I got stuck in Europe this week due to the problems caused by the Volcano in Iceland. Trying to get any information about my flights I browsed web-sites of airports and airlines with the frustrating experience that most of these sites just got slammed and went down. Analyzing the web-site of the main travel hub I would have used - Frankfurt am Main - shows how following the best practices such as correct Cache Settings could have prevented this problem Read my analysis that highlights the flaws, the proposed changes and the estimated performance gains
- Posted by: Andreas Grabner
- Posted on: April 23 2010 10:26 EDT
Along with so many others I am stranded in Europe waiting for my flight back to the United States right now. The Volcano not only impacts flights across Europe but also impacts web sites of airports, airlines and travel agencies around the world. Checking my flight status on Sunday was almost impossible. The website of Germans largest airport - Frankfurt am Main - was hardly reachable. No wonder as I assume that their page just got hammered by thousands of additional page requests of frustrated
travellers. Now it’s Tuesday and the website is back to - almost acceptable - response times. Time for me to analyze the current web site as I’ve done with others such as vancouver2010, utah.travel.com or masters.com.
Check out my analysis that highlights how following the best practices on caching or resource management has a major positive impact on web site performance and would have prevented the downtown of sites like the one from Frankfurt Airport.
- What Happens to The Airline Websites When Crisis Hits??? by Jose Maria Arranz on April 23 2010 11:46 EDT
- What Happens to The Airline Websites When Crisis Hits??? by Andreas Grabner on April 27 2010 07:42 EDT
Yeah caching is fine to reduce bandwidth but in my opinion is just "cosmetic", the "definitive" solution is to avoid loading again and again and again THE SAME THINGS, is crazy.
Try to change from Flights to Directions to Check-in to Shop... TONS of reloads of the same elements of the shared layout... in spite of Frankfurt Airport's web site makes a good job with AJAX (or similar technique) trying to avoid reloading when you search for a flights.
Single Page Interface IS the path to get a real bandwidth saving.
SPI can have bookmarking, can be SEO compatible, can be "Dreamweaver friendly", can be accessible (WAI-ARIA)...
You bring up a good point - however - correct cache setting is not "cosmetic" and from my perspectice it is A MUST DO in order to prevent the massive reload that happens in this showcase. If you have everything cached correctly you can even load a new HTML Page with every user interaction only needing one HTTP Roundtrip for it - even without using any "AJAX-Magic" :-).
But as I said - you make a good point with SPI but it also only perfoms well if you make your homework and also do all the other things like caching, mergin, spriting, minifying, ... correctly