How Fast Is… Orbitz?
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 Orbitz.
I wanted to look at Orbitz for a few reasons. The first is they are entirely an online business. All of their revenue comes from their website. This means they should be keenly aware of the impact of web performance on their bottom line. Orbitz is also large enough to have resources, in the form of both people and money, to spend on optimizing its website. Finally, Orbitz’s website integrates with flight information and reservation systems, hotel adn car rental agencies, and other 3rd party systems. I wanted to see how this might impact Orbitz’s web performance.
Optimization Across the Entire Site
Usually in Zoompf’s How Fast Is…? videos, I only examine a few pages of a website. This time, I crawled and analyzed nearly 1000 pages and compared their performance to the performance of the Orbitz.com home page. In this video I discuss how the rest of the Orbitz site suffers from many performance problems which do not exist on the main page. This leads me to conclude that Orbitz’s frontend performance process is immature. They either do not have the tools or the processes in place to test large portions of their website for frontend performance best practices. When they do recognize a performance problem and optimize it, it is applied haphazardly and not uniformly across their entire website. Most likely this means that their process to optimize content is not formalized or automated, and is applied ad hoc when their is time available, or as issues are noticed.Best Quote from Video: “You don’t want to… basically… be doing performance whack-a-mole.”