Web Performance Fails of the Week – February 27th 2015

Welcome to Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. Everyone loves a bit of is schadenfreude after all.

Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

Adidas – Yeezy Boost flash sale

What happens when one of the biggest celebrities in the world designs a sneaker, unveils it at the Grammys and it goes on sale online? Well, for Adidas Originals, the online sale of Kanye West’s “Yeezy Boosts” went something like this:

Ahead of the European release tomorrow, those wanting a pair of the “extremely limited availability” shoes share the same wish.

Trainsplit.com – Press coverage overloads website

A new website professing to enable visitors to save money on train tickets launch this past week in the form of trainsplit.com. It uses a loophole in the rail ticket booking system to split journeys up into several cheaper tickets as opposed to one more expensive one.

It seems that the process of doing this is quite intensive on their back end systems, especially after press coverage drove more than enough traffic to the site to slow it to a crawl.

TrainSplit

Eventually the site went down altogether.

UK Antarctic Heritage Trust – Job advert crashes website

The UKAHT posted a job advert for four people to work at the Port Lockroy post office off the Antarctic Peninsula. Despite the description (“Can you enthuse to visitors when it is -5C° and blowing a blizzard as well as cook supper cheerfully after a long cold day and very little sleep?”, it cheerily asks), there seems to be plenty of people who find the prospect of living amongst the penguins of Goudier Island attractive, as the website went down.

Port Lockroy, Antarctica

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services include performance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, and managed performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Web Performance Fails of the Week – February 20th 2015

Welcome to Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. Everyone loves a bit of is schadenfreude after all.

Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

Amazon – Outage across Europe

Proving that even the biggest names sometimes slip up, ecommerce juggernaut Amazon suffered a brief but embarrassing outage all over Europe this week, although its US site seemed to be unaffected.

It even affected Amazon’s Fire phones, much to the user base’s chagrin.

VisitIthaca.com – Florida advert breaks website

Ithaca is a popular vacation spot in the state of New York, but with the recent weather not being ideal on the east coast of the US, this local travel website decided to admit defeat and suggest that would-be holiday makers choose to go to sunny Florida instead.

It turned out to be an effective publicity stunt, but a flood of new traffic caused the website to get snowed under.

BQ – Ubuntu phone flash sales

The first phone running the Ubuntu mobile OS was released across Europe today, and demand was so much higher than supply that the website struggled to gracefully cope with several “flash sales” promoted by retailer BQ.com.

It seemed that getting one of the handsets truly was a case of being one of the “lucky ones”, as there didn’t seem to be any queuing or intelligent traffic management systems in place to handle the influx of visitors.

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services include performance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, and managed performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Web Performance Fails of the Week – February 13th

Welcome to Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. Everyone loves a bit of is schadenfreude after all.

Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

Spicejet – Low Cost Airfare Deal

Budget Indian airline Spicejet ran into problems this week after offering up super cheap flights on its website this week. It’s hardly surprising there was so much demand, with flights on sale for Rs 599 (£6.25).

spicjet-website-crash_142

Ticketmaster – ticket on-sales affected

Ticketmaster in the States apparently ran into problems this week, which caused disruption to people trying to get tickets to see the likes of AC/DC and the band Barenaked Ladies.

The issues lasted for about an hour and were reportedly caused by an unexpected glitch during a change to the site – but it reinforces the real, tangible impact IT problems can have on businesses (read more on that here).

Travelex – “Happy Hour” sale

Currency exchange website Travelex has a regular “Happy Hour” promotion during which times they offer special discounted exchange rates. This is promoted via social media and a newsletter blast that budding money savers can sign up to receive. This week however, Travelex had to extend the offer to make up for problems it customers had in accessing the offer.

This goes to show that even regular activity can sometimes bring in an unexpected spike in traffic and cause problems to a website, especially with time-limited offers.

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services include performance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, and managed performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Web Performance Fails of the Week – February 6th 2015

Welcome to a new feature on the Intechnica blog: Web Performance Fails of the Week! Each week we’ll report on some high profile performance nightmares via @PerfNightmares on Twitter.

