The Google Analytics Plugin by Yoast has been downloaded almost 1 million times for good reason; it does its job very well and is a solid and reliable WordPress plugin.
Version 4 of this popular Plugin has been released and has uses the awesome ‘Asynchronous’ loading of the Google code. Google describes this asynchronous loading thus; the code ‘loads in parallel with other code load the tracking code in parallel with other scripts on the page, thus reducing the web page load time’.
Many previous users of Yoasts Google Analytics Plugin will notice that the code runs by default in the header which, as Website speed buffs will know, is usually not a good place to run code that may be run in the footer. Fear not however as, because the code runs in parallel with other code, placing it in the header may actually have benefits over running it in the footer. We’ve tested with both Google Pagespeed and Yahoo YSlow and saw marginally better scores with Pagespeed by placing the code in the header as opposed to the footer (i.e. this is a good result).
Well done to Google and Yoast!