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Web Application for Online Auctioning Site

Project Overview

QBurst helped improve the performance of the client’s web application which was developed using Joomla. We did a complete analysis of their existing system and presented an efficient and cost-effective solution based on industry best practices and processes. Following implementation of the solution, the client’s application experienced an impressive spike in search engine ranking as well as website traffic.

Business Challenge

  • Slow loading of web and mobile pages
  • Low ranking in search engines
  • Low web traffic
  • Very few transactions on the site

Business Requirement

  • The client wanted to improve their website performance to increase online transactions.
  • They also wanted to raise their ranking on search engines so as to bring in more traffic.

Client Profile

Our client is one of the world’s largest industrial auctioneers, providing an innovative online marketplace for construction equipment and materials. Headquartered in Canada, they offer solutions that make it easy for buyers and sellers to negotiate, complete, and settle their transactions online. The client’s web application is designed for equipment, materials, trucks, and hard-to-move industrial assets with photos and specs that other online markets do not provide. The application is particularly useful for people who prefer to buy and sell equipment privately.

Technologies

  • Joomla
  • MySQL
  • PHP

QBurst Solution

QBurst offered recommendations based on thorough analysis and implemented enhancements based on industry best practices. Key steps taken to improve the performance of web and mobile site were:

  • PHP profiling
    • Performed manually and also by using Webgrind tool to identify bottlenecks
  • Removal of redundant components
    • Identified and removed all unused Joomla components/modules/plugins to reduce overhead.
    • Disabled components for real time statistics to reduce database overhead
  • jQuery optimization
    • Optimized jQuery selection operation throughout the site
  • Minimization of HTTP requests
    • Combined multiple API calls to reduce the number of requests, caching them wherever required
    • Merged JavaScript and CSS as much as possible
    • Removed duplicate scripts
    • Used CSS Sprites
    • Avoided redirects
    • Removed all broken or dead links
    • Deferred loading content when possible
  • Page size reduction
    • Minified and compressed JavaScript and CSS
    • Compressed HTML Markup
    • Used Gzip compression
    • Optimized image compression
    • Avoided resizing images in HTML
  • APC (Alternative PHP Cache) for Joomla session handling
    • Cached API calls wherever required
    • Added an Expires/Cache-Control Header
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN) Integration
    • Used CDN for faster loading of images, CSS, and scripts
  • External JavaScript and CSS for caching
    • Used stylesheets at the top to allow the pages to render progressively
    • Used scripts at the bottom to avoid blocking parallel downloads

We used Google Analytics for viewing the number of visitors to the site as well as measuring the page speed. Selenium scripts with Neustar Web Performance Management (WPM) was used to conduct load test.

Business Benefits

  • The site recorded a higher ranking in Google Search.
  • There was significant increase in the number of auctions on the site.
  • The number of HTTP requests for a page reduced considerably - from 118 to 53, ensuring a better experience for first time visitors.
  • The website pages loaded faster with a reduction in total page size from 1813.5 KB to 725.5 KB.
  • The page load time reduced from 5.9s to 4.56s.
  • There was significant increase in website traffic within 3 months from implementation; the number of unique visitors to the site increased by approximately 200%.

Tools Used

  • Webgrind
  • Neustar WPM
  • Google PageSpeed
  • jMeter
  • WebPagetest.org
  • Selenium
  • PageSpeed Insights Browser Extensions for Chrome and Firefox
  • Yslow