One of our most linked to and visited posts from a few years back is “15 Web Performance Nightmares and the Damage They Caused”. But why are people so interested in reading about other people’s “fails” anyway? Part of it is schadenfreude – enjoying the misfortune of others – especially when it’s an established name that surely ought to know better.

But these can also be seen as cautionary tales. Everyone slips up from time to time, and we can all learn valuable lessons about planning ahead, reacting to mistakes and mitigating disasters in future.

So without further ado: Who’s been in the spotlight this week?

Chelsea FC – Transfer Deadline Day

The sports media was buzzing with activity this week as the deadline for clubs to buy footballers came to a close. One of the biggest stories was that of Juan Cuadrado signing for Chelsea FC. So popular was this story that fans managed to crash the site due to overwhelming demand.

Chelsea FC website crash

BT Sport – FA Cup Live Stream

Manchester United clashed with Cambridge United in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, in a game exclusive to BT Sport. Unfortunately those trying to watch the game via the BT Sport website and app couldn’t access the live stream.

This isn’t the first “own goal” by BT Sport, as reported here upon the service’s launch.

Tottenham Hotspur – Capital One Cup Final Ticket Sales

It seems like football is the running theme this week. Tickets went on sale for Tottenham Hotspur season ticket holders to book their seat at Wembley Stadium, where Spurs will meet the aforementioned Chelsea. Despite there being more tickets available than season ticket holders to buy them, the site still became overwhelmed, frustrating hardcore followers of the club.

The club announced an extension of the ticket sales window on their website to make up for the problems.

Avoid your own Web Performance Fail

We help blue chip businesses across retail, media, financial services, travel, ticketing and gaming & betting avoid Performance Nightmares by helping them achieve a strategic approach to getting performance right in their applications, as well as implementing tactical fixes. Services include performance testing, performance engineering, APM expertise, web and mobile development, and managed performance and cloud services. Read more about our Performance by Design approach on our website.

Intechnica at ICE Totally Gaming: Operators warned against leaving performance until last

Jeremy Gidlow at ICE Totally GamingGaming operators risk frustrating their customers and losing out on revenue if they fail to consider performance until the late stages of application development, according to Intechnica founder Jeremy Gidlow in a talk at ICE Totally Gaming this week.

Gidlow pointed out that speed is becoming an even more important factor in the world of multichannel gaming & betting, with users expecting mobile apps to be as fast as desktop sites.

There are other considerations specific to the gaming industry, added Gidlow, such as the challenge of quickly synchronising data affecting odds and winnings across TV, shops and applications over multiple platforms and network types.

Learn about Intechnica’s approach to IT performance by design, including the need to performance test early in the software development lifecycle, or read more about what Jeremy had to say on the ICE Totally Gaming live blog.

Ian Molyneaux & Larry Haig's Wednesday tutorial, "Performance Testing 101". (via @iWebTweets)

Velocity Europe 2014 in pictures

We just got back from Barcelona, where Intechnica sponsored, exhibited and spoke at Velocity, the leading Web Performance conference in Europe. Thanks to everyone who visited us on our stand or attended “Becoming a Web Performance Warrior” on Monday, “Mobile Performance: When is Good Practice Irresponsible?” on Tuesday or “Performance Testing 101″ on Wednesday.

Check out our gallery of photos after the jump.

Free consultation for Velocity attendees

We’d like to offer all Velocity attendees a free consultation; Whether you’re interested in Application Performance Management implementation or services, performance testing, performance troubleshooting, a Performance Maturity Audit, or finding out about our products such as TrafficDefender, Perkins CI or PERF Central, get in touch to arrange a free consultation today.

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8 Ways to Get the Most From Velocity Europe 2014

Sharp shooting at last year's conference. Photo: O'Reilly Conferences (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Sharp shooting at last year’s conference. Photo: O’Reilly Conferences (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In just a few days, we’ll be jetting off to Barcelona for Velocity, the top Web Performance and Operation conference in Europe. This will be our second year as sponsors (anyone who came to London last year might recall playing our James Bond quick draw game), but even more excitingly, our first year speaking. Quick plug: Check out our talks on Monday and Tuesday, and tutorial on Wednesday, and come say hello at booth 517!

