July 16th, 2015
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s dive deeper into the CNN article. Among the 200+ HTTP requests the page makes are calls to 25 different domains.
Yes you read that correctly. TWENTY…FIVE. Among them are a few that are clearly ad related (ex. ad.doubleclick.net, pixel.moatads.com), a few that serve some analytics function, and many whose names are intentionally obfuscated to confuse us.
The part of web cruft I hate most:
“Why does our page load so slow? Should you compress the images more?”
Me: “No, it’s the five different tracking codes and the multiple social media buttons.” (Shows evidence)
“Yeah, but we have to have all of those. So can you compress the images more? Maybe write less CSS?”
my eyes are hungry:
My favorite. “Ok we’ve gotten it down to loading only 1 JS tracking file as a compromise.” (that file then spawns off 10 more HTTP requests for more tracking and DOM manipulation)
That’s a tough a conversation to have. And that’s part of what separates a good professional versus someone who is just going to roll over and do whatever the client wants.
Unfortunately the other end of it is there’s always some agency or developer who will gladly take the client’s money and do whatever the client says, no matter the outcome. Again, follow the money.
We want to make the client happy and sometimes putting an extra tracking code in there doesn’t take very long and we roll over in do it but it ends up hurting the web little by little. All of those little things can add up. Clients need to realize who is keeping their lights on… and it isn’t by listening to their CEO.
I’ve had this same discussion many times at my day job. The problem is that our sales team relies heavily on tracking data as part of the sales funnel. The point of our website is to bring in business, so it’s hard to argue that we should reduce tracking scripts and marketing pixels to increase conversions — the tracking scripts are the conversions we’re looking for.