Thursday, 17 August 2017

Akamai addresses image-heavy Website performance

Akamai Technologies
Wednesday 21 September 16

Akamai Technologies, the global leader in content delivery network (CDN) services, today introduced Image Manager. Intended for use in conjunction with Akamai’s industry-leading Web Performance Solutions, Image Manager is designed to provide customers with a fast and easy way to create and deliver optimal images to all users across a wide range of device types and browsers. In addition, the ability to apply visually lossless compression can benefit organisations by reducing page weight without compromising user experience, thus improving performance and driving greater audience engagement. Today’s image-intensive websites and mobile applications have introduced a variety of challenges for owners of these web properties…

Akamai Technologies, the global leader in content delivery network (CDN) services, today introduced Image Manager. Intended for use in conjunction with Akamai’s industry-leading Web Performance Solutions, Image Manager is designed to provide customers with a fast and easy way to create and deliver optimal images to all users across a wide range of device types and browsers. In addition, the ability to apply visually lossless compression can benefit organisations by reducing page weight without compromising user experience, thus improving performance and driving greater audience engagement.

Today’s image-intensive websites and mobile applications have introduced a variety of challenges for owners of these web properties. Even as the web continues to become better connected, the proliferation of images has made sites much heavier, impacting speed, performance and ultimately the user experience. For example, many organisations still deliver “desktop sized” images to mobile and tablet devices, which contributes to over downloading and suboptimal site performance.

Those companies that attempt to deliver custom images based on device type, artistic treatment or other criteria often find themselves faced with complex workflows that can slow time to market as well as increase processing and storage costs. Image Manager is designed to address these challenges by giving site owners the ability to improve user experience by automatically optimising web images for both maximum visual quality and performance while at the same time reducing the cost and effort required to store, transform and deliver derivative images, decreasing time to market.

Leading bedding, home decor, and kitchen and bath retailer Linen Chest is an early adopter of Akamai’s Image Manager. According to the company’s Director of eCommerce Riaz Faride, “Before Image Manager, our creative team wanted to produce crisp, high resolution images, but felt like they were ‘locked in a box’ making sure images were highly compressed to avoid causing any lag to the customer. With Image Manager, we can deliver the highest quality images with the highest level of performance. Improved site performance has led directly to a 30 percent increase in tablet traffic and a 10 percent increase in conversion rates.”

To address the proliferation of image-heavy sites, Image Manager is designed to:

Provide Intelligent Optimisations and Delivery – Image Manager is designed to intelligently deliver the richest, highest quality, fastest and best-suited image for each end user and device. The solution makes web images lighter and faster by using a real-time algorithm to analyse each image and apply a precise level of compression that is imperceptible to the human eye. Additional byte savings are realised by automatically converting images to specialised file formats that are optimised for a greater number of browsers and operating systems than any other image transformation provider while also automatically resizing images for smaller screens, all without the need to write code. The ability to optimise and deliver an image that maintains the same perceptible quality as the original, while at the same time reducing the number of bytes, can provide a superior user experience.

Easily integrate into existing environments without disrupting application development – Speeding time to market and reducing infrastructure and software complexity are often critical to a website’s ongoing success. Designed for flexible integration with existing storage and publishing workflows, Image Manager is compatible with any connected storage and is currently the only solution available that can turn on automatic optimisations without adding javascript to a page. Equally important, customers can apply artistic image transformation policies (crop, resize, rotate, watermark etc.) without making code changes to the website or application.

Deliver unprecedented scale and reliability – Image Manager is made available to customers via the world’s largest distributed computing platform. Companies using Image Manager maintain complete delivery and security control over valuable image assets backed by a proven, enterprise-class platform that now offers the ability to purge cached content in five seconds. Further, Image Manager offers an enhanced caching architecture that provides significant offload and is especially beneficial for sites or applications with long-tail images.

“The old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is truer than ever when it comes to delivering compelling web experiences,” explained Craig Adams, vice president, Web Performance Products, Akamai. “However, those same images have a tendency to do the exact opposite if companies don’t have an effective image management strategy in place. Image Manager makes it possible for our customers to have the best of both worlds by enabling them to automatically deliver the right image, to the right device at the right time – ultimately keeping users more engaged.”

Image Manager is part of Akamai’s Web Performance Solutions product family. Akamai Web Performance Solutions are intended to help customers meet the specific challenges of always-connected audiences. Built on the globally distributed Akamai Intelligent PlatformTM, Akamai Web Performance Solutions are designed to simplify increasingly complex web and mobile site delivery, enabling a faster experience that is highly available, secure and scalable to meet peak demands.


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