October 11, 2001, 12:00 AM

Optimizing text and images accelerates response times at HomeDepot.com

BoostWorks’ BoostWeb software detects the kind of browser and connection a HomeDepot.com customer is using and speeds connections to display pages two to four times faster.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Optimizing the transmission of text and images to the needs of different web browsers has significantly reduced response time for customers using home dial-up connections to shop at HomeDepot.com. The online arm of Atlanta-based home improvement retailer Home Depot worked with content accelerator BoostWorks’s server-based software solution, BoostWeb, to speed response times. “Great response times are invariably a critical component of any high quality online shopping experience," says Brad Albers, director of IS at Home Depot. “We recognize that many of our customers have dial-up connections to their Internet service providers and our online store. BoostWeb significantly improved response times for customers connecting to HomeDepot.com by dial-up and helped optimize our network capacity.”

The software improved client-side response times for dial-up customers without requiring the installation of client software or a costly network upgrade, he adds. San Francisco-based BoostWork’s patent-pending intelligent network acceleration technology “discovers” which browser a customer is using to access HomeDepot.com, and alters the data transmission accordingly to speed response time as needed. That means that the same content can used, with optimization, for transmission to the shopper using a slow-loading wireless device and the shopper using a high-speed PC. It’s a trade-off made in the interest of better response time: while the wireless user doesn’t get the same sharpness of detail as the PC user, that user gets the data faster. Handling static and dynamic pages from data supplied by HomeDepot.com’s existing BroadVision e-commerce suite, BoostWeb’s solution displays pages two to four times faster, depending on the type of data and network speed, the company says.

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