Most of us have several scripts on our blog pages that deliver on feeds from other sites–blogrolls via blogrolling.com, hit counters from SiteMeter and others, and, of course, various advertisements (BlogAds, Amazon, GoogleAds, and so forth). Some of these–notably blogrolling.com and SiteMeter–go down frequently owing to the massive number of people using those services. When they go down, page load times increase tremendously and, often, the page simply won’t load. With blogrolling.com having been down for several days, there are numerous blogs I haven’t been able to read even if I type in their URL–the page just freezes at the point where the blogroll code is inserted.
Some of the services are useful enough to put up with occasional balkiness. The thing to do, however, is to put the scripts in a place where they do less harm. I finally moved blogrolling.com off my main page to dedicated page a couple weeks back. It’s slightly less convenient that way, but the faster loading and increased reliability of my main page more than offsets that. Similarly, my SiteMeter code is at the very bottom of my page, literally the last thing that loads. So, if it doesn’t load, the rest of the page does. I also put all of the advertising except for one Premium BlogAd strip into the third column so that, again, the posts will load even if the ads won’t. (I’m generating enough revenue with the Premium BlogAds that removing that one doesn’t make sense.)
If you’re not willing to re-arrange your page, at least monitor it. If Blogrolling or SiteMeter isn’t working, disable them temporarily. There’s also a hack for Blogrolling that will display a customized message after a few seconds if attempts to load it time out.
Update: Kevin Aylward has a technical fix for some of the problems with Blogrolling.com.