Keep that Website Humming Along
Amazon is introducing a really neat feature to their nifty Kindle Fire tablet (affiliate link) called the Amazon Silk browser What’s neat about Amazon Silk is that Amazon is using the power of their huge server farms, and using the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to help process the more intensive activities via EC2 instead of on the Kindle thereby speeding the page rendering process and improving battery life. This should make any site that much faster and user loading friendly, but unfortunately the Kindle Fire isn’t out yet and that is the only device with this particular browser at the moment. That said, you can still download Opera’s mobile browser to experience some of the compression elements that Amazon Silk employs, but it sounds like Silk has a some more features that make it a browser to watch.
But a company posting a website isn’t able to control how an end-user accesses their site and not many are visiting with Opera mobile and none with Amazon Silk at the moment. So, in terms of websites there are some optimization techniques that larger sites can use, including the use of web accelerators such as Varnish or Squid. If you’re a developer or have some good coding chops, it should be relatively easy for you to configure and keep up this sort of software on your web server.
If you’re a weekend updater, have a more basic website then perhaps you need something a bit more basic. I heard about CloudFlare a few weeks ago via the Marketing Over Coffee podcast and installed it on the Resort Marketing Blog back towards the end of September. CloudFlare basically does what the fancy software options do, but with an end-user only needing to adjust a few simple DNS settings. Plus, they protect your site from abusive bots and spammers. It’s a really slick concept, that is quite complicated, but as an end-user it seems really simple and it just works, check out this dashboard showing a week’s worth of traffic to this blog:
Click image to enlarge
To be clear, I did add CloudFlare to this WordPress self-hosted blog through the W3 EDGE WordPress plugin. CloudFlare also offers their own WordPress plugin, which I don’t have any experience with but does look to be a bit more compact than W3 EDGE.
Good luck and keep that website humming!