How to use CDN: demos to show performance improvement

Latest update: 20170709

Why?
I am happy to tell you that my CDN demo site demo.cheungwaikin.com is relaunched today! The objectives of the new demos is to show how CDN improves website performance, and to help people visualize and understand how to make website faster.

My CDN demo site was first launched in early 2012 with the objective to show how to use different EdgeCast CDN products to improve the delivery of static, dynamic, video content and software download. Then in 2016 I made some demos to show how to use HolaCDN solutions to improve video streaming quality. All these demos before 2017 were focusing on HOW to use the CDN products to do somethings. For the new demos, I will focus on Why and What of parts of the equation.

“When you Speed Up service, people become more engaged – and when people become more engaged, they click and buy more” The Google Gospel of Speed, Jan 2012.

What is it?
The new demo webpages are constructed inline with the current Internet norms

  • using RWD to fit different screen sizes. Faster is a feature. Responsive too. [1][2]
  • the demo webpage size is about 3MB. According to HTTP Archive, 3MB is the average webpage size in June 2017. It was 1.0MB in June 2012!
  • there are 3rd party web components, usually for analytics and social networking[3]
  • in terms of #HTTP objects, 60% is image, 25% is JS, 15% is CSS/fonts/html.
  • in terms of object byte size, 90% is image, 5% JS and 2% fonts.
  • following the Google PageSpeed and Yslow guidelines of high performance website.
  • all demos are the same from coding perspective. They look the same. The only difference is the delivery arrangement of the first party content (1 HTML file and 13 images) – from which origin and with/without CDN(s). As of 20170707, I tired three CDNs: ChinaCache, AWS CloudFront and Google Cloud CDN. [4]

democheungwaikin.com

It looks nice, doesn’t it?

How to use the demos?
To see is to believe it. Each demo is using different Origin and CDN (if any). By clicking it and watch it, you can feel how fast your browser loads the webpage.

Besides your visual observation, there are some good online tools which provide quantitative analysis of website performance. GTmetrix.com is one of them. Below is a GTmetrix comparison of my new Demo#1 (AWS S3 Origin and no CDN) and Demo#3 (AWS Origin and ChinaCache)

GTmetrixcomparison.png

Which one is faster?

Notes:

  1. Besides focusing on mobile-friendly demos, I am trying to use mobile device (iPad), rather than laptop, to prepare the demos. Apple iPad Pro 10.5” with iOS11 Is a powerful content production device!
  2. RWD is cool. It is fun to develop a good-looking website as a habit. As a game. Do it anywhere, using iPad. Thank you w3schools.com!
  3. I am using a few 3rd party analytics tools: Google Analytics, Alexa and Soasta.
  4. AWS S3 and Google Cloud Storage are very similar. But there are many differences between CloudFront and Google Cloud CDN!

More blog posts on these topics are coming.

Please feel free to try demo.cheungwaikin.com. Wish you a nice weekend:)

Updates:

20170708 add a new demo – Origin: AWS S3, CDN: KeyCDN. Add a new performance analytics JS from uptrends.com

20170709 add e new demo – Origin: AWS S3, CDN: multi-CDN (ChinaCache for China, KeyCDN for Europe and CloudFront anywhere else)

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