Rich Howard

Rich Howard

Rich is the founder and CEO of Optimal. He has worked in web development and optimization for almost 20 years, and enjoys working with a diverse range of clients to help them solve their complex technical problems.

Performance testing and optimization in a CI/CD environment

The purpose of this post is to explain more about CI/CD and also how it relates to performance and performance optimization. We introduce a few example tools and techniques specific to Jenkins, the most popular CI/CD automation tool. What is CI/CD? CI/CD stands for continuous integration and continuous delivery / continuous deployment. It’s both a ...

Incorporating a range of performance tools into your optimization strategy

In this post I outline the wide range of performance tools that can be used in your business. I then compare and contrast the qualities of each tool, and outline the types of problems each type of tool tries to solve. Note that I am a big advocate of using a wide range of these ...

Seasonal Readiness – Managing 3rd parties and integrations during peak events

Websites today do not work in isolation. Often they are a complicated mix of both first party assets and code as well as additional features and functionality provided by 3rd party vendors. Prior to peak events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s important to review your tag and vendor integrations to ensure that ...

Seasonal and Peak Readiness Intro

Every year, thousands of website owners need to prepare for peak events. For website owners in the United States and Canada, these typically occur on Black Friday / Cyber Monday and the lead up to Christmas, but may occur at different times, according to the typical schedule for your industry or a decision to market ...

10 possible reasons why your website is loading slowly

Slow websites can cost businesses greatly when in terms of lost traffic and revenue. There may be one or more reasons why your website or particular pages are running slowly. Here are some of the most common problems that we see when fixing website issues: 1. You need to enable gzip compression. Gzip compression should ...

Cookies and web performance

What is a cookie? Cookies are small pieces of information sent from a web server and stored on your computer. They are used to contain identity and browser state information. They were introduced as a mechanism to get round the fact that HTTP is a stateless protocol. Typically cookies are used for a variety of purposes: ...