Will Drift slow down my website?

Updated 5 months ago ​by Matt Bilotti

The short of it - nope! Drift itself does not slow down your website.

The Drift JavaScript SDK loads asynchronously, which means it loads parallel with the rest of your site. So, when your website starts loading, Drift's loading time doesn't add to the overall loading time because it's being loaded by another source. In other words, If your page has 10 things to load and you add Drift, it still only has 10 things to load and the Drift widget loads on its own.

This means that users can interact with your site while Drift is loading in the background. We wait until the page has fully loaded (by waiting for the page's "load" event to fire) before we load the chat widget.

A bit more detail: Our Chat Widget uses gzip compression to speed up the load time for its scripts and assets. We also use caching to ensure that Drift loads even faster on repeat visits.

I did a test and it said Drift is slowing down my site. What's going on?

There are a few possible reasons why a speed test of your site would report an increase in page load time:

  1. Your speedtest is measuring "total load time" instead of the actual time it takes to load your page
  2. The speed test waits after the page is loaded to see if anything else loads later, and counts that toward the total
  3. Another script on your page is adding time before the "load" event fires, preventing Drift from loading sooner
  4. Another script on your page is blocking, preventing Drift from loading
  5. The speed test is penalizing you for not caching the script that contains your Widget settings. That script is dynamic and shouldn't be cached longterm

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