Archive for the ‘SNOW’ Category
As the balance of web traffic continues to shift toward mobile devices, operators of high-traffic websites are increasingly concerned about ensuring fast load times on these devices. Many of them are likely using content distribution networks (CDNs) to reduce latency and ensure quick- loading content. Many of these same web properties are looking at responsive design as a means to optimize content on the broadest array of devices, including mobile phones.
We’ve written before about how responsive sites tend toward excessively heavy page weights, resulting in page-load and performance issues. Our team recently investigated how we might accelerate page-load times at the edge of the network by sending device-optimized websites from a single code base.
Keep in mind that CDNs aim to push content that’s in high demand to dedicated servers at the network’s edge. Meanwhile, SNOW sits on the web server at origin to identify the client device and then intelligently serve the optimum set of images and other device-specific resources to that device. Could this be adapted for the CDN architecture, in which there are two servers involved: the origin server and the edge server?
The answer lies in special technology developed by the major CDN vendors: Edge-Side Includes (ESI). ESI is a simple markup language used to define Web page components for dynamic assembly and delivery of Web applications at the edges of the Internet. It provides a mechanism for managing content transparently across application server solutions, content management systems, and content delivery networks. The good news is that ESI is now compatible with SNOW, which means we can auto-generate ESI syntax for improved performance and device awareness for sites running on CDNs.
The new SNOW-ESI module is a great solution for device-optimized websites that leverage a CDN architecture. SNOW can be added as an optional plug-in on a desired web server, which provides direct communication with the edge server. This means we can implement all of the SNOW features at the edge of the network:
- Device-specific user experience (our taxonomy includes thousands of PCs, smartphones, tablets, phablets, smart TVs, etc.)
- Generation of HTML/CSS content that is optimized for the device.
- Context-based rendering (for example for broadband vs. 3G).
- Edge-level caching for the fastest possible performance.
SNOW-ESI offers many compelling benefits:
- The SNOW-ESI module delivers higher performance than that delivered by responsive techniques, improves the end-to-end performance for mobile devices by a factor of four, and reduces page-load time by as much as 25 percent.
- Web users, especially those with mobile devices, enjoy a fast, device-optimized website experience.
- For developers, there are productivity gains of 40 percent since ESI syntax is auto-generated.
We recently exhibited at the Akamai Edge conference in Miami to demonstrate SNOW-ESI to web professionals. Feedback was very positive: beyond the performance gains, attendees told us they like the easy set-up and deployment. We’ll report back once we have some specific use-cases to highlight. In the meantime, if you’d like to implement SNOW-ESI on your web architecture, please contact our team here.
Here at Trilibis, we have been heads down the last few months on a big product initiative that I am very excited to share with you. What began as a major overhaul of SmartPath, our patented mobile publishing platform, led to the development of a new server side technology for One Web. It is such a departure from our background in mobile development that we had to give it a new name. We call it SNOW, and it is now available for companies to use themselves for their sites or clients’ sites.
In developing SNOW, our goal was to find a way to simplify web development for today’s multi-device landscape.
SNOW (Software eNabling One Web) is the first HTML5-compliant server-side software that simplifies multi-device web development on a single code base by allowing designers/developers to add device awareness tags within HTML/CSS files and post process the files at the web server layer before sending to the device (PC, tablet and mobile).
The result is a device-aware website that seamlessly adjusts the layout and user experience to different devices, and loads faster on smartphones and tablets than sites built using Responsive Design. Using SNOW, developers are also able to control site features and layout to deliver a differentiated experience for mobile users.
And, unlike proprietary end-to-end mobile publishing platforms, SNOW can be used in conjunction with other web development tools, open source libraries and Responsive Design techniques to enable the best possible implementation of One Web.
Make your website device aware by using SNOW.
Let it SNOW.
We are incredibly excited to present another cross-platform website built using our SNOW software. This time, we partnered with BBC to create an awesome promotional site around one of their most popular shows.
BBC Latin America celebrated the 20th season of its popular Top Gear TV show with ‘Top Gear Week’. And as Internet penetration and mobile adoption continue to grow at an all-time high in Latin American countries, BBC knew how important it was to have a digital outlet to promote the special event across all devices.
Looking to achieve cross-device performance in a short period of time, BBC chose to leverage the power of SNOW to develop a One Web experience across mobile, tablet and desktop devices. With a historically large Facebook following who shared and explored Top Gear content from their handheld devices, SNOW allowed the development team to take a mobile-first approach and deliver optimal experiences to all devices in a fraction of the time. Visitors were able to participate in a trivia contest, watch exclusive videos, and connect with the show’s social media platforms.
But don’t just take our word for it, to see how SNOW and BBC’s Top Gear came together, check out http://www.topgearconcurso.com.
We are incredibly excited to finally be able to talk about one of our cross platform mobile sites. For the last few weeks, we’ve been busy working with a truly awesome client, Turner Digital Basketball Services and the NBA.
Feeding off of the massive popularity of their social media presence, the NBA created the Social Media Awards as a way to acknowledge players who took their game away from the court and directly to fans through social media. As part of the campaign to promote this year’s awards, the NBA wanted a destination site designed for optimal social experience for the broadest reach across web-enabled devices.
After evaluating their options including dedicated sites and a fully responsive design solution, the NBA chose us to be their partner in developing a cross-platform, One Web strategy that included PC, tablet and mobile web experiences all from a single code base. To satisfy the need for scalability and performance, we thought this would be a perfect project for our new SNOW platform.
Leveraging SNOW, and our server-side optimization approach, we were able to design and deliver a rich and visually appealing user experience across all devices, from a single code base. Utilizing the power of server-side rendering and logic, we were able to send only the required code, assets, and design to any accessing device. This meant we could make customizations for any device, like different navigation and images for mobile phones, without affecting what is sent to other devices.
To learn more about how SNOW helped the NBA develop for their Social Media Awards, and see the results, you can checkout our NBA case study here!