[Not got your Velocity pass yet? Get a 25% discount with our code INTECHNICA25]

Velocity only comes around once a year and it’s a great opportunity to learn, meet like-minded folks, get new ideas and inspiration and soak up the web performance Zeitgeist, so it’s important to make the most of the occasion.

Here are just a few tips on being adequately prepared to rock before, during and after Velocity.

Have your goals in mind

People go to conferences for various reasons, and Velocity is no different in this regard. For attendees, it could be to learn about a specific area, like mobile, or even a specific tool or language. You could be looking for a job or tips on how to get promoted where you are. Or you could be there just to learn about the wider advances and trends in the industry.

Even for vendors or businesses looking to hire or investigate new solutions, it’s important to set your goals before the conference and keep them in mind while you’re there.

Check out the attendee directory before you go

In case you didn’t know, there’s an Attendee Directory for Velocity designed to help you set up networking before you even get to the conference. If there’s someone specific you want to make sure you meet in Barcelona, be it an expert in a specific field or even someone who might hire you, it makes sense to reach out before you get there and set a time and place to meet. Just make sure your message is personal, professional and will be of interest to the other person.

Plan your schedule carefully with your team

There is a packed schedule of sessions throughout Velocity, with a choice of three (at times four) sessions vying for your attendance. Luckily it’s quite straightforward to plan your days out using the Velocity website, by adding sessions to your personal schedule.

One thing to keep in mind if you are going with colleagues is that you have the opportunity to cover a lot more sessions by cross referencing the sessions you are each interested in. If there are clashing sessions of particular interest, you could delegate team members to different sessions and compare notes later. Pro tip: You can download your schedule as an iCal file, and easily share your schedule with colleagues via the public link in your account settings!

Don’t just go to sessions – expand your horizons

While there are a shed load of great sessions and tutorials to check out, don’t think Velocity is just about sitting and listening. There’s also the opportunity to interact with speakers, O’Reilly authors and other like-minded attendees. Go out of your way to take part in Office Hours where you can ask speakers questions directly, Birds of a Feather sessions where people interested in a specific topic can chat, book signings, and networking opportunities.

Follow the hashtag – #VelocityConf

If you’re on Twitter, make sure you check out #VelocityConf during the conference. In fact, why not save the search in your Twitter client ahead of time?

Following along on Twitter, and tweeting your thoughts on what you’re seeing and hearing using the hashtag, is a great extra way to get involved in conversations and interact with other attendees. Don’t be afraid to jump in and contribute! You might even gain some new followers.

Get the app

Did you know there’s a Velocity app? Well, you do now. It offers a convenient way to see what sessions are happening when, make notes, see a floor plan of the conference and much more.

What conference would be complete without its own app?

What conference would be complete without its own app?

There are versions for iOS and Android, both free.

Go out of your comfort zone

This applies to both networking and the sessions you attend. I’m not sure if anyone really enjoys striding up to a table full of strangers and getting involved in the conversation, but if you have something valuable to add, you could end up making friends/influencing people.

Similarly, if you’re unsure as to which sessions to go to, why not go to a session on something you know nothing about? It’s a leap of faith but if the speaker is good, you’ll get into the topic and it could be more valuable than you thought.

Share the knowledge

Finally, but very importantly, don’t keep your notes to yourself. As already mentioned, you should pool your notes with colleagues, even if you went to the same session, and share what you learned with your teams and organisation. If you business has a Wiki or internal knowledge portal, be sure to upload your notes to it, or even write blogs or do a presentation on your findings. After all, it’s likely not everyone in your business who wanted to go was so lucky enough to attend Velocity…!

Once again, if you’re going to Velocity, come and say hello to the Intechnica guys at stand 517. See you there!