Performance is the new SEO
Once you start a project like alugha, you have many priorities in the beginning and performance is not on the top of the list. But in times of the data kraken Google and its guidelines, performance becomes the main subject… So we decided to work a little performance magic.
About one year ago, we decided to break the mold with alugha in terms of technology and development and we have changed a lot in the background. We haven’t done this out of boredom and we knew that there is much that we needed to integrate into alugha for you. So what now? “Waste” time on rebuilding or offer new features? There are some people who focus on delivering new features and neglect the current status. However, from a business perspective this might be the right thing to do. But if you want to be prepared for the future in terms of performance, features and competition…. you’ll need to start with the basics, your code...
Not long ago, Google announced that there will be some significant changes in their search algorithm. On the one hand, it’s about the performance of websites in general, and on the other hand it’s about the the huge topic “mobile first”. Overall, it’s a very good idea as we spend a lot of time on the internet using smartphones or tablets, so from this perspective: top! Google! But it’s annoying when you realize that Google will sanction those who don’t meet those parameters and don’t deliver the tools to measure it, although they aren’t top performers themselves in these areas. Anyhow, Google surely is large enough to fix their problems in no time, and this is meant as a note in the margin for the future (as commonly known, Google doesn’t ever forget anything ;) ).
After rebuilding the complete player and not using Polymer (Google Framework) anymore, which already improved our performance a lot, we started rebuilding our website. Please note that we are still in the middle of rebuilding and (unfortunately) we are still using Angular on some pages. Changing to new developing tools and React packed a punch. It wasn’t about adjusting the code here and there, no :(. Erase everything, new page, new idea, gain experience, learn a lot and so get a lot of things right from the ground up… that was the motto! Now our Single Video Page (SVP), the search and many other pages are already on React and so the performance boost is done!
At the moment, there are two relevant tests provided by Google. One of them has been known for many years and it is called PageSpeed. For the test we used the page which focuses on the video (basically their SVP) and we compared DailyMotion, Twitch, Vimeo, YouTube and alugha.
All values under 80 % are highlighted in yellow and signalize that you need to take action in this area. At around 50 % it’s highlighted in red and Google basically says: Hellllloooo McFly…. anybody home? Better do your homework immediately and fix your problems.
Lately (known since I/O 2017), Google provided another very exciting new tool: LightHouse. LightHouse can be found in your Chrome browser under DevTools and Audits.
Currently, LightHouse is still in beta phase and only available for your desktop browser. Therefore not all data is correct. That’s especially relevant as this test is exclusively for your mobile website. For example, our videos are autoplay but only if you visit the alugha website using a desktop browser - in the test they play automatically and are evaluated negatively. But in reality this isn’t a performance problem as you have to start the videos manually on mobile devices. We assume that Google will improve this in the future. We have definitely already made a request to Google about this.
As you can see on the charts, we are in a VERY good position compared to the others and we are the top performers in almost every test. As soon as we have rebuilt everything in React, all pages on alugha will be very fast and we can concentrate on other things and integrate awesome new functionalities for you!