Would you give the Amazon Prime delivery robot the key to your house, just because it stops by to deliver delicious packages every day? Even if you would, do you still have 100% confidence that it wouldn’t accidentally drag in some mud, let the neighbor in, steal your things or burn your house down? The worst-case scenario is what you should be planning for when deciding whether or not to include third-party libraries and services on your website. While most libraries have good intentions, by including them on your site, you have given them complete control over the kingdom. Once on your site, they can provide all of the great services you want. Or, they can destroy everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
It’s prudent to be cautious: we’ve all heard stories about how third-party libraries have caused slowdowns, broken websites and even downtime. But how do you evaluate the actual costs and potential risks of a third-party library, so you can balance that against the service it provides?
With all of the great performance tools available to developers today, we’ve gained a lot of insight into just how much third-party libraries are impacting our websites. While you may not have the time to perform a deep dive into every third-party library you want to include on your site, you should be able to walk away from this talk with a checklist of the most important best practices third-parties should be following for you to have confidence in them. We will also share automated tools that can help reveal these insights so you don’t have to do all of the heavy lifting on your own.
Nic is a software developer at Akamai building high-performance websites, apps and open-source tools.
Charlie is a Principal Software Engineer at Akamai and co-founder of SOASTA.
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