Ezoic Slowed My Site by 400%

After integration, Ezoic slowed my website to a crawl. It increased the number of requests from 26 to 612, my Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) from 1.5s to 4.6s, and my first-byte time from 0.8s to 3.38s. This was an unacceptable price in terms of speed, and I ended up giving up, even after configuring the Ezoic site speed accelerator.

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Ezoic Site Speed Impact

Here are the metrics on how Ezoic slows down your site:

Before Ezoic: Page Speed Metrics

Here are my WebPageTest results without Ezoic integration:

Without Ezoic WebPageTest Results on WP-Tweaks.com
Without Ezoic WebPageTest Results on WP-Tweaks.com

My TBT times are high, but with real-world users, it works just fine, as seen in this screenshot using Cloudflare as an alternative to Google Analytics:

Total Blocking Time (TBT) on Cloudflare Analytics

I’m pretty proud of the speed at which my site loads on average.

After Ezoic: Page Speed Metrics

Here are the WebPageTest results after Ezoic integration:

With Ezoic WebPageTest Metrics
With Ezoic WebPageTest Metrics

That’s crazy – Ezoic is slowing my LCP by three and the total blocking time by twelve! These differences are so high that they deserve a table of their own for comparison:

Speed MetricWithout EzoicWith EzoicPercentage Change (%)
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)1.5s4.6s328%
First Contentful Paint (FCP)1.5s4.5s300%
Time to First Byte (TTFB)0.8s3.4s425%
Total Blocking Time (TBT)1s12s1200%
Total Number of Requests266122353%
Total Size of Webpage288 KB1,810 KB628%
Site Speed Metrics: With vs Without Ezoic

The difference in site speed with and without Ezoic is staggering. The total number of requests is more than twenty three times higher for displaying just a couple of ads with Ezoic.

The Ezoic WordPress Plugin Slows Down Your Site Even More

If you’re using WordPress, Ezoic recommends downloading and installing the Ezoic WordPress plugin. But this plugin actively removes existing speed optimizations on your site. For example, during installation, it requires you to uninstall Autoptimize, as seen in this screenshot:

Ezoic WordPress Plugin Require you to Disable Autoptimize
Ezoic WordPress Plugin Requires you to Disable Autoptimize

For those who don’t know, Autoptimize is an invaluable WordPress plugin that improves CSS and JavaScript loading and has many other features, allowing you to inline above-the-fold CSS. If you follow the Ezoic WordPress plugin’s recommendation and uninstall Autoptimize, you’re immediately making your site worse.

The Ezoic Chrome Extension isn’t Much Better

The Ezoic Chrome extension will slow down your site just like the WordPress plugin. Even though you can keep using plugins like Autoptimize and manually select the location of the ads, your page speed metrics won’t improve much. Autoptimize can’t do anything about the external CSS and JS that Ezoic injects into your site. Your site’s files are a drop in the ocean compared to what Ezoic adds.

The Ezoic Site Speed Accelerator Won’t Improve Site Speed

To help speed up your site, you can enable the Ezoic Site Speed Accelerator on the dashboard. It’s a good idea, but it doesn’t help much. Even with all the optimizations and caching, it won’t reduce the number of requests or the page size. This includes a CDN as shown here:

Ezoic Site Speed Accelerator
Ezoic Site Speed Accelerator

The idea of the CDN is appealing. Ezoic says it will cache your entire HTML and not just the static JS and CSS files like a traditional CDN. In a way, it’s like Cloudflare’s Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) or QUIC.cloud’s dynamic caching. I’ve written about cheap CDN hosting using Cloudflare and QUIC.cloud, and Ezoic hopes to implement something similar.

Unfortunately, the Ezoic Site Speed Accelerator doesn’t improve loading times, despite its promises and what customer support says. Even with full caching, the site response times are too high, and it won’t help with the total loading time either. Worse, if you don’t use the Ezoic WordPress plugin, you can’t cache your pages because of the “cache-control” header. Even though you can instruct Ezoic to ignore cache-control headers and cookies to permit full-page caching, it doesn’t appear to work.

But even with the WordPress plugin and full caching enabled, Ezoic slows down your site to an intolerable degree.

The Ezoic Page Speed Price is Too High

While I rely on affiliate sales from WP-Tweaks.com, I thought I’d try and add some extra income to my site with display ads. Ezoic is one of the most well-known ad networks, and you only need monthly website traffic of 5000 visits to get started, so I figured, “Why not?”. The integration went smoothly, and I had an accommodating customer rep who reached out to me with suggestions and encouragement. So Ezoic gets high marks for the speed and personalization of its support staff.

Unfortunately, the cost of Ezoic in terms of page speed is unacceptable. The site speed archive on WP-Tweaks.com is filled with tutorials on improving page load times, so I couldn’t countenance implementing Ezoic – I would feel like too much of a hypocrite.

Alternative to Ezoic – EthicalAds?

For now, I’m giving up on Ezoic. My site traffic is still too low, but once I hit 10,000 page views per month, I will try EthicalAds. They claim to allow ads without cookies and tracking. When I hit my target, I’ll write a post about it and share my experience!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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