SpotBack Update! Speed up your Spotback on your new blogger site. ~ Ask The Admin

Saturday, July 28, 2007

SpotBack Update! Speed up your Spotback on your new blogger site.

We have been working on getting our load times down and weighing widgets speed versus usefulness. And SpotBack causes us 15 or so seconds of load time and we called the author on it with the following email:

We got the new widget integrated and again we are taking a 10-15 second
performance hit on page load - anything we can do about that? We want to use
your ratings and be part of the social network side of spotback but the lag is killer.

We used Firebug with Yslow and it tells us the lag is with the redundant spotback scripts and the lack of gzip on them - does this mean anything to you guys?

We would love to help out and promote your site as well. Let us know if we
can do anything to help. Posts reviews troubleshooting etc.

Karl L. Gechlik

And they were very speedy with their response:

Hi Karl,

Thanks for your interest in our widget, we'll do what we can that you get the best possible from it. About the performance issue, I've notice that you are using "New Blogger" platform, there is an alternative installation instructions for this platform, which is only slightly more complicated (I'm sure you'll manage...) but achieves a performance boost. These instructions are specified here:

Just to explain the difference, with the current version you have, the widgets are loading as the page loads, and although it does minimum loading and heavy caching policies, it still delays the page load as the page waits between posts to load the widget. The alternative just places loading instructions between the posts, and connects our servers only when the page is fully loaded, making the page appear much faster.

If for some reason, you have trouble modifying your template to the new configuration, please send me the template and I'll modify it and sent it back to you.

About the GZip, thank you for mentioning it. This is something that is planned in the near future and is effective, although, as I mentioned, we use browser caching of javascript files quite heavily, so the load of the scripts is paid only once for any user accessing any site in the Spotback network (and it's a few seconds only anyway).


Amit, Spotback Team

We are going to give it a shot and report back to you guys - if you start to see horrible lags let us know!

Here they are back with some more updates!

Hi Karl,

I just wanted to update you as we released a version
that contains the gzip compression of the javascript. It doesn't require any
changes in your site and is already active. You'll be happy to hear that it
reduces the overall network traffic to Spotback by approx. two thirds. Also, I
saw that you have embedded the alternative installation of Spotback in your
blog, looks good!

Amit, Spotback Team