Third-party tags are great for adding features and components to your website without your developers having to create those things from scratch. Websites need them to provide the type of digital experience that customers expect today. However, despite the best efforts to manage third-party tags, many websites still load slower than they could be and risk disrupting the user experience, or worse, losing impatient users to a competitor’s site. 

But wait, aren’t tag managers supposed to solve this?

Yes and no. When third-party tags first came out, they caused a ton of slow-loading websites because all the tags tried to load at the same time. Think traffic jam.

Tag managers, like Google Tag Manager, were invented to help address this issue by implementing asynchronous tag loading; meaning, there is an order to what content and which tags load first, second, and so on. Tag managers have been considered the best way to prevent third-party tags from impacting site performance and keep the user experience positive.  

Most of the time, tag managers work well. But, just because a tag is set to load asynchronously, it doesn’t mean that the loading and rendering of website content won’t be impacted; for example, an asynchronous tag could still block the “onload” event of the page. Because of the nature of how JavaScript works in web browsers, asyncronous loading still takes up bandwidth, it uses valuable resources, and inherently means something else will slow down. For all Javascript, including third-party, you have the actions of the download, the CPU parsing it, and the browser executing it. All of this takes time, and can push back critical navigation timing events like onload or DOMContentLoaded.  

Whenever a user sees that spinning icon in the address bar and “Connecting...” at the bottom, often tags are at fault.  

What happens when a user experiences this? They usually don’t wait. They choose another website that loads faster (think immediately) and gives them the instant access to content that they want. 

So, what is the solution for this? If async tag loading is still the standard way to manage tags, how can you ensure that it’s not impeding your site performance and creating a negative user experience? 

Instart Tag Analytics & Control gives you complete visibility and control over every 3rd, 4th and even 5th party tag that executes in the user’s web browser, regardless of who added them to your application. It enables you to understand the impact and behavior of all tags and create smart policies that automatically manage their impact on performance, reliability, and security. 

A fast-loading site delivers the content users want, exactly when they want it. 

Contact us to learn how Instart Tag Analytics & Control can do this for your users.