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SXSW Interactive 2016

Making fast a feature in media publishing

Vox Media declared a performance bankruptcy last year. Our sites were slow, and we knew it. As a performance team, with the blessing of editorial, we sat down to consider how we are delivering content. We looked at our competition and realized that we were not alone in our performance problems. If we wanted to remain competitive, we needed to make fast a feature.

Today we have considerably improved our sites’ performance. We found the balance between editorial needs and technical requirements. By making these changes we were able to deliver fast as a feature without sacrificing the design that Vox is known for. This is how we did it.

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  1. What were the greatest struggles in taking an ad-supported site from slow to fast?
  2. What pushback was there from editorial, and how did you compromise?
  3. What was the process like to update a legacy codebase to consider performance as a key feature?


  • Ian Carrico, Performance Engineer, Vox Media
  • Trei Brundrett, Chief Product Officer, Vox Media


Ian Carrico, Web Performance Artist, Vox Media Inc

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