Turbify Store Script Audit

Old, Unused Scripts Can Hurt Your Turbify Store
  • Unused scripts can slow page load time
  • Old, broken scripts can cause script errors
  • Scripts that cannot be found can cause timeouts and long delays
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When was the last time you audited your site and checked what kind of scripts you have accumulated over the years, and which of those scripts are still relevant and necessary? Do you have scripts for services you no longer use or tracking scripts that are no longer necessary, or worse, no longer functional? Such "deadwood" can actually harm your site in several ways:

  • Scripts that still work but are no longer necessary still get executed and add to the overall complexity of the site, potentially slowing down page load time.
  • Scripts that no longer work can cause script errors, leading to a domino effect on other necessary scripts on the page.
  • Scripts of services that are no longer in business can cause timeouts and long delays in page rendering or page load.

How do third-party scripts end up in your store?

If your Turbify store has been around for some time, chances are you've added plugins and services along the way to provide extra functionality, gather analytics insights, or create various reports on user behavior, etc. Examples include analytics scripts, "heat map" services, chat software, newsletter signups, reviews, etc. Merchants sometimes find a different service for the same task, and while the previous service is "turned off" when canceling the account, their scripts may remain in the store unchecked.

Services Do Go Out Of Business

Some services may shut down completely after years of operation, most notably "AddThis" social bookmarking and Google+, among many others. In such cases, the domain name may get sold, or in rare cases, the domain name may remain without a new owner. In cases like this, references to scripts of the old service might error out or can cause timeouts as the browser is trying to load them.

Tracking Scripts at Checkout

Merchants often install various tracking scripts in their checkout pages. When one or more of these tracking scripts no longer work, they can act as a "silent killer," affecting your store's conversion.

Since most merchants visit their own sites on a daily basis to perform daily tasks, issues affecting the regular store pages may become apparent as soon as they occur. However, most people don't ever think of visiting their own checkout or moving past the cart page, and as the merchant, you usually don't have a reason to go all the way to the order confirmation page. If there is a script that misbehaves on the checkout pages, you might not even learn about it until much later than what would be ideal. Most online shoppers, when they encounter an issue at checkout (slow loading, unresponsive, or broken pages), simply go elsewhere without hitting that "contact us" button.

Just recently, I encountered a couple of extreme cases where old scripts caused major issues at checkout (and this is what prompted me to write this article).

In one case, an old script that went out of business caused a load timeout, which made the checkout pages appear blank with a spinning cursor for 2 minutes each time someone tried to go from one page of the checkout to another.

And in another case, the domain name of a tracking script was acquired by some shady business who injected popups into the order confirmation page of a store which now had their script running.

Check Your Own Checkout

You can now see that it's a good idea to periodically test your own store's checkout pages. Simply add something to your cart and check out completely using the test Visa credit card number 4111-1111-1111-1111, along with a random expiration date and random three-digit CVV. This way, you can go all the way to the order confirmation page and experience firsthand what your customers experience. Using a test credit card number will allow you to go through the entire checkout process, except test orders won't show up in your store's order manager, and you also won't receive an order confirmation email.

Please note that such test orders will still trigger conversion scripts on your order confirmation page, so it's a good idea to use some low-priced item for testing to avoid skewing your analytics too much.

It's also a good idea to place an actual order with your own credit card from time to time, just so that you see your order confirmation email as well. If it's been a long time since you set that up, you may have old info on there which might no longer be relevant.

Doing a quick test like this will help you find things that are obviously wrong, but only a full audit can find all the scripts you may have in your store and checkout and point out the ones that may need to be removed.

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