Canadian startup Blaze Software, founded in 2010 and based in Ottawa, has announced the launch of its cloud-based Web Performance Optimization (WPO) service. Blaze’s WPO promises to optimize web front ends for organizations struggling to provide ever-elusive responsiveness in increasingly rich web applications with a growing set of delivery channels including tablets, smart phones, laptops and traditional computing devices. After a year of development and beta use by a subset of customers, Blaze and its services launch today.
Site Optimization, Multiple Channels
Users like fast websites. That is well understood by almost everyone responsible for delivering web content. In fact, according to Jupiter Research, 33% of consumers will abandon a web page that takes longer than four seconds to load.
Rich applications, more multimedia content and increasing usage of smartphones and tablets -- led by the iPad and other mobile devices -- has not changed this. Traditional page optimization techniques are being challenged to do even more. That is precisely the problem that WPO is promising to solve. Tools such as Google’s Page Speed Online already exist to provide optimization recommendations for sites, but they stop there.
Blaze’s offering automates the site optimization process by applying recommendations to increase site performance on both desktop and mobile browsers. WPO integrates with many popular Content Delivery Networks (CDN) to provide additional acceleration and improve bandwidth usage. According to Blaze, WPO, which is provided as an online service, can be ready for use in around half an hour. That’s definitely not something most users will be expecting who have used CDNs and other optimization services.
WPO implements several optimization best practices, including:
- Versioning to improve caching performance
- Integration of CDNs to reduce geographical latency
- Domain sharding to limit to the number of domains
- Minification, which reduces content size by removing unnecessary elements such as comments and white space
- Inlining, a technique that embeds small external images and scripts into pages or resources that reference them and reduces the HTTP overhead of retrieving them externally
- And the ever-magical response prediction
Additional details on how the service works are available on the Blaze site.
Mobile Performance via iPhone, Android
The company also offers a free service, leveraging the WebPageTest.org platform, that helps site owners measure mobile web performance. The Mobitest Performance Tool uses iPhone and Android agents to perform a performance analysis of browsing a website using a mobile device. Blaze’s Mobitest helps improve mobile performance, by providing overall load times and a detailed breakdown of individual page resources.
As CMS, web engagement and CRM move more into the mobile environment with new offerings, users will be looking for innovative solutions and new techniques for giving users fast, responsive content delivery.