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Web Performance is a Journey, Not a Destination

Mehdi Daoudi

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Using Images to Take Down Your Site Performance

Continuing the effort of ruining your customer experience.

In my last blog, I gave you five simple steps to slow down your site and ruin your customer experience. One of those steps involved images; specifically making them as big and rich as possible, using large mega-pixel images, and not compressing them. I also mentioned that truly creative people could find additional ways to use images to bring their site to a crawl.

While investigating some issues for an ecommerce website, I discovered just how creative some people can be. In their new ad campaign, the company dropped a 3.5 MB background image on their homepage—and in making sure they inflicted maximum pain on their customers, they requested that background image twice. That’s 7 MB of data to download for just two images. The chart below provides a clear visual of when this campaign was launched and their load speed was brought down with it.

image load speed

I was able to stop the sea of red (and the alert spam) by blocking those images from loading with Catchpoint, but the site’s customers continued to suffer.

In addition to the background image(s), this company also included additional large images.

image performance

With the homepage originally a whopping 14 MB, it still weighed in at 7 MB without the images even being present.

This ecommerce campaign is a perfect example of how to use images to bring your site speed down to a crawl and your brand reputation to the gutter. If you want to learn how not  to ruin your web performance, take a look at our recent blog post with expert advice on optimizing your objects.

The post Using Images to Take Down Your Site Performance appeared first on Catchpoint's Blog.

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Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.

Founded in 2008 by four DoubleClick / Google executives with a passion for speed, reliability and overall better online experiences, Catchpoint has now become the most innovative provider of web performance testing and monitoring solutions. We are a team with expertise in designing, building, operating, scaling and monitoring highly transactional Internet services used by thousands of companies and impacting the experience of millions of users. Catchpoint is funded by top-tier venture capital firm, Battery Ventures, which has invested in category leaders such as Akamai, Omniture (Adobe Systems), Optimizely, Tealium, BazaarVoice, Marketo and many more.