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Gogobot Radically Improves Web Performance by Slicing 45% Off Web Application Load Times for Personalized Web and Mobile Experiences The Challenge As the first social recommendation engine and truly personalized guide for travel, Gogobot benefitted from rapid user growth during 2011. While the growth validated Gogobot’s “trusted recommendation” model for travel, it also resulted in slow application load times for users trying to access the site from the East Coast of the U.S., Europe and Japan, far from the company’s cloud servers on the West Coast. Gogobot began using the Amazon CloudFront Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up its static content but quickly hit a performance wall. Gogobot then switched to Cotendo’s (acquired by Akamai) CDN service. To push aggressive business growth, Gogobot CTO Ori Zaltzman ­– a true Web performance fanatic – needed even faster response times to increase time spent on site, user engagement, repeat visits, and, ultimately, revenues. Equally important, Zaltzman knew that faster web application response would lead to higher search engine rankings, increasing traffic and boosting visitor numbers. As a travel site, Gogobot needed to give its users high-quality, high-resolution images to convey the richness of dynamic, personalized destination guides built on the fly. “If you use TripAdvisor, you see the same list of restaurants and hotels no matter who you are. In contrast, we use huge amounts of data from Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare and build a personalized list based on your social network and tastes. We update the list in real time and every page is different for each user,” explains Zaltzman. This type of customCUSTOMER PROFILE Company: gogobot

ized content, application structure and user requirements make caching images and Web assets difficult, thus limiting the ability of traditional CDNs to improve web performance. “We need to propagate newly-posted images from our mobile app onto our personalized pages in seconds. To do that you need a different approach to accelerate applications,”

Location: Menlo Park, California

says Zaltzman. This was especially true for users accessing Gogobot from tablets and

Description: : With tens of millions of page

smart phones – currently 30% of traffic and growing – which have to deal with congested

views each month, Gogobot is the world’s

networks that slow data speeds.

most popular source of trusted travel

Because Gogobot had taken great care to optimize for best practices in Web perfor-

advice. Launched in November 2010 and

mance, achieving a Google PageSpeed score of 96, automated Front-End Optimization

named one of TIME magazine’s 50 Best

options would have yielded minimal benefit while introducing unnecessary complexity

Websites of 2011, Gogobot was the first

that could have resulted in service interruptions. To ensure that Gogobot could continue

travel company to refocus online travel planning on friends, not strangers. The company allows users to submit travel suggestions to their social graph and surfaces information that is highly relevant to users in person-

growing quickly while maintaining a superior user experience, Zaltzman wanted a scaleout service that would: • Significantly improve Gogobot’s application load times globally without adding servers or big infrastructure

alized, dynamically-built Web pages. This

• Drive improvements in user engagement and return visits while reducing bounce rates

innovative company counts Google’s Eric

• Deliver high-res images to dynamically generated pages without impacting load time

Schmidt among its backers and grew from zero to 2.5 million registered users in a year.

• Boost SEO and Google search rankings as well as conversions on affiliate travel partner sites.

Copyright © 2013 Instart Logic, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Solution To handle a completely dynamic, personalized travel guide that gives every user a different page, you need a new kind of Web performance technology that goes beyond traditional CDNs. By streaming Web applications instead of relying on caching and other dated technologies, Instart Logic slashed our page load times by 1.5 to 2 seconds – a 45% improvement – without requiring any changes to our code or user behavior. This not only saved us engineering time but it gave us performance superior to any CDN.” Ori Zaltzman CTO of Gogobot

Zaltzman met the Instart Logic team shortly after the company had released an early beta version of its product in 2012. “We had been using Cotendo for a while and one of our front-end experts had just spent six months optimizing our Javascript to cut 2 seconds off of our page load speeds,” recalls Zaltzman. “I didn’t think there was much room for improvement.” However, he was intrigued by Instart Logic’s Web Application Streaming technology, which divides web applications into smaller fragments and sends the highest priority data first to speed up load times and deliver a full fidelity experience. Instart Logic showed Zaltzman a demo of what Gogobot would look like running on the Web Application Streaming Network™. With no other modifications or optimization, Gogobot’s web application ran one-and-a-half to two seconds faster on Instart Logic, a 45% improvement over their existing provider Cotendo in all geographies. “I was very surprised,” recounts Zaltzman. After testing Instart Logic on a portion of his live traffic and seeing the same benefits, Zaltzman replaced Cotendo entirely with Instart Logic’s Web Application Streaming Network™.

The Result The most noticeable benefit, says Zaltzman, was visibly reducing the time to deliver large 300-kilobyte images. Mobile users, too, strongly benefitted, attaining response times nearly indistinguishable from wired connections. “The improvement was like night and day,” says Zaltzman. “By slashing load times for new and return users, we saw users spend more time on the site, they visited more pages and they booked more hotels.” Faster application load times across-the-board also boosted SEO. For Zaltzman, Instart Logic’s technology has delivered measurable improvements in bounce rates, time spent on site, and number of pages clicked, while allowing him to serve higher-quality images. Says Zaltzman, “We saved months of engineering time by using Instart Logic and got dramatic performance improvements. It was a no-brainer.”

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Copyright © 2013 Instart Logic, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gogobot Improves Web Performance by Slicing 45% off Web Application Load Time  

Gogobot is an online social travel recommendation site. Ori Zaltzman, the CTO and Co-Founder, explains the reason of switching to Instart Lo...