In reviewing our recent user survey (thanks for all those who took the time to participate!) we (“we” as in Martin, our Senior Engineer) came across an interesting observation: Ghostery users reported better browser performance when running our extension.
This prompted us to do some digging into the impact of 3rd-party scripts on page-load time. We found that sites running many scripts simultaneously (such as Quantcast in conjunction with Doubleclick and 5 or 6 others) decreases browser speed significantly. Now, running scripts is an important part of providing users with an optimal web-surfing experience (think about all those Facebook Connect, AddThis, and other useful widgets!), but on average websites load about 30% slower in Firefox when they are running these scripts. The industry should definitely be aware of this.
Not only was this surprising, but it gave us here at Ghostery further validation in our efforts to help users gain more control over their browsing experience. Even more enjoyable than that, however, was the knowledge that the Ghostery community was the direct cause of this exciting revelation. Right on guys!