On February 11, we hosted a webinar with Streaming Media on the topic of boosting website performance. More than anything, we were surprised and gratified by the volume of questions that poured in throughout the online event. Our speakers touched on a number of issues that were relevant to the attendees, and we could have continued the discussion for yet another hour with all of the questions that were submitted.
Since we didn’t have time to answer all of the questions asked during the webinar, we’ve decided to follow up by addressing some of the top issues here. If you participated in the webinar and had a very specific question, don’t worry, a Limelight Networks team member will contact you directly. For the broader audience, however, we’ve listed below the top three categories of questions received along with our responses.
If your content delivery challenges are threatening to overwhelm, it helps to take a step back and prioritize. For improving delivery, the element you probably have greatest control over is page layout. Optimizing layout means optimizing delivery of every element on the page, whether it’s a script, a JPEG file, or a Flash video. There are numerous online resources offering tips to optimize site layout including the Yahoo Developer Network blog and die.net’s Optimizing Page Load Time article (written by a Google engineer). However, one easy trick is to insert placeholder images for any video on your site. Once a user clicks on the image, then you can serve up that asset. In the meantime, there’s no need to slow down your page load unnecessarily.
Other issues to address early include your content storage configuration, and cache control headers. If you use a CDN, it’s important to ensure that the connection between your origin infrastructure and your CDN provider’s delivery system is as fast a possible. Likewise if you use a CDN, you can improve the performance of your site by setting the correct cache control headers so that old content doesn’t slow down your delivery.
Want more suggestions? Take a look back at the “Top Five List for Optimizing Delivery” in the archived webinar.
Security – How Secure is Secure Enough?
There are a number of different ways to secure your content, but how you decide to proceed depends on your business case. Are you delivering content that is proprietary? Is it content that gives your company a competitive advantage? If so, you need to consider securing your content at its source, during transmission, and at the point of user access. Want more details? Check out the Limelight Networks Media Vault services.
Players and Platforms – How to Choose?
We get asked all the time by our customers what platforms they should use to deliver their content. It would be nice if there was a simple answer, but there rarely is. Take media players, for example. Flash boasts the largest audience, reaching more than 99% of Internet users, while Silverlight offers unique features for developer flexibility and cross-platform consumer media experiences. One or the other may be better for your business case, or it may be that you need a multi-platform, or even a multiple-device strategy. If you need guidance for your specific situation, let us know. We’d be happy to help.