I’ve just removed the external sidebar widgets from Marketing Pilgrim. As much as I loved having them on the site, they just slowed down the page load-times too much.
Looking at the click patterns via Crazy Egg, it appears few readers were actually clicking on them anyway, so why frustrate the 99% of visitors who had to suffer slow loading pages.
As a compromise, I’ve added a “pilgrim’s picks” section to the sidebar, which includes links to the Link blog, MyBlogLog community and job board.
I think widgets are fun for a blog to have, but when they start adding 8-15 seconds to a page’s load time, it’s time to rethink.