For a pizza connoisseur, comparing deep-dish Chicago-style pizzas to thin-crust New York-style can very often turn into a very heated debate. Just ask Jon Stewart.
On our blog, we tend to focus a lot on failures and performance issues because learning from our mistakes is usually the best way to prevent them happening again. Today, however, we’re diverting our focus to examine a story of how a major retail site took the hard road to build a faster website for their end users.
W.W Grainger, founded in 1927 in Chicago with the purpose of providing businesses with supplies, launched their first website in 1996. Online commerce is a huge focus for this Fortune 500 company.
While reviewing a recent update of our benchmark index, I discovered this amazing performance improvement the team achieved and even made a point to congratulate them at Velocity 2016 in Santa Clara.
As displayed in the chart above, their render start time improved by 43%.
I love the render start metric—it gives you a sense of when the user stopped staring at a blank screen. Of course, my experience with Grainger’s site is vastly different form my recent experience with Seiko.
This significant performance improvement was achieved by moving to inline CSS, driving a faster render start time while moving the entire site to SSL.
Congratulations, Team Grainger!
PS: Feels like the deep-dish pizza became a thin-crust one here. Either way, the consumer is the ultimate winner!