Brightball.com scores higher on YSlow than Yahoo!

We're a bit obsessed with performance optimization around here.  It's an itch that can never be fully satisfied because there's always something more that can be done.  Brightball.com is powered by our web application development platform, The Intersect (we're also fans of NBC's Chuck).  The Intersect is the same system we use as the basis for all of our client's projects and we decided to put it to the test at the hands of Yahoo! YSlow.

Yahoo! YSlow is a Firefox plugin that "analyzes web pages and suggests ways to improve their performance based on a set of rules for high performance web pages."  After installing the plugin we could not have been happier with the results, seen here:

 

As you can see, we scored a 92 out of 100, which is pretty incredible.  For some perspective, most sites are lucky to score a 70 so we were thrilled with the result. The score is achieved through a combination of application architecture, server configuration, and proper design (thanks OrangeCoat!).

We actually got an F in one area though, "Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)."  There was a point after we got the results that we considered using a CDN and rerunning the test to get a higher score.  In the end we decided that would be like trying to rig the results because it's overkill for most sites including ours.

A CDN is basically a network of servers that are located around the world so that images, videos, and other files can be transferred from a location that is geographically closer.  For example, if we were using a CDN for Brightball.com and you visited us from Germany the pages would be sent from our main server in the US while all of the images, style sheets, and javascript files would be sent from a server in Europe to help them load faster.

Thanks to the LimeLight CDN (used by XBox Live) which we have access to through Rackspace, we can use a CDN for international projects than can benefit from it.  For most sites it's really not needed though.

So, after we were finished basking in the glory for a little while, we decided to see how we stacked up against a few other well know sites.

  • 98 - Google.com
  • 92 - Brightball.com
  • 89 - Yahoo.com
    UPDATED - Yahoo seems to be redirecting people to a new homepage at m.www.yahoo.com.  This page has varying scores from 90, 92, 94, and 98 in our tests.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
  • 84 - Amazon.com
  • 68 - Microsoft.com
  • 60 - Ubuntu.com
  • 52 - Rackspace.com

Good to know that our hard work is paying off.  The Intersect has been tightly integrated with our server infrastructure from the ground up to achieve maximum performance in all aspects.  YSlow can only measure what your browser sees though, so we're really just scratching the surface here.

Plenty more to come. Stay tuned.