-reliant on third-party Javascript embeds (I still have Disqus and don't see an alternative at present.)

I'm not saying I won't bring social-sharing buttons back at some point, but it won't be any time soon.

Update: So it's only a few hours later, but I'm very happy with the decision to remove the Google Plus and Twitter buttons. The site is so much more responsive (in terms of speed to load) that it was well worth it.