First, I’m very happy to report that the obsession has paid off! The site, knock on wood, is the zippiest it has ever been, which has had the effect of improving the Journal’s search engine traffic, but also more importantly, visitors click on more pages once they land on the site.
But, if you want to think about it, the basic concept of loading external scripts, whether they be hosted on Facebook, Twitter, Google or wherever, in an asynchronous fashion is so that all the internal code, you know, all the important “content” stuff you’ve worked so hard to craft, loads first before the external scripts. This way, site visitors can start reading that content while all the fancy buttons load in the background, which provides a better visitor experience. Or, “user experience” as the official jargon goes.
On the Underground Film Journal, movie review pages come with a visitor-generated star rating system produced by the third party provider PollDaddy, a WordPress company. An example of one of these reviews with a rating would be for the hilarious comedy Pictures of Superheroes, directed by Don Swaynos, which is, by the way, available for streaming.
var resource = document.createElement('script');
resource.src = "http://i0.poll.fm/js/rating/rating.js";
var script = document.getElementsByTagName('script');
What this also does is score the Journal some points with Google’s Page Speed Tool, so the site can rank higher in search results. So, I get more readers and those more readers will get the full page loading for them: A winning situation all around.