Rügen 08 - Speed Picture Flickr

One factor determining your Google page rank is site speed.  The speed of your site can be impacted depending on how you integrate buttons Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

I’ve been running a really helpful speed profiling tool (free) at Pingdom.com (on this site) and noticed how much time it was taking for Facebook to load via the Share-a-holic plugin.   The amount of time to load Facebook each time was astounding.  And I don’t even have a facebook account.

Then I wondered if this time lag was even worth it considering I don’t have a Facebook or Google+ account or presence.  I’d always assumed it was a good idea to make it really easy for people to share content they like on my site.  Looking at the counters, not very many people do.

Here’s a quote from a post on iA backing up this idea:

Promising to make you look wired and magically promote your content in social networks, the Like, Retweet, and +1 buttons occupy a good spot on pretty much every page of the World Wide Web. Because of this, almost every major site and world brand is providing free advertising for Twitter and Facebook. But do these buttons work? It’s hard to say. What we know for sure is that these magic buttons promote their own brands — and that they tend to make you look a little desperate. Not too desperate, just a little bit.

That’s something to think about.  Then,

Social media buttons are not a social media strategy, even though they’re often sold that way. Excellent content, serious networking and constant human engagement is the way to build your profile. Adding those sleazy buttons won’t achieve anything. Social media is not easy — there is no simple trick. Usually, what most people do is not the winning strategy but the safe strategy, and safe rarely wins.

I’m not sure what to do for my site.  For now I’ve removed them in favor of faster page load speeds.  If you still want to include social media buttons, this article at zurb.com examines the speed factor and provides faster ways to include Facebook, Google+, and Twitter on your site with single lines of html.

Does anyone know a good WordPress plugin that provides the same light weigh approach?

Photo by Kay Gaensler