Zoompf's Web Performance Blog

Note: Archived Content

This is the archived version of the Zoompf blog. Since our acquisition by Rigor, all our new research and posts on web performance are being published on The Rigor Blog

How Fast is… Target.com

 Billy Hoffman on February 17, 2012. Category: How Fast Is...

Our regular video series How Fast Is…? examines real world websites and details the cause of their performances issues as well as what should be done to solve them. After all, the best way to learn about front-end web performance is to see what other people are doing right and doing wrong. In this edition of How Fast Is…? we analyze online retailer Target.

Why Target.com?

Because they are the perfect target, obviously! In all seriousness, I wanted to look at Target for a few reasons. The first is that they are a huge and extremely successful retailer with both an online store and traditional brick and mortar locations. When anyone has significant resources to invest in web performance, and would see a huge financial return by doing so, its always interesting to see if they do.

The other reason to look at Target is that Ron Johnson helped to revitalize their stores and brand in the 1990s. Ron Johnson is the guy who helped launch Apple’s incredibly successful retail stores. This is a man who understand the importance of a positive user experience and I wanted to see if the ideals he instilled which at Target remained.

Implementation Issues

In this video, I mainly focus on implementation issues that Target has. They are doing a lot of web performance optimizations. Target’s problem is that they aren’t implementing these consistently and uniformly across the site. Specifically we discuss some implementation problems they have around domain sharding, consistent URL naming, caching, and combining files.

Best Quote from Video: “Because 2 + 2 + 2+ 2 always adds up to…. whatever it adds up to. I forgot how many 2’s I said…”

Know a site we should make a video about? Contact us and you may see a future episode about it.


Have some thoughts, a comment, or some feedback? Talk to us on Twitter @zoompf or use our contact us form.