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5 Ways Ars Technica Combats the Threat of Website Latency

Since its start in 1998, Ars Technica has grown to become one of the largest tech news sites, serving an average of 60 billion pages per month. According to Ars’ Director of Technology, Jason Marlin, “We are one of the largest, busiest websites in tech news—not just because of the writing, but because Ars loads very fast.”

The sentiment is true. Readers expect pages to load fast. In fact, 40% of people will abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

How does Ars Technica do it?

Here are 5 ways Ars gives their readers nothing but the FASTEST delivery, using CacheFly CDN.

1. Highest Global Throughput Delivery

“We have a lot of tech sites ask us, ‘how do you get your site to load so fast?’,” said Marlin.In the U.S., our average response is 400 ms (page loads) for users who have cached most of the pages.”  Just as most sites use CDNs, Ars uses CacheFly to replicate its website files (JavaScript, CSS, images, and videos, etc.) onto the CDN’s globally distributed network of servers, for closer (and faster) delivery to readers. However, using CacheFly’s proven highest global throughput delivery, Ars is able to give readers comparably FASTER delivery than with any other CDN.

2. Infinite Scalability for Surges in Traffic

With CacheFly’s infinitely scalable bandwidth, Ars Technica delivers its website fast—no matter what kind of surges in traffic. Marlin notes, “Now we’re seeing around 60 million page views, and sometimes we have spike events, e.g. announcing the latest Apple iPhone. Those types of spike events will sometimes generate 15-16M page views. Without a CDN, a big announcement like that would completely shut us down. With CacheFly, you don’t even see an issue. The CDN just absorbs it, while all other websites in the same scenario are struggling to stay up. Customers commend us on that.”

3. Fetch Content Using Reverse Proxy

Instead of taking endless amounts of time to manually upload lots of small files, Ars uses Reverse Proxy as an upload method, allowing CacheFly to automatically fetch non-cached objects—simply by leaving the content on Ars’ origin and rewriting the URL to point to CacheFly. When asked about their use of Reverse Proxy, Marlin responded, “We were amazed by how well it worked when deployed. Reverse Proxy has made our deployment process so fast and has reduced the complexity of our deployment. The bonus is that this method requires no work from us in terms of syncing assets—we simply make sure files are available on our servers and reference them from the CacheFly CDN URL—the rest is magic!”

4. Replicate Updates Super-Fast

Some CDNs can take up to 24 hours to apply updates, which can be problematic—especially for news sites, which often make frequent updates, and base their reputation and credibility on relevancy and accuracy. However, when Ars makes an update to its website, those updates are applied to all replicated versions on CacheFly’s servers—within SECONDS—ensuring readers always receive the latest version of Ars Technica—SUPER FAST.

5. Automatic Compression of Files

Ars further speeds up delivery to readers, using CacheFly’s Gzip Compression—which compresses files to optimize transfer via the Internet. In addition, Gzip compression helps to decrease bandwidth costs by using less data to transfer over the wire.

Jason Marlin Ars Technica Website Performance

“CacheFly has exceeded our expectations on every level—from the technical operation of the actual service, to the top-notch support staff and their responsiveness…Overall, we’re very happy.”

-Jason Marlin, Director of Technology, Ars Technica

 

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4 Ways Binary Fortress Conquers App Delivery Latency with CacheFly CDN

Binary Fortress Software provides free and Pro-version desktop productivity “apps to make life easier,” ranging from managing multi-monitor desktops to performing real-time log monitoring. Their popular apps, including DisplayFusion, FileSeek, LogFusion, iTunesFusion—among many others—are distributed to customers all over the world.

Like other software providers, Binary Fortress knows that slow downloads can lead to customer attrition.

Check out these 4 ways Binary Fortress conquered latency and now ensures the fastest app delivery for their global customers—with the help of CacheFly.

#1 Offload Bandwidth from Local Servers

Every time an app loads, it makes a request back to Binary Fortress’s servers to retrieve data. Having a multitude of apps and a global customer base, it’s inevitable that servers would become overloaded, causing slow load times. According to Systems Analyst, Keith Lammers of Binary Fortress, “Our challenges involved setting up a new site to serve up a lot of images fast for customers. We were hosting locally, so we needed to offload bandwidth from our servers, which could be quite expensive. We needed a faster, more stable method of delivery.”

