Our Website Loads up to 4 Times Faster after Removal of (unneeded) Tracking Scripts

I spend the last two days removing a lot of unneeded tracking scripts on our website with the intention to improve the privacy of our users. You can read more here about what I specifically changed.

We never did any extensive tracking, and thus I expected only a minor improvement in performance in the website but was actually very surprised that our pages now load 2 to 4 times faster than before!

I did a before and after comparison for two of our web pages, the main index page and also a very lean text-based page:

Main index page

Here are the results for loading our main index page https://www.airgradient.com/.

On this important page we can see a close to 60% improved page loading time and nearly one third of the requests are no longer needed.

Text-only page

I also wanted to see the impact on a small text only page and chose our manifesto page https://www.airgradient.com/manifesto/ for this.

Here the results are even more striking:

The load time of this page is only a quarter compared to before and it loads for me in less than 150ms.

What we removed

The impact is basically only from two tracking scripts. One is the complete removal of Google Analytics (which we replaced with Plausible). The other is the removal of a tracking script from Mautic which is part of our email newsletter application.

As I mentioned in our more detailed blog posts about the reasons behind this change, we actually don’t think that we need(ed) any of this tracking data. So what we have now is a clear win for our customers (more privacy and faster loading speeds) and also for us (we have less load on our server).

I think we should all reflect if the data that we collect is actually really needed and critically question the default settings in many analytic platforms.

Maybe this could be a good New Year’s Resolution for all the Web Masters out there!

Happy New Year!

by Achim Haug
Dec 31, 2023

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