Keys To World-Class Retail Web Performance - Expert tips for holiday web readiness


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As’s former head of Performance and Reliability, Cliff Crocker knows large scale web performance. Now SOASTA’s VP of products, Cliff is pouring his passion and expertise into cloud testing to solve the biggest challenges in mobile and web performance.

The holiday rush of mobile and web traffic to your web site has the potential for unprecedented success or spectacular public failure. The world’s leading retailers have turned to the cloud to assure that no matter what load, mobile and web apps will delight customers and protect revenue.

Join us as Cliff explores the key criteria for holiday web performance readiness:

Closing the gap in front- and back-end web performance and reliability
Collecting real user data to define the most realistic test scenarios
Preparing properly for the virtual walls of traffic during peak events
Leveraging CloudTest technology, as have 6 of 10 leading retailers

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Keys To World-Class Retail Web Performance - Expert tips for holiday web readiness

  1. 1. Presents:Webinar 1
  2. 2. Expert Guidance on Retail Web PerformanceTODAY’S SOASTA PRESENTERSCliff Crocker: VP Product Management (via Walmart)Rob Holcomb: VP Performance Engineering (on loan from our retail clients)Moderator: Brad JohnsonAgenda:• Poll question• Closing the gap in front- and back-end web performance and reliability• Collecting real user data to define the most realistic test scenarios• Preparing properly for the virtual walls of traffic during peak events• Leveraging CloudTest technologyQuestions: 2
  3. 3. If you had to pick one area, which would youselect as the most critical to test for webperformance?•Page speed = 26%•Reliability and scalability in production =55%•Impact of integrated and 3rd party services = 5%•Back end infrastructure =13% 3
  4. 4. o 10 years working with (and for) retailers to improve performance of their mobile and web applicationso Joined SOASTA this year! • Last 2 years leading Performance and Reliability for @Walmartlabs (multi-tenant global ecommerce platforms)o Core focus: Understanding, measuring, and testing for the optimal user experience 4
  5. 5. PageSpeed vs. Reliability Source: Flickr – asparagus_hunter
  6. 6. Two Different Battles in the PerformanceWarPageSpeed Reliability• Client-side (browser) • Scalability• Best practices to decrease • Consistency under load – perceived load time peak period degradation• Focus is on front-end • Identifying bottlenecks development across the entire stack• FASTER • STRONGER
  7. 7. o PageSpeed alone isn’t enough o Common misconception: Traditional optimizations for front-end translate to reliability under increased capacity“An analysis carried out by Compuwarefound that the official London 2012Olympics website may struggle to copewith high demand”Source: “Olympics websites get gold medal for performance” Source: 7
  8. 8. o The two disciplines are not necessarily reliant on each othero Both are a necessary part of your holiday readiness strategy 8
  9. 9. Conversion Load Time: Rate: Time spent Huge drop in engagement Percentage of with every second increase loading content users who and page bought processing something during (client-side) their – PageSpeed Impact on Conversion Source: 9
  10. 10. o Make fewer & smaller requests (images, js, css, etc.)o Use a Content Deliver Network (CDN) Webperfo Leverage browser caching 101 – basic principleso Simplify the DOM (reduce the complexity of your HTML)Resources:o 10
  11. 11. o While there are many things you might find ‘wrong’ with your site using traditional measurement tools, there are a few that give you the biggest bang for the bucko Consequently, they are typically some of the easier issues to address 1. HTTP Keep Alives – use them 2. Clean out your closet, remove tags and other third party content that you no longer need 3. Combine your JavaScript and CSS 4. Enable HTTP Compression 5. Compress your images 6. Check cache settingsTypically will have an impact on the scalability of a site as well 11
  12. 12. Identifying Single Point of Failure (SPOF) Source: Flickr – CyberHades
  13. 13. o Even big whales go down • No matter how solid your site is, dependency on 3rd parties can lead to your downfallo Requests for third parties can kill your performance if you don’t plan for their failureo Relevant Posts: o Tools: • • SPOF-O-MATIC (Chrome Plugin): 1/10/testing-for-frontend-spof.html matic • 10/06/01/frontend-spof/ • 3P0 (YSLOW Plugin) 13
  14. 14. ‘Site X’ –NormalState - .9sstart render‘Site X’ –SimulatedSPOF - 43sstart render! 14
  15. 15. Source: Flickr – jamescridlandListen to Your Users
  16. 16. • Where should I test from?• What browsers should I optimize for?• What are the most critical paths to test?• What is the baseline for server response?• What is my cache/hit ratio?• How long is a typical session?• What are page views/hour at peak? 16
  17. 17. o Understand your critical path • Not always the most common path through a site • According to Forrester (2007) – average conversion rate is 2.9% - this means that you should be testing the 97th percentile! 17
  18. 18. o Test early – don’t wait until October! SOASTA White Papers Test in production throughout the year center/whitepaperso Test often / baseline each release in PQA “Retail Best Practices”o Use repeatable tests “Strategies for Seasonal • Apples to Apples Readiness” • Maintain scripts to minimize test creation effortso Pick metrics that make sense to you and your organization • TTFB, Page Views, Orders Per Minuteo Testing Third Parties • CDNs – Yes, but partner with them for success (SOASTA is Akamai-approved) • Other – it depends… remember SPOF 18
  19. 19. Rob Holcomb 19
  20. 20. Thanks & Q&A Next Webinar: Aug. 28, 10 a.m. PST “Getting Started with CloudTest Lite” Register at White Papers, Webinar Recordings, Case Studies - Knowledge Center Contact SOASTA: Contact Cliff: m 866.344.8766 @cliffcrocker Follow us: Contact Rob: m @rcholcomb 20