Binary Fortress sought CacheFly Content Delivery Network to efficiently offload bandwidth and provide a stable, worldwide network for faster and more reliable app distribution for their global customers. Lammers said, “We chose CacheFly after reading some reviews online where CacheFly was ranked to have the best performance. We also liked CacheFly because of the protected URL, origin pull, and pricing per MB features—we liked the good pricing for the amount of bandwidth we needed, and responsive and unlimited customer support.”

#2 Scale On-Demand for High Traffic Launches

When a new version or new app is available—and even when an app gets featured on App Store or Google Play, millions of global downloads could result, causing performance degradation and cancelled downloads. When Binary Fortress launches a new app or new version, CacheFly infinitely scales on-demand, to handle huge traffic surges, seamlessly.

#3 Super-Fast Replication

Instead of waiting up to 24 hours to push updates, as it can take with some CDNs—Binary Fortress uses CacheFly’s super-fast replication to push app updates to users within seconds. Files are replicated as soon as they are updated, providing their customers with app updates—faster—and more reliably.

#4 High Throughput Delivery of Large File Apps to Global Users

Binary Fortress needed a CDN equipped to withstand the delivery of its large file apps to global customers. No matter the file size, CacheFly’s proven throughput performance enables the company to keep their global customers happy by providing them with the fastest app delivery. Now, Binary Fortress’s apps to make life easier, are much easier to download.


Evaluating CDNs? Look for Throughput.

Most CDNs will try to convince you that Time To First Byte (TTFB) is the only measure of a CDN’s performance. However, TTFB only measures how fast the web server is able to respond to a request, not Time To Last Byte (TTLB)—or throughput—which is the total delivery time from initial request—to fully downloaded files. You need a CDN that performs from the first byte to the last byte, and nobody does that better than CacheFly.

 

keith lammers binary fortress
“CacheFly’s service has been really stable. All the technical stuff met our needs, and I don’t think we’ve had any downtime issues, which is really impressive. We would definitely recommend CacheFly. We’ve had great customer service. CacheFly is awesome; we don’t see the need to try any other CDN.”
– Keith Lammers, Binary Fortress


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RegattaCentral Sails in Response to High Traffic, Worldwide

RegattaCentral, the one-stop rowing source, serves 350 regattas and 2k rowing clubs, each year, throughout the world. Rowers visit RegattaCentral.com to register for regattas, programs, clubs, camps, clinics, and more—generating tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. For big races, RegattaCentral’s website can exceed 90k visits/day, with registrants from over 30 countries.

These types of traffic surges proved to be too much for RegattaCentral’s dedicated servers, causing the site to load slow.

Before minor issues in performance could become major issues, the rowing source’s Founder, President and Chief Architect, Steve Lopez, took action to make improvements.

“My goal was to improve the perceived responsiveness of the website by offloading the content and pushing it on a different domain or sub-domain…I saw the value of CacheFly having endpoints across the world, since we have customers all over the world…CacheFly seemed to offer an excellent cost-performance ratio, and the performance was quite attractive,” said Lopez.

Read why CacheFly is RegattaCentral’s CDN of choice.

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ExakTime gives users the FASTEST software downloads

More than 20,000 organizations rely on ExakTime for wireless time tracking and payroll solutions. However, new software releases, consisting of large 100-150MB files, to thousands of global customers, began to max out bandwidth from their South Bend, Ind.-based single location servers. ExakTime found themselves at high risk of customer churn due to slow downloads.

According to ExakTime’s Director of Software Development, Eric Renken, “We started doing our research and found some CDNs — most of which were outrageously priced. We needed performance, global coverage and speed…Doing it ourselves wasn’t economical.”

After undergoing a free trial, ExakTime chose CacheFly. Find out why.

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Topix uses CacheFly to deliver to over 12M global readers

Topix, a leading U.S. newspaper site and community reached massive growth in recent years, attracting over 12 million daily readers, worldwide. The increase in bandwidth caused crushing loads to Topix’s singly located servers, at its Palo Alto, CA headquarters. According to Steve Rubinstein, COO of Topix, “Having both dynamic and static files on our machines made it difficult and time consuming to optimize and manage. We needed a reliable means of serving static content without using our bandwidth.”

Rubinstein researched Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and chose CacheFly for two reasons: “When comparing CacheFly to the cost of bigger CDNs, there wasn’t enough of a difference in performance between the bigger CDNs and what CacheFly…”

Read on to learn why Topix trusts CacheFly to deliver their content.

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