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Howdy, folks,

We’ve made several major improvements to how dashboard stats are loaded and how our site tracking tag is hosted and structured to make life easier for advertisers.  Since launch, we’ve signed a great deal many more advertisers onto the platform which led to slowness on both fronts.  We’ve solved both issues.

Accelerating the Dashboard

A few weeks ago, it was taking too darn long to load your stats for advertisers with more than a few weeks of data looking at “lifetime” or “30 day” views.  This was annoying to us, too.  It’s hard to make decisions without a top-level historical view of how campaigns have performed and it was hard to get that view with how slowly it was loading.  So we fixed it.

We got smart about profiling our dashboard aggregation logic and implemented several performance tweaks to reduce server load and get you the graphs faster. We also lazy-load tables that are not visible on page load, which resulted in a major “time-to-first-byte” reduction.All in-depth stats that you have come to expect are still available, just a little bit faster. And stay tuned: we have plans to make your dashboard even slicker.

Increasing reliability and speed for our tag with Fastly.com

The other big performance obstacle we hit was with our site tracking tag. Now in use on several hundred web sites, a week ago it was loading 10x more frequently than we’d anticipated and needed to be moved off our current hosting provider to a dedicated CDN immediately.

We investigated several solutions and made the decision to go with Fastly.  We chose them because they allow rapid updating of our data, which means when make changes to our code, it appears live on their site instantly rather than minutes or hours later like with other CDNs.  In the future, it will allow us to start tracking audience lists and cookies within minutes.

Also, Fastly lets us serve our code over secure connections for custom domains.  This is super important because it meant we could continue serving secure, trusted code to our customers using HTTPS without changing our code in ways we were uncomfortable with.  It also helped that we received recommendations from several YC companies using them for heavy-use projects, and for being very responsive is issues ever come up.

With our tag hosted on Fastly, we were able to reduce load on our system to less than 1% of what it was a week ago and bring load times on our tag back down to “imperceptible” for advertisers.

 

We rolled out both changes over the past few weeks so you may have noticed improvement already.  If you were wondering what happened, now you know!

Brad Flora

Brad Flora is co-founder and President of Perfect Audience. A former journalist, he started Perfect Audience to help make retargeting something that companies of all shapes and sizes can benefit from. He likes dill pickles and recently took first place in the Star Cup at 150cc in Mario Kart 64.

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