In case you missed our last three posts, we have started 2010 with a bang: a new homepage, the addition of A/B testing, and last weeks text + description ads, private zones, improved ad code styling, and some design tweaks. This week (so far, there is more to come this week) we have started out strong with two major improvements: we rebuilt the ad server and integrated Smush.it for image optimization. Here is some more info about each:
Rebuilt Ad Server
Rebuilding the ad server probably sounds boring, but this is actually pretty exciting and offers significant improvement for our user experience. One of my pet-peeves is that the response time for some normal activities within the BuySellAds.com app is really slow: approving new ads, buying new ads (it took a while to process), editing site details, editing zone details, and editing ads. Well, not anymore, it’s super-fast now. I won’t get into the specifics, but if you are a BSA user who performs any of those actions you will notice significant improvement in the app’s response time. Any time we can make something faster is a win-win for user experience.
If you are not familiar with Smush.it, what it does is shave off unnecessary bytes of image files that don’t effect the image quality. You can learn more about Smush.it directly on their site. When it comes to performance of our ads “out in the wild” on publisher websites, optimizing images is a easy way to shave off the milliseconds and improve performance. After running some tests on the ads uploaded by advertisers, we found that we could save roughly 10-20% depending on the size of the ad and the advertiser (for some ads/advertisers, we could save over 50%!). So, for any new ads loaded into BSA, we will be running these through Smush.it. For all existing ads, we will be processing them through Smush.it gradually over the next few weeks. This will lead to faster load times and improved performance on publisher websites. Again, a win-win for both advertisers and publishers.