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Floating on CloudFront 9 (and Some Personal Finance Links)

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You may have noticed that I didn't write a lot of content this past week. Like many, I took a mini-sabbatical. During this time, I was researching ways that I could make reading this website more enjoyable. For too long I've been neglectful of the performance of this website. I've been too content to say: "Eh it seems to be serving up pages, so it must be good."

I went to work on making this website faster. However, instead of doing the things that would give me the most bang for the buck like optimizing database calls, I went a different direction. Based on some things that I was doing with my job, I looked at the images on the site. Even though I don't have a lot of images, they take up much more than 50% of the data you see.

I went through the images that you typically see, the logo, the MoneyStrands ad (I'm biased, but check out their stuff, it's amazed me at Finovate), and all the smaller images like the Email This and StumbleUpon icons. I shrunk them down using Smush It! and uploaded them to Amazon's CloudFront service. CloudFront is a CDN - Content Delivery Network. It takes the files that I upload and spreads them around the world. Someone in Hong Kong doesn't have to request a big file from my server in the United States... they get it from an Amazon server in Hong Kong. Similarly, people in the United States get files from places closest to them rather than having to move them across the country.

The combined effects have been dramatic. Before I started, it would take as much as 10-12 seconds to download some pages according to Pingdom. When I finished last night around 1AM - I was seeing speeds around 3-4 second. Surely some of that was the reduced traffic at 1AM on the west coast. However, since then, I've seen it stay around 6 seconds or so.

I hope you'll notice the speed upgrades as well - please let me know in the comments. Also, here are some links to keep you busy while I get back to writing actual personal finance articles.

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Posted on May 31, 2009.

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One Response to “Floating on CloudFront 9 (and Some Personal Finance Links)”

  1. Jim says:

    Smart work on your site speed optimizations.

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