Peter Nguyen Team : Web Development Tags : Google Performance

Reducing Google page load times – why we are using Amazon Cloudfront and why you should too

Peter Nguyen Team : Web Development Tags : Google Performance

Last month, a couple of the Wiliam producers went into a Google Analytics conference to learn all the in’s and out’s of analytics. One of the main issues that the presenter highlighted was Google Site Speed.

Ah, site speed – according to Google. If you’ve ever logged into it, you’ll notice that it’s almost always astronomically high. No matter how fast it is on your machine, or your network, Google just seems to think otherwise (and probably penalises you for it).

Our page timings – July 2014

After a couple of ‘point the finger at the developer’ rants, I had a look at our analytical data – and discovered that, the reason why our average was so high was due to… International traffic.

Although we might be a humble Sydney based web design agency, according to Google China, Iran, Pakistan and Peru visitors share our highest traffic percentage!

This poses as a huge problem as:

  • Our data centre is in Sydney.
  • Our website is hosted in Sydney.
  • Our database server is hosted in Sydney.

Which is a perfectly reasonable solution, because as an Australian web design firm, we are optimising our site for best use in Australia. However, Google factors that into their site speed average calculations – which is a huge issue as they would most definitely penalise us for it.

So what’s the solution?

Amazon Cloudfront. By using Amazon Cloudfront to as our dynamic CDN distributor, we’re able to utilise their network to store cached copies of our dynamically generated content across local nodes across the globe. This means that our international friends can access the page quicker. Thus, lowering their speed times which lowers our speed averages.

The results speak for themselves.

August 2014 compared to July 2014

Although the redirection time has increased, this would be due to the nature of how Amazon Cloudfront works – and the increase is minimal (0.02 seconds), when compared against a 4.66 second reduction in page load time!

What are you waiting for? Put your site on Cloudfront!