IT & Network Infrastructure : How Masters.com Can Prevent a Tiger Woods Traffic Meltdown
How Masters.com Can Prevent a Tiger Woods Traffic Meltdown
by Darryl K. Taft
Tiger Woods Makes a Comeback
Following an emotional apology to his family and fans over marital indiscretions, Tiger Woods is making his return to the gold world after a self-imposed exile by playing in the famed Masters Tournament, which officially started April 5.
Tigers Return Expected to Create a Rush on the Masters.com Site
With Tiger back in the fold, the maintainers of the Masters.com Website expect a substantial increase in traffic. DynaTrace has done an analysis of some of the ways the Masters can prepare for the traffic onslaught. Based on a series of analyses by DynaTrace using its free AJAX Edition, it seems that there are a number of issues that slow the overall performance of Masters.com.
What Are the Major Issues with Masters.com?
What Can Be Done? Step 1: Reduce Redirects to Speed the Initial Loading of Masters.com
DynaTrace saw three redirects from Masters.com. The initial request takes 4.2 seconds (including DNS lookup, connect and server time) and redirects to www.masters.com. The second request to www.masters.com redirects to www.masters.com/index.html and takes 0.57 seconds. This redirect could be avoided by redirecting to that page in the first place. The third request now goes to the actual index.html page, which takes 2.4 seconds.
Step 2: Avoid Merging
Step 3: Use Far-Future Expires Headers for Better Caching
Masters.com uses cache controls. However, the controls are set to expire a mere 13 minutes after first caching. Unless these images will change frequently (not likely), many redundant roundtrips can be avoided, saving almost 7 seconds. To solve this problem Masters.com should use far-future expires headers set further out than 13 minutes. Unless there is a reason to constantly download these files (in the case that they frequently change), it is better to leverage the local browser cache and reduce download times.
Step 4: Avoid Microsoft's IE7 Bug
Looking more closely at the Summary View of the session, the resource chart shows that 2468 Text resources were accessed from the tester's local browser cache, which is curious. Masters.com does a browser check by querying the User-Agent property of the Navigator object. This is a common practice to identify the current browser version. Unfortunately, there is a bug in Microsofts Internet Explorer 7 that returns a wrong User-Agent in cases where the User-Agent string is longer than 256 characters. Therefore, code is executed for all the .png files that are on every single page, causing the HTC file to be loaded.
A Better User Experience for Golf Fans