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How-To: Testing Third-Party Scripts Locally

September 4, 2018 · by Carm Janneteau and Medhat Yakan ·

Third-party scripts are everywhere on the web today: they’re used for ads, analytics, social media, and countless other purposes. These scripts can provide significant benefit, but they can also cause chaos when it comes to site performance and manageability.  

Ion’s Script Management ensures you can continue to use your favorite third-party scripts on your site with confidence, visibility, and protection. Script Management is designed specifically to help you successfully manage the impact that third-party scripts have on your site and to help protect against unresponsive scripts.

For Script Management users, we’ve introduced a new Script Management Policy Tester. This is a Chrome extension that enables you to experiment with actions like deferring and blocking scripts on your site, to see the effect locally in your browser. After discovering what happens when you block and/or defer scripts, you can take action directly in Script Management.

In this context, a policy defines your saved settings for blocking or deferring scripts. You can switch between different policies using the Script Management Policy Tester, or even create new policies on the fly. Let’s take a look at how to get started and how to use this plug-in.

Installation and Use

  1. Go to the Chrome Web Store, select the Akamai Script Management Policy Tester extension, and add it to Chrome.

     

    Script management installation

     

  2. Navigate to your website.

  3. Access the Chrome Developer Tools (via the menu or shortcuts) then open up the Script Management Policy Tester by selecting the SM panel. 
     

    Click SM

     

  4. Click "Retrieve policies" to get a list of the latest active network policies, then select the desired policy and click "Load policy". If you don’t have a policy ready to load, you can create one on the fly.  

    Load the policy

     

  5. Experiment with actions to see the effect on your site. For example, you can defer and/or block scripts and see the impact on the page, and make sure the page still loads. Click "Apply version locally" to test the policy locally.

    step5

     

  6. After experimenting with different actions in the Script Management Policy Tester and reviewing the effect on your website, you can use the Script Management interface in the Luna control panel to create a corresponding network policy. Then you can apply it to staging for further testing, and go live by applying it to production.

 

Usage notes:

  • The tester supports both first- and third-party scripts.

  • You can test the staging policy with either the staging or production policy, and vice versa.

  • Scripts are grouped by hostname to make it easier to configure an action for a related set of scripts in one go. You can still take actions on individual scripts by expanding the various groups.

 

See It in Action

Watch this short demo video to see exactly how Script Management Policy Tester works and how it can help you:

Summary

Third-party scripts can provide considerable business value to a website, but they also pose potential performance risks and can significantly impact end-user experience. Ion Script Management addresses those risks by automatically protecting your site and providing third-party script visibility. In addition, you can now test the effects of these scripts using the Script Management Policy Tester. This allows you to experiment with effects locally, and then safely take direct action using Script Management.

If you’re an Akamai Ion customer, simply turn on Script Management and then get the Script Management Policy Tester plug-in to start discovering and experimenting.

If you’re not currently an Ion customer, sign up for the free trial here.

Carm Janneteau is a senior product manager at Akamai Technologies.
Medhat Yakan is a product architect at Akamai Technologies.